'Dark Knight Rises' — Teaser

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This first look at THE DARK KNIGHT RISES uses a mix of footage from BATMAN BEGINS and THE DARK KNIGHT as well as new scenes of hospitalized James Gordon (Gary Oldman) speaking to an offscreen presence (Christian Bale), imploring him that “the Batman must come back”.
“What if he doesn’t exist anymore?” is the answer.
We then see glimpses of Bane (Tom Hardy) and a water-drenched, battered Batman struggling to face his opponent.
Looks like the stakes are high in this final Batman film from director  Christopher Nolan.

From Warner Brothers Pictures: 

Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge

Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ “The Dark Knight Rises” is the epic conclusion to filmmaker Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy,
Leading an all-star international cast, Oscar® winner Christian Bale (“The Fighter”) again plays the dual role of Bruce Wayne/Batman. The film also stars Anne Hathaway, as Selina Kyle; Tom Hardy, as Bane; Oscar® winner Marion Cotillard (“La Vie en Rose”), as Miranda Tate; and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, as John Blake.
Returning to the main cast, Oscar® winner Michael Caine (“The Cider House Rules”) plays Alfred; Gary Oldman is Commissioner Gordon; and Oscar® winner Morgan Freeman (“Million Dollar Baby”) reprises the role of Lucius Fox.
The screenplay is written by Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan, story by Christopher Nolan & David S. Goyer. The film is produced by Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan and Charles Roven, who previously teamed on “Batman Begins” and the record-breaking blockbuster “The Dark Knight.” The executive producers are Benjamin Melniker, Michael E. Uslan, Kevin De La Noy and Thomas Tull, with Jordan Goldberg serving as co-producer. The film is based upon characters appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. Batman was created by Bob Kane.

Video via GorillaNation.

CFQ Round Table Podcast 2:20.3: Taking Stock of X-Men on Screen

Prophetic messaging? The first few X-MEN films were entertaining; then came WOLVERINE...

In this week’s Cinefantastique Round Table Podcast – the Podcast with a Sense of Wonder – Dan Persons, Lawrence French, and Steve Biodrowski appraise the X-MEN film franchise: what have the mutants contributed to the world of comics-to-movies adaptations? Also up for discussion: remembering late actor Vincent Price – the Merchant of Menace – on the 100th anniversary of his birth. Plus a look at the week’s most interesting news: Is it good or bad that the live-action, Americanized remake of Katsuhiro Otomo’s AKIRA is going nowhere fast? Does Christopher Nolan’s use of IMAX instead of 3D for THE DARK KNIGHT RISES indicate a better way to immerse audiences in on-screen world’s of fantasy? And do we really want or need a DARK SHADOWS remake with reluctant vampire Barnabas Collins recast as a thoughtless playboy?


'Inception' Stars Cast in 'Dark Knight Rises'

batman_Dark Knight suitAccording to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Brothers offically announced that Joseph Gordon-Levitt and  Marion Cotillard have joined the cast of Christopher Nolan’s THE DARK KNIGHT RISES.
 The studio called the film the “conclusion of the Dark Knight legend”, again confirming that this will be the last in this particular series of Batman films.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt will play the role of Gotham City patrolman John Blake, chosen by Commisioner Gordon for a special assignment.  Fans had speculated that Gordon-Levitt might portray one of the comic book’s incomic villains, but this appears not to be the case.
Marion-Cotillard-InceptionMarion Cotillard’s role will be Miranda Tate, a member of the Wayne Enterprises board, who apparently wants to help Bruce Wayne take up the civic and philanthropic activities his murdered parents were once known to pursue.

Justice League Film in Works?

JLAcart_WThe L.A. Times featured an interview with Warner Brothers Pictures honcho Jeff Robinov, who they say told them a new JUSTICE LEAGUE feature film script is being worked on, with a desire to bring it to the screen in 2013.
As the article reminds us, a JUSTICE LEAGUE feature was well into pre-production in 2008, with leads cast and costumes being fitted, when it was felled by a combo of the WGA strike, Austrailian tax credit problems, and some worry about a different version of Batman affecting the success of the Christopher Nolan / Christian Bale   series.
Robinov seems determined that the end of that trilogy will not be an ending of the character’s movie career, just of that specific phase.  

“We have the third BATMAN, but then we’ll have to reinvent Batman…Chris Nolan and  Emma Thomas will be producing it, so it will be a conversation with them about what the next phase is.”

Jeff Rubinov aslso said that FLASH and WONDER WOMAN scripts are being worked on, and he sees no conflict with the WONDER WOMAN TV pilot and potential new series.  
“Wonder Woman could be a film as well, the same way that SUPERMAN RETURNS came out while SMALLVILLE was on.”

Anne Hathaway Confirms Catwoman?

From the Hollywood Reporter comes this item, in which it appears that Oscar presenter Anne Hathaway reveals that her Selina Kyle role in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES is indeed Catwoman,
“I was waiting to hear back to hear if I’d been cast as Catwoman, and my manager called me and said, ‘Are you sitting down?’ and I just go, oh my god, here it comes. She’s like, ‘You’re about to hear something you’ll never hear again in your whole life. I’m like, ‘OK.’ And she goes, ‘You’ve been asked to host the Oscars.’ I’m like, ‘I’m Catwoman! What?! Oh, oh, OK. What?’
Clip via Batman-News.com

Tom Hardy on Bane

Batman News.com supplied this video of Tom Hardy (STAR TREK: NEMESIS,  INCEPTION) fron the UK talk show ALAN CARR: CHATTY MAN.
Hardy advised that his interpetation of the powerful villain Bane will not be in the campy vein of BATMAN & ROBIN (1997), and dodged the question of whether the character will wear a mask in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES.
Tom Hardy did confirm that he will be putting on muscle mass for the part over the next three months, before shooting begins in May for the Christopher Nolan film.

Hopkins to Psycho & Little Mermaid vs. Beauty and the Beast: Cinefantastique Roundtable Podcast 2:4

Anthony Hopkins
Anthony Hopkins

All kinds of news prompt all kinds of discussion from this week’s panel: the rumored casting of Anthony Hopkins as Alfred Hitchcock in a film about the making of PSYCHO gets theofantastique.com‘s John W. Morehead, CFQ’s Steve Biodrowski, and Dan Persons musing about what behind-the-scenes events could be dramatized in a film that aren’t already well-known; while elsewhere there’s a debate about the relative quality of THE LITTLE MERMAID as compared to BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. Plus, John gives his impression of the Science Fiction episode of PIONEERS OF TELEVISION; Steve gives a rundown of ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE UNDEAD; while Dan unleashes his animeniac on DURARARA!! and SUMMER WARS.


Catwoman & Bane For 'Dark Knight Rises'

Warner Bros. Pictures announced today that Anne Hathaway has been cast as Selina Kyle in Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises.”

Christopher Nolan stated, “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Anne Hathaway, who will be a fantastic addition to our ensemble as we complete our story.”

Tom Hardy, BRONSON
Tom Hardy, BRONSON

In addition, Tom Hardy has been set to play Bane. Nolan said, “I am delighted to be working with Tom again and excited to watch him bring to life our new interpretation of one of Batman’s most formidable enemies.”

Nolan will direct the film from a screenplay he wrote with Jonathan Nolan, from a story by Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer. Nolan will also produce the film with his longtime producing partner, Emma Thomas, and Charles Roven. “

The Dark Knight Rises” is slated for release on July 20, 2012. The film will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

So Catwoman and Bane, huh? Could work.
Catwoman has appeared in the `60’s BATMAN television, show, spin-off movie, and BATMAN RETURNS, as well as cartoons.  (A non-Selina Kyle heroic version was showcased in CATWOMAN.)
Bane appeared in a less- than -faithful fashion in the widely reviled BATMAN AND ROBIN, appearing as a scientifically-powered inarticulate brute.
Casting the British Tom Hardy as the character is somewhat unexpected. In the comics, Bane is supposed to be from a Caribbean prision, and speaks with a Hispanic accent, though he is surprisingly intelligent and literate for a long-term inmate. Using the addictive super-steriod Venom,  he was transformed into a inhumanly strong killer.
He’s clever enough to keep the Batman on the run, by releasing crimminal lunatics from Arkham Asylum, while also deducing his secret identity, and eventually breaking the Dark Knight’s back in a fight. (Knightfall)
How this will play out in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES is anybody’s guess.

Nolan Steps Back From 'Superman' Film

christopher-nolanAt a party for Christopher Nolan’s INCEPTION, plugging it’s Oscar chances to the press, HitFix spoke to the director and his wife and producing partner Emma Thomas about the Superman movie and THE DARK KNIGHT RISES.
Thomas described Chris Nolan as very single-minded when making a film, and that it would be difficult for him to try to work on another project. Thus, now that he’s sure that David S. Goyer’s concept has been worked into a script that they and Warner Brothers like, they’ll be stepping back and handing off the Superman film to director Zack Snyder (WATCHMEN). Nolan  will have little to do with that movie’s production.
Christopher Nolan expressed surprise that fans think he has all the details worked out on the Batman films, sometimes long before he’s even begun working on them. Apparently, he’s still writing  the screenplay (due in January) with his brother Jonathan Nolan, and has not finished casting the film.
At the same event, Thomson on Hollywood also spoke to Nolan, who will not confirm if  Tom Hardy (STAR TREK: NEMESIS) will be playing a hero or villain in his third Batman film. He did shoot down the internet rumor that he planned to use stock footage of Heath Ledger to insert the Joker into the film.
Also attending the event was composer Hans Zimmer (THE DARK KNIGHT), who is presently set to write the music for Zack Snyder’s Superman re-boot, after doing the latest PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN film, and the SHERLOCK HOLMES sequel.

Nolan Indicates 'Dark Knight Rises' Last

batman_DK1In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, director Christopher Nolan appeared to confirm that THE DARK KNIGHT RISES will be the final Batman film for  him and star Christian Bale.
The actor recently indicated that the third film would be his last, unless Nolan said otherwise. Happily discussing  the success of his SF thiller INCEPTION, Christopher Nolan said the following:

“I feel very glad that I’m doing another Batman film. I think it would have been daunting to sit down and write an original script after INCEPTION. I love working within the realm and rules of our Batman world. It’s kind of nice to have someplace to go that I’m super-excited about.”
 I must say that I’m glad — I’m very, very glad — to be embarking on the last chapter of our Batman saga without any sense of obligation or duty to the studio. They did very well with INCEPTION. So I’m able to go into finishing our story in a very enthusiastic way.”

A trilogy seems to a fitting arc for the n/Bale Batman films, though I can’t  imagine that Warner Brothers would let the franchise lie fallow for too long. Fortunately, the character is strong enough to draw interest in many different interpetations, and  not simply by specific director/actor teamings. However,  it’s hard to imagine a better combination than Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale, who seem so in-synch in their approach.