It’s bittersweet to think that ‘The Dark Knight Rises‘ marked the end of Christopher Nolan‘s Batman trilogy, considering many moviegoers were in agreement that it was not only the highlight of the summer, but also the best of the three films. And yet, it’s sad to see it come to an end.
On the other hand, there’s still more images and footage to be seen. ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ DVD and Blu-rayedition hits this December 3, and will be filled with a lot of extras everyone can enjoy. But while we’re waiting to purchase what will most likely be a treasured edition to our movie libraries, newly released photos of a rarely seen photo shoot for ‘The Dark Knight’ give us a closer look at another iconic moment from the movie trilogy — Heath Ledger in full Joker makeup and costume.
The late Ledger transformed the Joker into one of the most warped on-screen villains of all-time and made “Why so serious?” an overused catchphrase of the 2000s, both of which earned him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor following his death. Thanks to Reddit user tone_is_everything, we can now commemorate his performance with some rarely seen publicity shots from the second Batman flick.
Although very few information was provided along with these images, we realized through a side-by-side comparison that they were probably taken for use in the official movie posters:
Warner Bros. via Reddit/Warner Bros.
Warner Bros. via Reddit/Warner Bros.
You can check out more of the publicity shots of Heath Ledger for ‘The Dark Knight’ below, as well as some extra images of Christian Bale in full Batman attire.
Warner Bros. via Reddit
Warner Bros. via Reddit
Warner Bros. via Reddit
Warner Bros. via Reddit
Warner Bros. via Reddit
Warner Bros. via Reddit
Christopher Nolan may be done with his Dark Knight Trilogy, but the fans aren’t! I’m sure we’ll continue to see a ton of cool fan art over the years. Here’s an awesome series of poster illustrations for the trilogy created by artist Mr. Florey. I really like the style of these, they turned out great. What do you think of them?
Even though many of us have issues with The Dark Knight Rises, there’s few who would argue the ending is incredibly satisfying. Does it leave questions? Absolutely. But the final few images, combined with Hans Zimmer’s score, leaves almost everyone feeling great as the credits roll. The problem is, if things played out in a logical fashion, The Dark Knight Rises may never have gotten to that point. And that’s where the How It Should Have Ended team comes in.
How It Should Have Ended is a fun animation website that makes videos for practically every big blockbuster, showing how the movie probably should have ended if Hollywood movies had more sense. It’s all nonsense, but it’s fun, and their take on The Dark Knight Rises is one of the best yet. Check it out below.
Loyal readers of Superhero Bits probably saw this earlier this week but it was deemed worthy enough of a follow up for anyone who missed it in that column. Here’s the video from How It Should Have Ended. Head there for more. And obviously, these aremajor spoilers below.
Some of these are way too dumb and obvious, such as Batman dying of the stab wound. But nitpicks like John Blake and Commissioner Gordon NOT deciding to let all the cops go underground or Batman deciding to use his Bat-darts on Bane are simultaneously funny and logical. (OK, maybe not the Bat-darts so much, because if he shot one, one of Bane’s goons would have shot him. But it still made me laugh.)
I hate to open up this can of worms again, for any of us, but do you think any of these are legitimate gripes or just funny takes on the film?
Out of respect for the victims of the Aurora shooting, Warner Bros. — as well as other studios — would not release their debut numbers this weekend. (This past Friday, 24-year-old James Holmes shot 12 people during a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora, Colorado.)
However, various media outlets have reported that Christopher Nolan’s finale brought in $160 million to $162 million. That sum would make “TDKR” the highest 2-D opening ever, besting its brethren “The Dark Knight,” which earned $158.4 million its first weekend. The film comes in third overall, behind this year’s gangbusters “The Avengers” ($207.4 million) and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2” ($169.2 million).
The Batman flick benefited from its overseas release, as well. Reportedly, the film earned $70 million from various countries all over the world. This weekend’s official numbers will be released later today.
Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, and Nolan all released personal statementsexpressing their sympathies over the tragedy, which took the lives of 12 people.
We will update the story when the official box-office tally comes in.
UPDATE: The official figures for “The Dark Knight Rises” show that the film earned $160,887,295 million during its weekend release. This figure puts it at the highest opening of any non-3D film of all time.
Anne Hathaway As Catwoman
Christian Bale & Anne Hathaway
Tom Hardy As Bane
Christian Bale As Batman
Marion Cotillard as Miranda Tate
Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox
Joseph Gordon-Levitt & Gary Oldman
Joseph Gordon-Levitt & Gary Oldman
Christian Bale & Michael Caine
Anne Hathaway as Catwoman
Morgan Freeman & Christian Bale
Joseph Gordon-Levitt & Marion Cotillard
Nolan, Freeman, Bale
Joseph Gordon-Levitt & Matthew Modine
CENTENNIAL, Colo. – Shackled and with his hair dyed a garish reddish-orange, James Holmes, the suspect accused of mass murder during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises in nearby Aurora, Colo., didn’t utter a word during his first court appearance this morning, sitting quietly next to his defense attorney. Holmes was emotionless, mostly looking down or away during the procedure, his face morphing from a blank stare to bulging and wide-eyed, prompting reporters to ask attorneys if he had been drugged.
Traditional local court procedures give attorneys 72 hours to file charges, but it’s not unusual for cases of this magnitude to be given additional time due to the anticipated number of charges that will be levied, including first degree murder.
Holmes was advised of his rights but no plea was entered. Formal filing of charges is expected at 9:30 a.m. next Monday.
“We are still looking at an enormous amount of evidence,” said Carol Chambers, the Eighteenth Judicial District Attorney. “It’s still a very active, ongoing investigation”
Holmes could face the death penalty, Chambers said. That determination would have to be made within 60 days of the arraignment. Attorneys would consult with victims’ families to see if they were prepared to weather that storm that could “impact their lives for years to come.” But the decision would ultimately rest with prosecutors.
“It’s a hard decision to make,” Chambers said.
Before the hearing, family members of the victims were allowed into the courtroom, along with a select group of media (about 30 additional members of the media packed an adjoining overflow room). The family members declined to speak with the press as they entered and exited the courtroom. Many of them watched intently as Holmes was escorted into the hearing.
Outside the courthouse, David Sanchez, 53, the father of a victim, said he came because his daughter asked him. Katie, Sanchez’ daughter, and his son-in-law Caleb, escaped the shooting but not without serious injury. Caleb was shot in the right side of his head and is in stable condition at a local hospital.
“It’s been horrendous,” Sanchez said. “Nobody should have to go through anything like this.”
Katie and Caleb are huge Batman fans and had been waiting for a year to see the movie, Dark Knight Rises, Sanchez said. They dressed in Batman apparel.
“We are focused more on recovery now than about what’s going on with him (Holmes),” Sanchez said.
Not everyone gets to wear a superhero T-shirts in the workplace. So how do you show your love for Gotham City, without getting a pissy memo about your office dress code?
Simple: Try these high fashion Batman-centric ensembles.
Bruce Wayne Wear
It might be hard to pull off the full bullet-proof Batsuit while walking down the street (unless you really “dig this day”) but everyone looks good in a custom tailored Giorgio Armani suit. Armani has returned for Dark Knight Rises (yet again) to clothe the billionaire vigilante. The prices aren’t listed, but the Made To Measure line at Armani usually starts at about $3,000.
Bruce is even getting his own customized labels.
We’ve actually seen fairly close Bane knock-off coats in the Cana street markets of New York, and around the London street shops in Camden. But if you want to go high end,Esquire suggests this Ermenegil Zegna coat, pricing at around (our guess) $4,000 plus. That’s $3,950.00 more than the street coats.
The Joker’s Blazer
Last bit of the high end merch for the truly daring, a long black cape from Yves Saint Laurent clocking in at a resounding $1,178. Had we the means, we would have that cape. It’s says crime fighter and theater geek at the same time!
Batman Money Clip
Now for a few items that are d less high end cosplay, like this exceptional Batman Money Clip form Think Geek ($39.99).
Gotham City Ring
Carry the city of Gotham on your pinky with this $225 ring from Noir Jewelry.
The bat logo bags are so loud (but still awesome), so tone it down in the office with this batwing bag. Which is in the shape of a… batwing. Available at e-potpourri for $24, plus it’s made out of rubber which is what we expect Batman’s chest would feel like.
Batman and Robin Nike Dunks
Totally rad, and available on ebay for around $130. Isn’t it time we bring back Dunks in the workplace?
Armitron watch, merely $25 at Sears. When Gotham’s reckoning comes and all the power is out, you can still depend on your watch. Unless he has an EMP gun that kills batteries. Maybe.
Lazy Oaf has a sick collection of crazy batman gear, like this shirt that will look rad when you get drunk and run down the street (arms spread) screaming “WHERE IS SHE!” Only $100.
Batman Button Downs
Can’t wear a t-shirt? Fine, be professional and wear a button down. You’ll look sharp and geeky. $102 at Lazy Oaf.
One more awesome blouse from Lazy Oaf($100)
Batman Backpack for Adults!
This backpack is for adults — adults, I say!
Hot rod rayban knockoffs on the outside, all Batman fanatic on the inside. 12 smackers, from Hot Topic.
Julie Newmar Catwoman
Go old school with your jewelry and make your own Newmar necklace like this crafty family did. Well done!
For formal occasions, don your best Bat-cufflinks. These beauties will sit you back $50.
[Via Cufflink Aficionado]
Created by Sarah Kidd these comfy Toms are perfect for the Hipster fan. No idea if they are for sale but you could always try and knock these out yourself (should you have the steady hand and artful eye for Bane face).
Bat Tie Clip
Let the world know that you will be spending this weekend fighting off loud teenagers in the cinema hoping to be one of the first humans to see Dark Knight Rises with this subtle, yet classy Bat-Tie Clip. Made with love at Etsy for $18.
And finally, we beg you all, where did Joseph-Gordon Levitt get this amazing skinny Batman tie he wore on the Looper panel at Comic Con? It is gorgeous and we MUST HAVE IT.
Photograph via Getty Images.
As a stand-alone movie, The Dark Knight Rises is pretty darn good — better than most summer action movies, but not as good as The Dark Knight. But as the culmination of an epic trilogy, three films that are tight enough to be a single movie, it’s incredible.
Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy does something nobody’s ever done before: tell a long, coherent story about the creation and deconstruction of a heroic symbol. He’s explored the meaning of Batman in a way that deepens our understanding of the tropes of the superheroic “secret identity.”
Minor spoilers ahead… And by “minor spoilers,” I mean mostly stuff you already know from the trailers. Plus some vague generalizations. No major plot points or anything.
I hadn’t seen Batman Begins in years, and I meant to watch it before seeing The Dark Knight Rises. And then Comic Con happened, and I didn’t get around to it. So I went into Dark Knight Rises with only vague recollections of Nolan’s first Bat-movie. And as a result, a lot of stuff in TDKR seemed a bit poorly set up, or even a little trite. Then I finally rewatchedBatman Begins, and a lot of stuff clicked into place — there are a ton of things in TDKR that are paying off the first hour of Batman Begins, thematically and emotionally, rather than anything in TDKR itself.
(That said, I stand by the assertion that this movie isn’t in the same league as The Dark Knight. There’s nothing as miraculous in this film as Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker. Tom Hardy is great as the main villain, Bane, but he’s mostly playing a pretty one-dimensional baddie. Anne Hathaway gets the job done. This film is a lot more linear, and less surprising, than Nolan’s second Batman film.)
The third Nolan Batman film really does work best as the third act of a three-act story. In the first, an emotionally wounded Bruce Wayne devotes himself to creating a symbol to strike fear into the hearts of criminals: the Batman. In the second, Bruce hopes that Harvey Dent, a flesh-and-blood paragon, can make the larger-than-life Batman unnecessary — but when Harvey Dent falls short, Bruce sacrifices Batman’s reputation to save Harvey’s.
In a sense, the Dark Knight falls at the end of The Dark Knight.
The third movie is largely concerned with playing out the consequences of Batman’s choice at the end of the second film — but also with interrogating Bruce’s reasons for crafting the persona of Batman in the first place, way back in Batman Begins. There are a lot of moments in TDKR that reframe stuff that happens in the first movie, so we start to see Bruce’s quest, to conquer his own fear and create a fearsome symbol, in a new light.
Most superhero movies treat the mask as a simple method of concealing the hero’s identity — or just as part of the image of the character that’s going on lunchboxes. The Spider-Man movies can never wait to unmask Spidey, so he can emote. But the Nolan Batman movies are fairly unique in the amount of time they spend talking about the mask as symbol. (Although I love the bit in Amazing Spider-Man where he tells a little kid to wear his mask, because it’ll make the kid strong.) Over three movies, Nolan spends a lot of time discussing the meaning and purpose of Batman’s cowl.
Bane, the main villain of The Dark Knight Rises, has his own mask which defines his face, rather than concealing. Almost Bane’s first line in the movie is, “Nobody cared who I was, until I put on the mask.” The promotional materials for TDKR heavily feature a shot of Bane holding a broken Bat-cowl in one hand, letting you know in advance that Batman’s facade is going to be shattered by someone who understands the use of masks at a deeper level.
Legends Vs. Propaganda
Nolan draws extensively on the Batman comics for plot points in all three of his films. But the thing where Batman agrees to take the blame for Harvey Dent’s crimes is created out of whole cloth. (I think.) And it’s a pretty unique spin on the character — Bruce Wayne deciding that Batman is more useful as a fall guy than as a symbol of justice. (It’s hard to imagine how the comics could do that, as a major development, and make it stick.)
Back in Batman Begins, Ra’s Al-Ghul talks a lot about the difference between a man and a legend — but the new movie spends a lot of time exploring the difference between a legend and propaganda. Batman was a legend, but now Harvey Dent is propaganda. It’s not just that Harvey’s martyrdom is a lie — but also, his myth is used to prop up the social order. The powers that be in Gotham are all invested in the Harvey Dent story. Like Ra’s said, a man can be corrupted — or co-opted — even after death.
You’ve probably seen the bit in the trailers where two Gotham power-broker types are talking about how the Mayor is dumping Jim Gordon in the spring — because Gordon was a war hero, but now it’s peace time. That kind of complacency runs through the first chunk of the movie, and it’s built on the Harvey Dent story.
And that’s where Bane comes in. He’s basically a pure propagandist, who often talks like an issue of People’s Daily, circa 1975. Everything Bane does is either about killing people or about crafting a piece of political messaging. You often get the sense that Bane doesn’t care if you believe half the things he says, as long as you get sucked into their underlying logic. The best propaganda doesn’t require you to believe that it’s true — as long as you behave as though it might be true. Bane’s superpower is getting his enemies to accept his frame on reality.
And that’s one of the reasons why rewatching Batman Begins makes TDKR a lot richer — the first hour of Batman Beginsis basically a tutorial in using “theatricality and deception” to create something more than just a person. (And the emotional logic of Bruce turning the thing he fears most — bats — into an avatar of terror to use against his enemies.) But that theatricality and deception depend on a legend that’s tarnished when Batman confesses to murder.
Meanwhile, the officially sanctioned story of Harvey Dent is political rather than mythic, and Gotham City’s politics have not gotten any purer since the first movie. So a lot of this third movie is about the superheroic identity, as symbol and tool, and the terrible things that happen when you enslave it to the needs of the state.
The Rise and Collapse of the American City
If you’ve watched the trailers for The Dark Knight Rises, you’ve already seen lots of shots of urban destruction, including Gotham’s bridges being blown up. And a football field collapsing during a game. It’s not the kind of indiscriminate urban destruction we’re used to seeing, like in Cloverfield or a Roland Emmerich movie. This is very local. And it’s engineered.
Nolan’s first Batman film features a villain who wants to recruit Bruce Wayne to help him destroy Gotham City, because it’s become decadent and corrupt, as a world financial power. Instead, Batman does such a good job of rooting out organized crime that he creates a vacuum that can only be filled by the Joker, who trashes huge pieces of the city in the name of proving that Gotham’s people are still inherently corrupt, or corruptible. And now, in this third movie, the actual infrastructure of Gotham is being chipped away, while everybody is helpless or complicit.
Gotham City is a major feature of all three films. We spend a lot of time looking at its structures, both social and architectural. And by the time Bane’s done with Gotham, you get a clear sense that all along, Nolan has been asking what makes cities — by showing people trying to un-make them.
In a year with a lot of apocalyptic films where the apocalypse is weirdly abstract, Nolan makes the apocalypse concrete. A lot of the images that stick in your mind after this film aren’t of fight scenes or explosions, but just of urban desolation — plenty of these images are in the trailers, but they get pretty relentless in the actual film.
You’ll hear a lot about the politics of The Dark Knight Rises over the next few days — already, people are talking about it being an Occupy Wall Street movie, even though there was no Occupy movement when the film was written. But if there’s a political message in the film, it’s about Giuliani’s New York, and the hidden fragility of a city that’s been “cleaned up” with a heavy hand, based on propaganda.
Nolan is interested in structures, and how they fit together. And inevitably, the gaps between them wind up being as crucial as any of the structures themselves.
Like I said, The Dark Knight Rises is not likely to become one of my all-time favorite movies, on its own account. There are way too many scenes in a row where people give bombastic speeches instead of talking to each other. You can feel Nolan pushing levers, to get people to do things that the plot requires of them. Nolan’s oft-remarked inability to capture real emotion is very much on display. There are a lot of plot points that feel at odds with Nolan’s famous commitment to realism, and some parts of the denouement are downright goofy.
But when you think of it as a conclusion to a trilogy, all of TDKR‘s flaws as a standalone film recede, and what’s left is something powerful — and moving, on a visceral emotional level. Ideas and feelings resonate throughout the trilogy, and the seven and a half hours of Bruce Wayne’s journey come together into a psychological progression.
And with all of its themes of masks, and legends, and the relationship between the hero and his city, Nolan’s trilogy is both a powerful myth and a great commentary on myth-making. There probably won’t ever be another trilogy like this one.
We are on the eve of what is surely the most eagerly anticipated summer film of 2012. Are you ready?! To help get you pumped up, here’s a little collection of well made fan posters forChristopher Nolan‘s The Dark Knight Rises. There’s been droves of fan made fare, but I’d actually hang these on my walls.
It makes me sad that this is the conclusion to Nolan’s Dark Knight saga. I hope they don’t reboot this franchise anytime soon. We know we’ll get a new Batman for Justice League though. Who would you like to see take on the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman in the Justice League film?
The Dark Knight Rises directorChristopher Nolan is at the forefront of technology, whether shooting in IMAX or bending worlds in Inception.
“It’s not that I’m a Luddite and don’t like technology; I’ve just never been interested,” Nolan said. “When I moved to L.A. in 1997, nobody really had cell phones, and I just never went down that path. And I’m in a slightly unique position because when I’m working — and I’ve been working pretty much continuously for the last 10 years — I’m never more than five feet from somebody who has a phone.”
He has been given a production phone when traveling on occasion and says he hasn’t cared for it.
“A lot of the things people amuse themselves with really are just toys for grown-ups, and it eats your time and pulls your concentration,” he said.
Warner Bros. assigned Nolan an email at his office, and he didn’t realize it until a couple years later.
“There were thousands of emails in this account — some from quite important people, actually,” he said. “I had them take it down, so people didn’t think they were getting in touch with me.”
Nolan adds that he likes to “thrash things out in person,” and texting and email feel like ways to avoid communication.
“The idea that you’re holding in your hand a device that will actually let you speak to another human being and instead of using it for that, you type some silly little message and send a one-way communication — it’s a very odd step backwards in communication terms.,” he said.
Don’t even try explaining Siri or that you can speak into an iPhone and have the words translated to text.
“Really?” he said, looking bewildered. “What’s the purpose of that?”
The Dark Knight Rises, the final film in Nolan’s Batman trilogy, opens at the domestic box office at 12:01 a.m. Friday in more than 3,700 theaters. As first reported by THR, the supehero pic hadcollected a massive $25 million in advance sales as of Wednesday.
Christian Bale Mourns ‘Dark Knight’ Ending
Dark Knight Rises star Christian Bale tells THRabout wearing the batsuit for the very last time.
“It was a nice occasion because I took a little bit of time after we wrapped and just said, ‘give me a few minutes’ because I knew I wouldn’t be able to put it back on again and the cowl … and it was funny. It was a surprisingly poignant moment for me,” recalls Bale, adding that “it’s sad to say goodbye but it feels like the right time.”
Still, he says there’s a possibility that, someday, he might don that famous cowl once more. (For now, he keeps it in his closet.)
Tom Hardy on Playing ‘Dark Knight’ Villain Bane
Tom Hardy tells THR about playing villain Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, in which he’s barely recognizable with a giant, mechanical mask shrouding half his face.
“It was hot and tight and a little bit claustrophobic at times,” Hardy says. “But, you know, it was good fun. Most of the time.”
The actor also praises co-star Christian Bale and responds to that mask-muffled dialogue mini-scandal.
Marion Cotillard on Her Mysterious ‘Dark Knight Rises’ Role
Marion Cotillard tells THR about her mysteriousDark Knight Rises character, Miranda Tate.
Describing Miranda as a “good guy,” Cotillard says she’s “a socialite and she has a lot of money and she wants to use this money to do good things for her city. And she’s kind of fascinated by Bruce Wayne. She wants to help him to get back into the world and she wants to do things with him.”
She also addresses holding up the production on the third and final installment in Christopher Nolan‘s trilogy.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt Praises ‘Dark Knight Rises’ Director Nolan
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who plays idealistic rookie cop John Blake in The Dark Knight Rises, praises the film’s director, Christopher Nolan.
“Chris Nolan doesn’t just make action blockbusters that are pandering to box office scores,” gushes Gordon-Levitt in an interview with THR. “He’s telling a truly heartfelt story that he cares about. And I think that’s why people love his movies.”
As for Nolan, he returns the love with roles in his insta-blockbusters.