Anticipation for July’s ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ continues to mount. After a great shot of the new Bat-suit on the cover of Empire, EW has some great new pictures of the film. The Nolans (Jonathan and Christopher) and Christian Bale also did an interview with the magazine, allowing us tantalizing new insights on ‘Rises.’

The brothers respond to the fear over Bane’s less-than-clear dialog in the six-minute prologue and talk about the Batcave and the Occupy Wallstreet rumors. There are also some great new images from the film featuring the new bat-suit (with it’s new, well defined robo-abs), Bane and Gary Oldman as Jim Gordon. (See the pics after all the words!)

On Bane:

Christopher Nolan:

“I think when people see the film, things will come into focus. Bane is very complex and very interesting and when people see the finished film people will be very entertained by him.”

Jonathan Nolan:

 “I gotta tell you, I think what Tom Hardy’s doing with the role is spectacular. I have the benefit of seeing a little bit more than the audience has seen at this point. It’s pretty spectacular.”

Christian Bale on his last day as Batman:

 “My last day in the suit was also the last day of shooting for me. I was in New York, on top of a downtown skyscraper. The day began with Morgan Freeman and then ended with Anne Hathaway. I got to say goodbye from within the batcowl. it was very quiet, just a couple people there. But in the midst of it, I said, ‘Hold on a sec. Let me take a moment. This is it. I’m never going to have this claustrophobia again!’ So I had to pause. I had to.”

“It’s a fascintating thing, that suit, don’t you think? And since I am generally within it, I actually don’t get to see it that often. Not the way that other people do.”

“I can tell you the truth because I’m done with it: I felt immense pressure. And I think it’s a good pressure because you owe it to the films-and the people’s expectations-to make greatwork.”

About the Batcave:

“The set-which occupies most of a massive L.A. soundstage-is extraordinary for being exactly what it needs to be. Just a big old cave. One with a working waterfall that feeds a subterranean lake, as well as a concrete platform that rises up from the watery deep and hides secret plastic cabinetry that can pop up from the floor with the press of a button.”

Chris Nolan’s inspiration:

“In seeking to craft “a portrayal of a city and the different strata of people living in it,” Nolan and his brother were inspired by Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities and the silent cinema of Fritz Lang, arguably best known for the sci-fi landmark Metropolis.”

On Gotham’s improved crime rate:

Jonathan Nolan:

“If Batman’s plan was to stamp out crime the new movie asks: What if the plan actually worked?”

And Chris:

“At least superficially. The movie deals with the idea that if you’ve papered over the cracks, then you’re just solving problems in a way that may not hold for the future.”

The article goes on to debunk a rumor that Nolan wanted to use the Zuccotti Park Occupy Wall Street protests in the film. ‘Rises’ was “conceived three years ago” and the permits to shoot near Wall Street were obtained before the Occupy protests began.  “The truth is, we wanted to shoot on Wall Street for the same iconic reasons that the Occupy movement chose that location: It is a symbol of American wealth and capitalism,” says Nolan, “In trying to tell a story of a self-made hero who is a multibillionaire, it raises certain issues that I do think are important in the world today, about the use and abuse of what is Bruce Wayne’s only superpower” extraordinary wealth.”

Now feast your eyes on these pics and let us know what you think about this new information in the comments!