It seems that the new international trailer for ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ wasn’t the only thing that appeared online today. Looks like Warner Bros. also released some production notes on the official ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ website!
The 49 page PDF reads like a great behind the scenes booklet filled with abundant detailed behind the scenes information that fans would gladly pay for! The notes include several quotes from the cast and crew and while it may not seem like the notes are spoilers (although it does delve into some plot details), if you’ve been trying to stay away from knowing anything about this movie, then I’d suggest you move onto the next post.
WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD!
If you’re still reading, then here are some of the highlights from the notes (and remember, you’ve been warned!):
“We were all very excited to bring this tale full circle,” says director Christopher Nolan about the last installment of The Dark Knight trilogy, “that was our chief inspiration for returning to Gotham. We also felt a tremendous sense of responsibility to fulfill expectations based on the first two movies while giving the audience something they hadn’t seen before. It was a tricky balance.”
‘The Dark Knight’ seems to bring Bruce Wayne’s journey to full circle:
“In ‘Batman Begins,’ you see the tragedy and the pain that motivates this angry young man, who feels useless and is searching for a path—who wants to find out who he is and what he can become. Then in ‘The Dark Knight,’ he’s discovered that path. He is useful; he is doing what he imagines is the best thing for him to be doing in his life. Now, we are eight years on and he has lost the one thing that gave him a purpose…until he is forced to deal with a new threat to the city and to himself.”
If you recall, the events in ‘The Dark Knight’ have affected Bruce Wayne immensely. Wayne and the lapse in time between the two films explain Wayne’s state of mind:
“Our story picks up eight years later, when it seems that Batman and Commissioner Gordon have succeeded—the Dark Knight is no longer needed in Gotham. In that regard, Bruce Wayne has won the battle, but he is traumatized by what happened and doesn’t know how to move on from being the figure of Batman. ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ very much deals with the consequences of his and other characters’ actions in the previous films.”
How Wayne copes is that he retreats into his rebuilt mansion and becomes a recluse as he tries to come to terms with the Batman legacy. It’s not until he hosts a party in honor of Harvey Dent that “someone” draws him out of his funk. As Jonathan Nolan explains,
“Something about (Selina Kyle’s/Catwoman’s) morally ambiguous philosophy finally gives Batman someone he can relate to. In a weird way, she’s the yin to his yang. The dynamic between them is so fresh—the playful way she kind of pokes fun at him—it sparks a connection between them and takes some of the somberness away from his character.”
Anne Hathaway adds about her character:
“It’s hard to reveal anything about Selina Kyle because she is intensely private and very mysterious. She has her own code of ethics, which sometimes involves doing things that other people might consider questionable…I think Selina does what is necessary to survive, and that includes crossing a few lines that others might find unforgivable. Even if she wants to change, it’s hard to escape your past…and she does have a past. That makes her vulnerable, especially these days when anyone with a computer or smartphone can look up almost anything about you. Everybody has moments in life when they think, ‘If I knew then what I know now…’ Selina might like the opportunity not to have to live by the choices she was forced to make up to this point.
I think Bruce owes Selina a big thank you because he was leading a pretty lonely life until she came in and got his blood pumping and reminded him that there are fun people out there in the world.”
As to why Nolan decided Bane would make the perfect villain for this film:
“In deciding on who the next villain would be, it was imperative that it was someone completely different from the Joker—that he be a brute force. The physical component of what Bruce Wayne does as Batman is of extraordinary importance, and we had not truly challenged that in the first two films. I really wanted to see Batman meet his match physically, as well as intellectually. Bane is raw strength with a fanatical devotion to duty, and that combination makes him unstoppable.
This is the first time it appears highly unlikely that Batman will come out on top in a physical altercation,” Bale allows. “He has been dormant for years, so he’s in a weakened condition to begin with, and Bane is not only incredibly strong but ruthless in terms of his sheer militancy and the ideology that drives him.”
As Tom Hardy who plays Bane attests, “Bane has come to do a job and has no feelings of remorse.”
Wayne was not the only one impacted by Dent’s demise in ‘The Dark Knight’ as Commissioner Gordon also knows the truth of what happened. As Gary Oldman comments:
“It’s a secret that’s eaten away at him for years, Crime is at an all-time low in Gotham, but Gordon knows that it’s tainted. Now he’s ready to come clean, but there doesn’t seem to be a right time or place, and he also questions if the city is ready for the truth. Then, because of Bane, he’s in the field again. I think he’s like a soldier who likes to be on the front lines, getting his hands dirty. He’s probably been doing a lot of paper pushing in the intervening years and that has dampened his spirits. Now you really feel like the old Gordon is back.”
Some of the details regarding the filming of scenes are also included in the production notes. Take for example the intense 6 minute midair terror attack prologue. What was slated to take 9 days to shoot actually took only 2 because of the expertise and efficiency of the extras involved. According to Nolan:
“Tom Struthers went to great measures to eliminate risks to the aerialists who would be dropping from the C-130 onto the turboprop. The stunt coordinator recounts, “To my knowledge, it’s never been done—where four people flew out of the back of an aircraft on separate lines and land on another plane. So we did a great deal of testing with dummies and different kinds of rigs before we ever put an actual person up. We had emergency procedures in place to allow them to cut away and parachute to the ground, which thankfully were never necessary. The guys who did it were fantastic…It was a ride for us, and I think it will be for the audience as well.”
For the full version of the production notes, you can read and download them at The Dark Knight Rises site.
Directed by Christopher Nolan, ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ opens in theaters July 20th and stars Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Joseph Gordon Levitt and Marion Colltiard.