Chris Clow is a comic book expert, retailer and contributor to Batman-On-Film.com andModernMythMedia.com. When not geeking out, he is a Political Science major at Western Washington University. You can find his Dark Knight Rises Countdown column here at Movies.com every other Thursday, and his comic book reviews at BOF for various monthly titles. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisClow.
Welcome to the latest update on news and production of the highly anticipated 2012 film, The Dark Knight Rises! News is a little scarce this time out, but there are a few stories worth mentioning if you want to remain in the “know” on the world of Christopher Nolan’s Batman finale, but I’ll also use this piece to update some of you that are curious on the publication side of the Caped Crusader, and his place in DC Comics’ “New 52” initiative!
Also, feel free to leave a comment below if there’s any topics, stories, or questions you have for me, and I’ll see if I can work them into my next column in a couple of weeks. So, without further ado, here we go!
Return to the Night
It seems that a lot of on-set photos and news out of the previous Pittsburgh shoot came out due to the choice of the filmmakers to shoot in the daytime. According to a report at BOF that appeared at the end of August, it looks as if the current Southern California shoot has taken place in the night. Taking place outside of Los Angeles, the shoot is apparently far more secure than that of Pittsburgh, as onlookers are closely monitored and aren’t permitted by security to take either photos or videos.
It seemed as though many fans were disconcerted about the production photos depicting Batman out in the daylight, but again, I have to tell them not to be scared. First of all, if you’ve forgotten somehow, Christopher Nolan is directing this film. Second of all, methods do exist for shooting during the day, yet making it appear that the shot events take place at night. Third, even if Batman operates in the day, don’t you want to see the kind of story Mr. Nolan would tell surrounding those types of circumstances?
Descend Again Into the Cave
Also at the end of August, news came about from Wales Online which stated that the Henrhyd Waterfall (see above) would be serving as the Batcave in Rises. BOF says this report is somewhat inaccurate. While the BOF Founder stated definitively that the Batcave will be present in the film, he said that the main set for the Cave’s interior is located in Los Angeles, not in the UK. Although he doesn’t doubt that the report is somewhat accurate as it’s likely that the waterfall will serve as the entrance to the Cave, a similar entrance to the one we saw in Batman Begins. After a lot of research I couldn’t verify if this is the same waterfall used in the production of Begins in 2004, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it were.
Personally, I’m ecstatic that the Cave is back. The Bunker in the last film was an interesting choice for that level of Batman’s career, but I love what the Cave says about Batman’s preparedness for his war and the sheer cool factor that his hideout represents. I still wish I had a Batcave, but I’ll settle for seeing Nolan’s take on the beefed up crimefighting headquarters at this stage of Batman’s career!
Tom Hardy Comments On Fanboy Nitpicking
As I said in a recent Modern Myth Media podcast, I don’t always like using the term “fanboy” in a detrimental manner, because for years I considered that an appropriate label for me. It’s only now that I see it being associated with a type of fandom I don’t like, the kind that bickers about pointless aesthetic details without considering the actual in-story validity of making them, and that actively forward society’s perception of this community by relegating into stereotypes that dictate how comic book fans look, act, and behave.
More often than not, these types of fans try to end conversation instead of start it, which I think is a major dividing line: on one side stand myself and the other comics “pundits” I associate myself with (Jett, Sean Gerber, John Bierly, and other fine BOF/MMM Gentlemen) and the silent majority of the fan community. On the other side, the very vocal minority that blasts Batman’s costume, Catwoman’s “ears,” Ledger’s Joker not having a “perma-white” face, and Tom Hardy’s size as Bane.
On that point, Hardy commented on certain bickering that has made its way to his ears, and he took a little time to comment on it to CineMovie.TV:
“I'm at 190. [lbs] Bat-fans want me to be over 220lbs. 400lbs. I'm like dude! Batman is like Superman, Spider-Man -- he belongs to so many people. So many people love him. He belongs to them, and when you step into that kind of character, you are going to fail. And be judged. I'm human, and I do read things. I read the comments, and I cry. I can't cry for everybody. I just give them a job, and be the best that I can be. Just trust me. I trust Nolan."
I think that very last sentence is the key to understanding the new take on Bane. Trust Nolan, guys. You have in the past, what makes this time any different?
Torrance Shooting Wraps
Back on September 1st, Jett posted a report on BOF stating that the shooting at beachside Torrance, California had officially wrapped. Before the end of this production locale, Morgan Freeman was spotted on-set, indicating the presence of Wayne Enterprises CEO Lucius Fox at the completed scenes.
Fox was a character I was surprised about seeing in this film series, but definitely happy at his inclusion because of the larger role Wayne Enterprises plays in here compared to the Burton/Schumacher films. The best part of the character’s part is in the man who plays him, as Freeman gives Fox a certainty and authority that may not have been achieved without his casting. Maybe another hint to trust Nolan? Huh, guys?
Yeah, I think so.
Pile-Up at the 3rd Street Tunnel
The word is out about a rather large stunt shoot that occurred near the 3rd Street Tunnel in Los Angeles involving a lot of cars. Chances are you can find photos that may give minor plot information out on the web, so if you’re interested in avoiding spoilers then I would recommend not seeking that information or those photos out. Jett has posted a few of them at BOF with a minor spoiler tag, so I’d think of going there before anywhere else given our stringent policy regarding anything that may be considered spoilers.
Casting Rumor: Juno Temple and Selina Kyle’s Best Friend
Back when actress Juno Temple was initially cast in The Dark Knight Rises, the rumor abounded that she would play a character named Holly Robinson. For those out of the know, Holly Robinson first appeared in the landmark Frank Miller/David Mazzucchelli story Batman: Year One (adapted as an animated movie to be released on October 18th) as Selina Kyle’s fellow prostitute and best friend. Because this film will potentially deal with Selina’s arrival in Gotham City (or at least Bruce Wayne’s life), fans and pundits speculated that Temple’s character would be playing at least a version of Kyle’s friend from Year One.
It seems that the rumor died down for a little while, but it’s been given new life due to an article (with spoilerific pictures touching on previously mentioned topics in this week’s column) found over at Dark Horizons(who themselves got their bit of info from a recent issue of Total Film). In the article, DH states that Temple’s character looks to be that of Holly, although Temple herself would neither confirm nor deny that this was the case.
The character of Holly Robinson doesn’t have a lot to do in the actual Year One story itself, but she would later be exploited and further fleshed out in the comics. In 2002, writer Ed Brubaker (known today as the man who revitalized Marvel’s Captain America) reintroduced Holly as a supporting character to Selina in his run on the Catwoman title. In 2006 when DC decided to make all of their titles’ stories jump forward one year into the future, an event aptly entitled “One Year Later,” Holly had actually replaced Kyle as Catwoman during the main character’s absence do to her pregnancy (it was actually a decent story). While I don’t think Nolan would take Holly that far, it does show her storytelling potential as Selina’s friend, and if she’s there I’ll happily see what this world’s version of her will look like.
That about does it for DKR production news, so here’s a little blurb about the publication side of things!
The New 52 Has Begun
Last week saw the beginning of the new DC Universe, or “DCnU” as some are calling it, with the first issue of the Justice League title. This week, Batman’s larger presence in the new Universe is felt with the release of several new titles that he either appears in, or you can feel his influence in.
The largest new Bat-title release is undoubtedly the relaunch of the formerly time-honored Bat-book, Detective Comics. I’m sure many of you know that Batman made his first appearance ever in this title’s first volume, issue #27. The new #1 reintroduces some harder-edged crime aspects of Batman from writer/artist Tony Daniel, who’s stated that his mission is to keep the stories in the vein of modern detective stories like CSI. Daniel’s previous Batman stories have kind of been hit-or-miss, so we’ll have to see if he can take full advantage of being able to use the Bruce Wayne character (his previous Bat-stories all had Dick Grayson under the cowl).
One of the more anticipated titles of the New 52, at least according to speculators, is Batgirl, written by Gail Simone with art by ArdianSyaf. The title is a hot-button topic among fans because this is the original Batgirl, Barbara Gordon, back under the cowl even after she was shot through the spine by the Joker in the famous Alan Moore story Batman: The Killing Joke. Simone’s no stranger to Barbara Gordon, as she had written the character in her previous role as Oracle for years in the Birds of Prey title. Seeing how the issue of her mobility will be resolved has a lot of people guessing, and I’m looking forward to checking it out myself. Simone’s a very capable writer and I love the character, so I’ll be very happy to see her back on the streets of Gotham. Plus, she was crippled in 1988 when I was barely a year old, so I haven’t ever really seen a current Barbara Gordon-Batgirl story.
The last major Bat-title being released that at least features Bruce Wayne is Justice League International, which also features the time-travelling jock-turned-hero Booster Gold as well as Green Lantern Guy Gardner. JLI was a concept created in the early 90’s and quickly caught on in the hearts of many fans, if not the direct market. The return of the series shows an interesting concept, with the UN requesting that Batman put this team together to stop an oncoming threat. With a good creative team in writer Dan Jurgens and artist Aaron Lopresti, this should prove to be a fun book in the months ahead.
That about does it for this addition of the DKR Countdown! Have any questions or concepts you want to see touched upon in the next column? Sound off below, and I’ll see if I can fit it in when I come back in a couple of weeks!
315 Days Until The Dark Knight Rises