Chris Clow is a comic book expert, retailer and contributor to Batman-On-Film.com and ModernMythMedia.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 and MMM for various monthly titles. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisClow.
If you’re looking for your fortnightly dose of Batman, you’ve come to the right place! Welcome to the latest edition of The Dark Knight Rises Countdown, where I run down the latest news surrounding the highly anticipated 2012 Batman film directed by Christopher Nolan, and pop around other areas of Gotham City to see what our favorite super hero is up to in other mediums!
In this edition of the Countdown, it becomes very apparent that we’re on a one-way trip to July 20th, 2012 and the release of The Dark Knight Rises with the latest bit of set news straight from Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
First and foremost on the DKR Countdown is always the film itself, and the last couple of weeks have brought in quite a lot of news. Let’s jump in!
Hans Zimmer Wants YOU in The Dark Knight Rises
In a report originating on November 4th, Jett posted a flyer originally distributed by Hans Zimmer, the composer for The Dark Knight Rises. In his piece, he says that the film needs a strong recording of a worldwide chant for the film and invites fans from all walks of life to record their voices and send them in! This sounds like an interesting opportunity to be a part of what’s sure to be the biggest Batman film to date. The website offering this to people is located at uJam and the front page has an audio example of the chant. You can do your recording there! Good luck!
DKR Prologue Receives Rating by MPAA
According to the fine folks at CHUD.com and as reported at BOF on November 10th, the Dark Knight Rises Prologue has received an unsurprising rating of PG-13 for “some violence.” That sounds about right! As I’m sure is very obvious, I’d bet that we can ultimately expect this rating for the full film in the coming months.
More Spoilers Hit the Web
In a report posted back on November 14th, BOF founder Jett warns Bat-fans that details that even more details that could potentially spoil their first Dark Knight Rises viewing experience has hit the web. From the BOF News Page, he says,
“A couple of, ahem, "spoilers" have hit the Net over the weekend that you might want to avoid if you don't want to read that sort of crap. One involves "The Prologue" and it sounds like total pure poppycock to me -- especially when you take into account that it originates from a message board…the other involves Joseph Gordon-Levitt's and Matthew Modine's characters and how they fit into the film's plot. This one sounds to me like something just about anyone could surmise pretty easily based on 1) what's been released officially and 2) all the illicit set pics and video.”
As always, I’ll advise Bat-fans that hate spoilers to stay ever vigilant and to watch out whatever they read on the web relating to the upcoming film. There are some websites that are very careless about plastering spoiler-filled images or information all over their front page, so just be particularly careful if you’re avoiding spoilers!
The Demon’s Head is “Eager” For Rises
Actor Liam Neeson, best known to Batman fans as the villainous Henri Ducard/Ra’s al Ghul in Batman Begins, spoke briefly with MTV News about The Dark Knight Rises. In the video, he seems a little disoriented when asked about Batman, but then apparently remembers that he was in Batman Begins before saying how much he was looking forward to seeing the film.
“Chris Nolan's made wonderful films, very rich, dark and complex, especially the last one. Although that film was cloaked in tragedy. I'm eager to see [THE DARK KNIGHT RISES]. I haven't a f***ing clue what it's about.”
He has some nice things to say about the last film. Mr. Neeson was a great part of Nolan’s first Batman film, so I hope he likes it!
THAT’S A WRAP!
Although no press release has been issued announcing this, apparently, principal photography of The Dark Knight Rises has completed. In a post to his Tumblr page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt snapped a picture of him wearing a Batman hat with the caption, “Picture wrap. #TDKR” If one of the principal cast members isn’t a reliable source on info like this, I don’t know who would be!
Via The Lantern, JGL also had great words about his experience on the production in general.
“Everyone [on the set] is really excited about what we're making because everyone knows we're making something good. We're not just doing it for a paycheck, we're not just punching the clock, everyone really cares about the movie, and that always makes it way more fun to do.”
Always nice to hear that those involved believe in the work that they’re doing! As I’m sure you’re all feeling, the end of production brings both good and bad news. The bad news is that the last frame of film for the Christopher Nolan Batman films has been shot. That in itself is a damn shame, but the good news is that obviously we’re that much closer to being able to see the final product.
The film’s wrap also means that no new news can originate from the set of the film ever again. Undoubtedly this is a sad day for internet reporters everywhere, but as more details and footage from the film emerges, I’m sure we’ll have plenty to talk about!
That about does it for news on the film, so let’s take a look at what the Dark Knight is up to this week in the four-color world of comics.
This Week in Bat-Comics: Batman #3 and Justice League #3
Talking about the two most prominent comics featuring Batman this week, the conversation has to begin with Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s Batman #3. In this issue, Batman begins to seek out more information regarding his new enemy, the Court of Owls. Even though this is a new enemy for Batman, the Dark Knight slowly begins to discover that the elusive organization has been around since at least the time of his great-great Grandfather. Very much centered on the predatory concept of owls and bats, Snyder and Capullo create a mystery that extends from the present day back into the rich and layered history of Gotham City itself. Although not necessary, I think it helps to have read a great story co-plotted by Snyder called Batman: Gates of Gotham (Available in Trade Paperback form at your local comic shop this February), which also deals with a mystery that started at the founding of the city.
Next to Action Comics, Batman continues to be one of my favorite titles of DC’s New 52 relaunch. Snyder has a handle on Batman as a character that feels both fresh and familiar, with the psychology married very well with the title of the World’s Greatest Detective. Greg Capullo’s pencils are also very appropriate to the mood of the writing, and render the city and it’s guardian with the harsh, sharp shadows that fans crave. Be sure to check out BOF’s Batman review page very soon for what’s sure to be a stellar review from fellow BOF’er and Modern Myth Media “Gentleman” John Bierly.
The other high-profile comic release featuring Batman is in the third issue of DC’s flagship title, Justice League, brought to us again by the superstar creative team of Geoff Johns and Jim Lee. This issue sees the introduction of the team to Wonder Woman, has some great instances showing off just how “super” the Man of Steel is, and features Batman in a role that makes the most sense for a human being fighting among gods: the tactician. How best does the team combat a seemingly overpowering threat? Who better to distribute resources and attack patterns than the Batman, a human being at the peak of physical and mental perfection? Johns writes Batman very well in these instances, not even talking about the great dialogue he provides for Green Lantern, Flash, Superman, Wonder Woman, and…Aquaman?
I wrote a review for this issue at BOF, and felt that it’s been the best of the young series so far. Where the Batman title is a great character study and addition to the extensive Batman mythology, Justice League is a powerhouse action blockbuster that is high on grandiosity and stunning visuals provided by the incomparable art team of Jim lee, Scott Williams, and Alex Sinclair. Give it a look and see what you think, chances are you’ll like it.
Other Batman-related titles released this week include Judd Winick’s Catwoman, following the exciting trail of Selina Kyle, and Kyle Higgins’ Nightwing, detailing the exploits of Batman’s first protégé, Dick Grayson. Get an idea of how you can jump into Batman, Justice League, or any other DC Comics title over at read.dccomics.com, and please support your local comics retailer.
Batman: Arkham City Sells Strongly, Receives Accolades
When a Batman video game manages to dominate a month’s video game sales figures, you know that it has to be good. With the amount of terrible Batman games that have come out in the past, it’s astonishing that people still buy them. But when a strong enough vision comes together with a revolutionary game studio, magic happens in the form of Batman: Arkham City. According to NPD sales data (provided by EuroGamer), Arkham City was second only to the extremely highly anticipated first person shooter Battlefield 3 in sales figures for October, 2011. The game continues to be labeled the “best reviewed game of 2011” by numerous sources. I add a little match to that blazing inferno with a review I did over at local northwest video game retailer Reset Games, who were gracious enough to provide me with a copy.
Arkham City is also gearing up for this weekend’s presentation of SPIKE TV’s Video Game Awards, where it has received a staggering ten nominations in such categories as “Best Studio,” “Best Performance By a Human Male” (and Female), and “Game of the Year.” Be sure to go over to Spike’s website for the VGA’s to see the full list of nominees, and cast your votes for which game you think should win (Batman!).
With that, I close out the latest edition of The Dark Knight Rises Countdown. Thank you so much for reading, and feel free to leave your feedback and any suggestions for this piece going forward in the comments section below. Now that shooting has wrapped, how do you want to stay up-to-date on all things Dark Knight? Let me know, and be back here in two weeks for the next edition of the Countdown! Until then, make sure to check out all the other great features here at Movies.com, including wonderful Countdown articles for the Avengers, Amazing Spider-Man, Man of Steel, The Hunger Games, and The Hobbit films!
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