Chris Clow is a comic book expert, retailer and contributor to Batman-On-Film.com and Modern-Myth-Media.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 for various monthly titles and his participated podcasts at BOF and MMM. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisClow.
Welcome back to The Dark Knight Rises Countdown! It seems like we’ve hit a lull with news in recent weeks, but that doesn’t mean that the crew at Batman-On-Film don’t have a few good nuggets of information to send your way. It seems like one tenet of filmmaking when you have a director like Christopher Nolan is secrecy. Whether it’s going back to Batman Begins (remember “The Intimidation Game?”), The Prestige, The Dark Knight, and especially Inception, in Nolan we have the type of filmmaker that knows the true value of a dramatic secret.
And let’s not forget, that the director isn’t the only one benefiting from the kept secrets of a Christopher Nolan film; Warner Bros. has benefited quite handsomely through his efforts. So, what happens if you are a principal actor in a Christopher Nolan film, entrusted with secrets about the film that known only by a number you can count on one hand, and you lose them?
Might you panic?
Gary Oldman’s Script Scare and Inspiration
Well unfortunately, this is exactly what happened to Academy Award nominee and resident GCPD Commissioner, Gary Oldman. The actor recounts the panicked moment to CNN in the following video, definitely check it out!
Mr. Oldman was also recently caught lauding the performance of Michael Caine as Alfred in the forthcoming Batman film. In an interview with Collider, Oldman talked about a particular moment in the new film and Caine’s singular ability.
“There’s an emotional scene coming up in the next Batman, which I am obviously, absolutely sworn to secrecy about… They would kill me. Well, I’d do the press junket and then they’d kill me. Watching Michael Caine work, as Alfred, was a great lesson for me. Just focus, concentration. He has this emotional scene. I’m kidding you not. It was tears and the whole thing. And it’s ‘Take 1.’ (Oldman snaps his fingers) He got it. ‘Take 2' (snaps his fingers again), Got it. Take 3 (snaps his fingers) Got it. He’s just on the money. Every single time. It’s just extraordinary...you get inspired by it.”
This shouldn’t be surprising at all to Batman fans and general audiences. Caine’s depiction of Alfred has a particular note of verisimilitude to the source because of his ability to be the father figure, the droll butler, and the best friend all rolled into one. I don’t think it’s too much to expect a similar performance this summer.
Bane Responds to Concerns Over Bane’s Voice, Appears on Jonathan Ross Show
It was only a matter of time before Tom Hardy himself would make some kind of comment over the “controversy” (and I use that term very loosely) surrounding Bane’s voice, it was just going to be a matter of who asked him first. That honor goes to MTV, who asked how concerned the actor was about understanding Bane in the film. His response? “Not at all.” He also adds that his trust in Christopher Nolan is “implicit.” The actor echoes the sentiments of both myself and BOF Founder Bill “Jett” Ramey, as it’s pretty easy to see the resulting work that Nolan and his entire team have given us over the last two Batman films, to say nothing of his other work.
See Hardy’s comments for yourself by playing this video!
For a few other nuggets about Rises from Mr. Hardy, a recent appearance on the UK’s Jonathan Ross Show has made its way to YouTube. And aside from having a lot of really interesting quotes and pieces of knowledge about Hardy himself, the talk about the new Batman film might warrant a look. Seeing how Hardy continues to distract away from direct questions about story elements is entertaining as all hell to watch, so check it out! Dark Knight Rises talk begins right around the 7-minute mark.
Batman’s Going to War
Given his comments about the tone being created, words from the film’s concept artist are certainly causing a positive string of buzz to surround the new film. Concept artist Tully Summers, speaking via the French outlet CinewebRadio.com gave an interview about the differences of this film compared to his other work, as well as the prevalence of “spy pics” that have shown up about the film online. The original article is in French, so the following is BOF founder Bill “Jett” Ramey’s translation and paraphrasing of the important quotes:
On RISES being different from the films he usually works on:
"The difference for me was the visual style of Christopher Nolan . One of the things that makes his Batman films are so good is [the realistic tone]. He often prefers something crude -- a more gritty style of design -- rather than something very smooth and nice. It's military aesthetic. THE DARK KNIGHT RISES is a war movie."
On all the spy pics that showed up online:
"Films like Batman are meticulously planned. Each [shot filmed] is designed, framed, lit and choreographed by the camera. [Spy photos are] out of context. His first two movies Batman [films represent what Nolan is doing on the new one]. I do not think fans will be disappointed [with RISES]."
Emma Thomas on Batman, Bane, and Catwoman
Nolan film producer Emma Thomas recently spoke with Total Film about several different aspects of the new film. BOF’s report from February 14th picked out some of the best info arising from the piece:
Of Tom Hardy and Bane, Thomas said, “Tom [Hardy] made a massive physical transformation for the role [of Bane]...it really is an intense performance. He finally feels like a match for Batman –- both physically and mentally.”
The antagonism between hero and villain seems exemplified by the actors portraying them, according to Thomas. “Christian Bale and Tom Hardy are both such fiercely committed actors that pitching them as adversaries works incredibly well –- they have such a great chemistry on camera.”
And as for the x-factor in any Batman story, Thomas said, “[Anne Hathaway's] Catwoman is completely new and it’s a really interesting role. You never quite know where you are with her!”
All interesting bits from the producer over what is sure to have people talking this July. That about does it for The Dark Knight Rises news, but there is one more film coming up that will feature Batman that’s being released in less than a week.
Justice League: Doom Available Tuesday, February 28th
Batman, again voiced by the incomparable Kevin Conroy, returns in a new DC Universe Animated Original Movie on the 28th entitled Justice League: Doom. The last screenplay written by the late (and great) Dwayne McDuffie, Doom is an adaptation of a comics story entitled JLA: Tower of Babel that ran in the JLA monthly title from issues #43-46, written by Mark Waid with art by Howard Porter. It tells the story of the rise of the Legion of Doom, and how Batman is being sought by the League due to his files containing all of their weaknesses. Batman kept this information in the event of any of the prime members going rogue.
If you were a fan of the Justice League animated series of the early 2000s, then you shouldn’t be disappointed in the selection of the prime voice actors. Susan Eisenberg, Carl Lumbly, Michael Rosenbaum, and Phil Morris all return to reprise their roles of Wonder Woman, the Martian Manhunter, the Flash, and Vandal Savage, respectively.
Also returning are Tim Daly and Nathan Fillion as Superman and Green Lantern, Daly reprising his role from the 90s Superman animated series and Fillion returning from last year’s Green Lantern: Emerald Knights animated film. I absolute love Fillion’s casting as Hal Jordan, since every time I open up an issue of Green Lantern every month, his is the voice I hear when reading Hal Jordan’s dialogue. Try it, it fits perfectly!
Check out this latest clip from the film featuring a great exchange between Batman and lfred, and check the film out on Blu-ray and DVD this Tuesday! If you have a Playstation 3 or Xbox 360, the film is already available as a VOD through Xbox Live or the Playstation Network.
Next Week in Bat-Comics: Batman Beyond Unlimited #1 and Justice League #6
Since February is one of those freaky months with five Wednesdays, next week you might not expect any regular New 52 titles. But instead, we get a couple, and one of them features the Dark Knight!
One title that doesn’t fall under that New 52 label, though, is the brand new monthly Batman Beyond Unlimited. The series picks up where the former Batman Beyond title left off, and brings the Justice League as they appeared on the Batman Beyond animated series into the fold for their print debut. The League appeared in a very memorable two-parter from the series entitled The Call, where Superman comes to Gotham to recruit the new Batman into the League in hopes of rooting out a possible traitor. In a cool twist, that traitor is revealed to be none other than the Man of Steel himself and goes to show that even loners are worthy of being on the top team.
I’m not sure if BOF will be actively reviewing this title or not, but if we are, I’ll be sure to pass it along!
The next title is the sixth issue of the flagship DC title Justice League, where we reach the end of the first story arc and the League’s genesis will see completion, due to coming together to face the legendary galactic despot Darkseid. The issue is the latest from the superstar creative team of writer Geoff Johns and artist Jim Lee, and is sure to be the hottest seller of the month. August’s first issue of the title has recently gone back to press for a staggering seventh printing.
I’ll be reviewing this issue for BOF, and my hopes are high. Be sure to check out the BOF JL review page next week and see the review!
That does it for this edition of The Dark Knight Rises Countdown! Be sure to check out many of the other great Countdown articles here on Movies.com, and be back here in two weeks when the next installment will be available for your reading pleasure! As always, if there’s anything you feel needs to be mentioned in a future DKR Countdown, please feel free to leave a comment and I’d be happy to consider any requests!
The Legend Ends in 147 Days when The Dark Knight Rises.