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.
We’ve crossed a major threshold in our countdown toThe Dark Knight Rises: we’re now below the 100-day mark. In just over three months, we’ll finally be able to enjoy the grand finale to Christopher Nolan’s grand story featuring Batman, and see what he means by telling us that “The Legend Ends.” There is, however, a caveat that comes with this…
…It means that this crazy, wonderful, fulfilling, inspiring, and visceral ride that we’ve been on since 2005 is coming to an end. Not the end of Batman, mind you, but definitely the end of one of the most memorable and influential portions of his history. Christopher Nolan’s films have created a new standard for comic book films and superhero character studies in general, and even though we’ll likely get more rewarding Batman films in the future, I wonder if any of them will ever be this good again.
When talking about casting Christopher Reeve as the Man of Steel in 1978, composer John Williams gave a sentiment in a 2001 interview that even though new Superman films will come and go, the legendary musician doubted that they’d ever get it “quite as right” as Reeve and director Richard Donner did. At this point, I’m prepared to make a similar prediction in regards to the direction and execution of Christopher Nolan’s Batman films. Will they ever be this good again? I don’t know. I hope so, but what we’ve seen has been so rare and special, and reignited the image of the Dark Knight in such an explosive manner, that the next series of Batman films and their director(s) will have a very, very tall order to fill.
Rises will be here before we know it. Savor the time we have left and the anticipation, because when it’s gone, this time it’s gone. Let’s enjoy it while it lasts.
And on that somber note, let’s dive into the news that’s come out of the last couple of weeks in regards to the End of the Legend.
Rises Gets Rated
Entertainment Weekly reported on April 9th that the MPAA had classified The Dark Knight Rises with an unsurprising PG-13 rating, given to the film for, “intense sequences of violence and action, some sensuality and language.” Violence and action is unsurprising given the action content of every previous Batman film, and I guess where Catwoman dwells, sensuality can’t be far behind. It’s hard to read very far into the rating assigned to a film because the terminology is always so vague, not to mention the fact that the system itself resembles little more than a cookie-cutter at this point.
Either way, those few hoping that Rises would get an “R” will undoubtedly be disappointed, but in truth, even the proponents of that had to know that would be a hopeless goal. At least, I hope.
Batman and Catwoman Cover Entertainment Weekly
In the anticipated “Summer Preview Issue” of Entertainment Weekly, The Dark Knight Rises gets a lot of love with a great new cover photo featuring Batman and Catwoman, and some insightful inside blurbs from cast and crew. BOF founder Jett had the issue (unlike your truly, unfortunately) and picked out some of the best blurbs he found inside:
* Nolan on Bane: "He represents formidable physical strength, combined with absolute evil of intention."
* Hardy on Bane's voice: "It’s a risk, because we could be laughed at -- or it could be very fresh and exciting. The audience mustn’t be too concerned about the mumbly voice...as the film progresses, I think you’ll be able to tune to its setting."
* Nolan on Catwoman: "She has a very strong way of protecting herself and those she cares about, which implies an underlying darkness."
* Anne Hathaway on Catwoman: "I had to physically transform. Chris sat me down at the beginning and said, ‘Joseph Gordon-Levitt did all of his own fighting in Inception. That one zero-gravity fight? He trained for two months.’ I basically left his office and went to the gym and just came out about five minutes ago."
Just another little nugget from the creative team to get you excited for what they have in store this July. There’s also a link on EW’s site that allows you to look at seven new images from the film with a variety of the film’s characters, including a new look at Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character John Blake, a great new image of Batman on a Gotham street, and a hint of what it might look like when Bane’s shares of Amazon plummet on Wall Street. Check them out here!
Rumor: Rises Trailer to Invade The Avengers?
On the 18th of April, BOF heard some “scuttlebutt” as it’s called regarding the next full trailer for The Dark Knight Rises. Jett heard that the new trailer for the film will possibly be attached to the first big comic book movie of the summer season, The Avengers.
“With THE AVENGERS being such a huge film, I could see why Warner Bros. would want to have a trailer out then. I don't think it being a "Marvel Movie" is an issue at all. Quite frankly, it's good for the entire when any comic book/superhero film does well -- Marvel, DC, whomever.
“Look, don't bet the house on this, OK? I'm just letting you all know what I've been hearing and I consider it nothing more than rumor right now. Remember, DARK SHADOWS comes out a week after THE AVENGERS (May 11th) and like THE DARK KNIGHT, it's a Warner Bros. film.”
So, when you go into the theater to see that grand experiment of a super hero team-up film, consider it a pleasant surprise if you get a look at the greatest superhero of all right before you see a few others jockey for 2nd place!
That does it for the film news, so let’s take a look at this week’s four-color adventures featuring the Dark Knight!
This Week in Bat-Comics: Batman #8 and Justice League #8
The best title of DC’s New 52 initiative hit this week, and with it the beginning of a new story that’s going to spill into the streets of Gotham City: the Night of the Owls. Building upon the groundwork laid in the first seven issues of the new ongoing Batman title, Night of the Owls follows Batman’s continuing discoveries revolving around the mysterious Court of Owls: an organization that’s been thriving in Gotham City for generations, and managing the nearly-impossible task of doing so under the wide radar of the Batman and his associates.
The story as told by writer Scott Snyder, penciler Greg Capullo, inker Jonathan Glapion, and colorist FCO Plascencia has been consistently great since it’s first issue in September 2011, and the buildup to this event has definitely reached critical mass. Under Snyder’s guiding hand, this creative team had Batman backed into a corner like he’d rarely ever been before, and gave him a fitting, but temporary, triumph. As the threat escalates, it will be very interesting to see both how far the Court will go in their plans, as well as how far Batman will go to stop them. This title definitely garners my highest recommendation.
Batman #8, out this week, kicks off the beginning of Night of the Owls, and it will be reviewed on BOF by the multi-talented gentleman and scholar, John Bierly. Be sure to check out his review of the issue on BOF’s Batman review page later this week, and see what he makes of the chaos Batman is about to be thrown into. If you are at all interested in Night of the Owls, be sure to check out DC's new, free digital booklet about the event at ComiXology.
On a slightly lighter side of things, DC’s flagship title Justice League released it’s eigth issue this week as well, and this one focuses on the superheroic outcast known as the Green Arrow trying to make a place for himself on the team. The problem is, nobody seems to want him (well, at least one member wants to give him a chance). There’s even a couple of pages that show how the Justice League deals with the Court of Owls in a desperate situation high in the skies of Gotham. This issue also features a back-up tale, the second part of the retelling of SHAZAM! For New 52 continuity. Billy Batson, now a 15-year old brat fresh from the orphanage, meets his newest family and things don’t go very well for him or for them. All in all, it’s a pretty solid read.
BOF will post a review for this issue to it’s Justice League review page to be written by yours truly. You can find it there by the end of the week, and check out my take on the issue. All in all, I think I might be a little sad when Jim Lee returns next month, through no fault of the highly talented and legendary artist.
The Dark Knight Rises Countdown has reached its end for this week! Be back here in a fortnight when the time will come once again to round up the news for you in a neat little package. 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. Also, be sure to take a peek at many of the other great Countdown pieces here at Movies.com, and we’ll see you soon. Take care, my friends. And remember, if you ever find yourself lost and needing guidance, just ask yourself one question. It's not often that the answers come from the dark:
The Legend Ends in 91 Days when The Dark Knight Rises.