Chris Clow is a recent Western Washington University graduate, and a comic book expert, retailer and contributor to Batman-On-Film.com and ModernMythMedia.com. 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.
In barely three weeks, Christopher Nolan’s last hurrah in the beleaguered city of Gotham will open in theaters everywhere, and we’ll be given an undoubtedly bittersweet moment. The legend will close on this fascinating incarnation of the Dark Knight and his world, and fans everywhere will be placed into uncertain territory for how Batman will come to the silver screen next. Thankfully, for this edition of The Dark Knight Rises Countdown, those are questions for another day! We have yet to hit the finish line, so until then, we’ll keep on running.
In the last couple of weeks, we’ve received a lot of new news surrounding the hype machine leading up to the film’s wide release on July 20th. From new viral games to TV spots, to even an announcement of the first cinematic Superman and Batman interaction, we’ve got a lot of ground to cover! What do you say we snap to it?
“The Fire Rises” Browser Game Released
WB Games released “The Fire Rises,” a free browser-based real-time strategy game, back on June 19th. The game gives players the chance to become a disciple of Bane, pillaging the streets of Gotham on behalf of the terrorist in order to bring the city to its knees. The main goal in the game is to loot as much as you can in the specified area of the game map, while fending off waves of Gotham Police and security officers.
There are several different types of characters that you can use over the course of your time playing the game, and it seems to be very involved. For many more complete details of the game, the Batman Wiki has devoted an extensive article to the workings and objectives of the game which you can read here. Give it a try, maybe it’ll clue you in to the operations of Bane’s regime!
Matthew Modine Talks Rises with Modern Myth Media, Exclusive Nokia Trailer Released
My friends Sean and Josh over at Modern Myth Media managed to score an interview with Matthew Modine, who plays Gotham City Police deputy commissioner Peter Foley. Modine shared his feelings about director Christopher Nolan, the “competition” of sorts between Rises and The Avengers, as well as several other interesting topics. Check out the full interview here!
Another big bit of news comes from a new, full-length trailer for the film featuring some truly kick-ass, heart pumping music courtesy of Hans Zimmer. The trailer was released as an exclusive by Nokia and has not been seen in theaters or on television, so be sure to check it out below now!
Mountain Dew Offers Exclusive DKR Content, and DARK BERRY
If you navigate to DewGothamCity.com, you’ll be able to find new content related to the film, including the ability to “explore” certain parts of Gotham City. The website says that these parts are:
* The Applied Sciences lab, where Batman’s tools and tricks are developed, including his one-of-a-kind vehicles and Bat-Suits.
* The Gotham City Convenience Store, where you can pick up the virtual issue of the Gotham Observer to read up on the latest headlines from every corner of the city. (HINT: you’ll be able to learn more about the Harvey Dent Act here.)
* The Gotham City Police Department, where users can get to know new characters, rifle through the files of Gotham City street renegades and upload their own mug shot.
* The culmination of the DEWGothamCity.com experience lives in The Batcave, the site’s maximum security lair that conceals exclusive, previously unreleased content from the trilogy, including never-seen-before video from THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. The Batcave will remain locked until July 8, unless DEW and Dark Knight fans work together to redeem five million DEW product codes!
In addition to all of this, they’ve also released a brand new flavor tied to the release of the film. A fitting name for a gritty, street-level vigilante: “DARK BERRY.” I’ve actually tried it and I think it’s pretty good, and definitely a novelty (unless you guys can remember that awful, awful Superman Returns energy drink Sobe put out back in 2006. I can understand if you’d rather not). Either way, we’re getting into food tie-ins and TV spots, so it definitely feels like a Summer of the Knight.
Cillian Murphy Talks the Damage of Spoilers
It’s been rumored, on and off, that Cillian Murphy’s Scarecrow (the main antagonist in Batman Begins and a quickly vanquished opponent in The Dark Knight) will be going three-for-three and make an appearance in The Dark Knight Rises. Murphy himself has been mum on the possibility, tactfully evading the question while throwing in some informed praise of Christopher Nolan.
In an interview with IFC.com, Murphy was asked about whether or not he would be making an appearance in the final Nolan Batman film, and gave a very interesting answer that doubled as a statement about how spoilers should, in general, be avoided to maintain the best cinematic experience. Check out BOF’s report with Murphy’s Rises quotes picked out, and be sure to read the full interview at IFC.
The “Harvey Dent Act” Revealed, Details on “Harvey Dent Day”
One of the burning questions likely on the minds of many fans is the effect that Harvey Dent has had on Gotham City in the wake of the chaos of The Dark Knight. There are two main things we knew upon our exit from that film in 2008: Dent would be held up as the hero of the story, solidifying the trust that the people of Gotham had placed in him in taking down the corruptive influence of the mob, and that Batman would take the blame for the crimes that Dent committed as Two-Face, murdering five people including two police officers.
We’re now starting to get a better glimpse at the overarching effect that the symbol of Dent as a “White Knight” had on Gotham, with a press release announcing that Gotham’s mayor, Anthony Garcia, had signed the “Harvey Dent Act” into law. Want to see what it says? Click the image below to find out.
Some interesting implications would seem to arise from this announcement, and while nothing revelatory really comes from it, it’s easy to see that Gotham’s new state of relative peace may make it totally unprepared for the onslaught of Bane and his devout following.
Additionally, DewGothamCity.com released a copy of the Gotham Observer announcing details of “Harvey Dent Day” to the people of Gotham. BOF has a full report including the images from the newspaper, so I’d definitely encourage checking it out.
Also, check out a new viral site related to the film at RykinData.com. Not quite sure what it means as of yet, but I think we should definitely keep an eye on it over the next few weeks.
Full Marketing Push in Effect
BOF has been posting a LOT of awesome billboard sightings to its main news page, showing some really cool spreads in both major and minor cities across the country. One of my favorites and I think the world’s)? This billboard originating from the sunny hills of Los Angeles, California, teasing mayhem and destruction arriving at our movie screens on July 20th (with special thanks to BOF’er “Garrett N.” for snapping the beautiful daytime shot and sending it off to Jett).
For a look at several other awesome billboards and ads for the film, check out the main BOF news page and scroll down to see them, and other breaking developments related to the film!
That about does it for Dark Knight Rises news, but that’s NOT the only Batman film news we have…
Batman and Superman to Team Up on Film…a Lego Film, Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes Released
Originating from reports at Variety, Batman and Superman will be appearing together in miniaturized, blocky Lego form in Lego: The Piece of Resistance. The film is being directed by the team of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who also brought us Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. For the voice of Superman, the production wants current heartthrob Channing Tatum. For Batman, the team went for the sheer perfection of casting comedian and raspy-voiced once-and-future Bluth brother Will Arnett. The film uniting the World’s Finest heroes for the first time in a film is slated to be released in February of 2014.
In other Lego related news, last Tuesday saw the release of Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes to all the current generation game consoles and handhelds. I’ve loved the Lego games that I’ve played, but this one is taking a step away from the typical formula by having an open world “sandbox” map of Gotham City that you can travel around from top to bottom. Adding even more to the playability factor is that you don’t just play Batman and Robin, and the villains that come with them. They’ve opened up to the Flash, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, and yes, even the Man of Steel. Flying around Gotham City as Superman looks incredible, and the reviews on the game from multiple sources have been very, very solid. Be sure to check it out, as it’s great for the young and old Bat-fan alike!
This Week in Bat-Comics: Batman: The Dark Knight #10 and Batman Incorporated #2
This week turned out to be a powerhouse for Batman fans, as a title that had previously proven pretty disappointing has been turned around very significantly by the efforts of a brand new writer, and a brand new direction. Batman: The Dark Knight #10, with art provided by the capable and dark David Finch who welcomes new scribe Gregg Hurwitz, has decided to tackle the issue of fear and provide a new take on the Scarecrow while simultaneously inviting us deep into the recesses of Batman’s mind. I was very, very impressed with this issue, and feel like it’s finally living up to its title by exploring the unsettling themes that a character like Scarecrow can provide.
As previous readers of this very article might remember, I was very enamored with Hurwitz’s fantastic Penguin: Pain and Prejudice mini-series for its examination of the mind and motivations of Mister Oswald Cobblepot, and it looks like a similar analytical route might be taken with Dr. Jonathan Crane. However, since this is still a Batman title, the emphasis on Bruce Wayne is equally masterful, with one of the single greatest glimpses into Batman’s humanity apparent when he goes to meet a young child who witnessed something very similar to what he himself witnessed as a very young man. Powerful stuff, and it’s the kind of moment that makes you believe in Batman.
BOF should have a review for it posted to its Dark Knight review page later this week. If you’re around your comic shop, I’d definitely recommend picking this issue up. Very solid.
The other highlight this week, equally as strong but in a different way, is Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham’s Batman Incorporated #2. This series is a continuation from Morrison’s previous six-year long work on the Batman character, beginning back in 2006 with the events of the Batman and Son graphic novel. Batman finds himself up against a brand new and vastly powerful terrorist organization known as Leviathan, and as we learned late last year, the head of Leviathan has been revealed to be the daughter of Ra’s al Ghul, Talia. This issue takes a break from some of the action in last month’s #1 and instead focuses on Talia herself, and how the events of her life led to the somewhat inevitable creation of Leviathan as a way to both get out of her father’s shadow, as well as to bring an end to the Dark Knight.
Morrison draws some very interesting and creative parallels between Talia and the Gorgon of Greek myth, contributing to the overarching tragedy of Talia’s life in the relationships with both her father and Bruce Wayne. BOF posted a review of this issue that was written by yours truly. Check it out to see my full thoughts on it, and definitely consider checking this and Grant Morrison’s other crazy, imaginative adventures of Batman at your local comics retailer.
Well my friends, it’s certainly hard to believe, but this is the penultimate edition of The Dark Knight Rises Countdown, and in the final piece we’ll only be about a week away from the release of the film. Until then, be sure to check out the other great Countdowns at Movies.com. Until next time, thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in about two weeks for THE FINAL COUNTDOWN.
(Queue the music, you know you want to.)
The Legend Ends in 22 Days When The Dark Knight Rises