Chris Clow is a comic book expert, retailer and contributor to Batman-On-Film.com andModern-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.
The Dark Knight Rises Countdown is back for your latest fortnightly fix of all things Gotham City! We are now less than six months away from what’s sure to be the absolute biggest film of the year, and the talk of Batman fans everywhere is finally turning to the fact that the film is coming, and soon.
Beyond that, all across the world people are wondering exactly what the film’s promise, “The Legend Ends,” actually means. We’re that much closer to finding out, but to make sure that you don’t know until the curtain goes up on July 20th, here’s your best source for a spoiler-free news roundup made possible by the efforts of the best Batman site on the net, Batman-On-Film.com!
We have some important pieces of news to get through, so let’s get right to it!
The Nolans Address Bane’s Voice
One of the most consistent criticisms to come from fans regarding the recently released trailer and prologue for the film lies in the antagonist’s voice. Many people seem seriously concerned that Bane, played by Tom Hardy, is practically inaudible due to the restrictive and distinctive muzzle covering the character’s mouth.
The position of myself and BOF is generally that Bane is well understood, not to mention the fact that Christopher Nolan, by nature, is a very cerebral director. He doesn’t spoon-feed audiences with information that makes the viewing experience more fun for them to discover on their own.
Regardless of how I or others may feel though, Mr. Nolan decided to address the concerns, albeit briefly, in a recent issue of Entertainment Weekly that featured Bale’s Batman on the cover. In regards to Bane’s voice, Nolan said, “I think when people see the film, things will come into focus. Bane is very complex and very interesting. And when people see the finished film, people will be very entertained by him."
Nolan’s brother and creative collaborator Jonathan tends to agree with his brother, while also trying to assure people that audiences need not be worried. “I've gotta tell you, I think what Tom Hardy is doing with the role is spectacular. I've had the benefit of seeing a little bit more than the audience has seen, at this point, and it's pretty spectacular.”
The moral of the story here is the same moral that BOF and I have always tried to relay: you can probably trust Christopher Nolan. We must not forget that this is the same director that reinvigorated the Batman film series and brought millions of new fans into a new appreciation for the characters we all love so much. I have a hard time believing that this would be the wrong way to go in this regard. Chill out. You can check out BOF founder Jett’s take on the Nolans’ quotes HERE.
Jonathan on a Legend’s End
More words from Jonathan Nolan via IGN Movies in regards to the promise the film makes about ending the legend of the Batman. Jonathan, an admitted fan of the character, has a lot of feelings woven up into his experience on the films and has a lot to say on the matter.
“It's so much fun to write those characters and write the end. Well, I won't say 'the end' really since those characters belong to everybody but it's the end of our story. And what we did was bittersweet, but incredibly satisfying. Honestly, what I want to do at this point now is what I did with Batman Begins which is that I want to sneak into a screening opening night.
“A Thursday night screening. Actually it was a Tuesday night screening for Begins at Grauman’s Chinese Theater and it was the most gratifying professional experience of my life. F*ckin' unbelievable. We had such a good time. And the thing about this next film is, well, this is it. At this point I just want to watch the movie with a real audience.”
From my view, that’s a cool anecdote from a man that obviously feels a lot of passion for these characters, and I feel pretty gratified that this is the guy writing a Batman film. Hopefully when he sneaks into a screening for this film, similar thrills await both he and the unsuspecting audience.
IMAX Ticket Pre-Orders and the Vultures that Sell Them
From an article on this very site by the esteemed Erik Davis, it’s come to the attention of Movies.com and BOF that preorder tickets for midnight showings of The Dark Knight Risesare, in some cases, actually topping the $200 mark in various major cities across the country. That figure is from a sale beginning well before the six-month timeframe to the actual release of the film.
This. Is. Ludicrous. Beyond the fact that I feel it’s a mistake for pre-sales to happen on screenings this far out anyway, this shows the kind of blatantly irresponsible and underhanded ways people will take advantage of an impending film like this. This is bad for the fans, bad for the public, and only serves to create resentment among certain sects of fandom for participating in a sale like those reported.
Mr. Davis points out in his initial article that it’s very likely there will be free screenings for fans possibly before the release date or at least matching midnight showings, and he’s absolutely right. Either WB sanctioned fan screenings or the viral marketing campaign could potentially provide these types of opportunities. My advice is to please not be duped by this and instead wait until we get a little closer to see what opportunities you will have to see the film this summer. You might be surprised about what you find…
The Stalk of the Bat
Back on January 19th, BOF reported an article emerging from WirelessGoodness.com that sheds some light on the name of Batman’s new aerial vehicle seen in the film’s trailer. In a required filing with the FCC by toy manufacturer Hot Wheels, plans for radio controlled toys for vehicles in the film were brought to light. If you want to check out the name of the vehicle, head on over to Wireless Goodness and check it out!
A Big Spoiler is Out
On January 20th, the six month mark toward the release of the film, BOF founder Jett reported that a potentially mammoth spoiler to fans’ viewing experience was out and making rounds on the internet. On the main news page of BOF, Jett stated,
“Heed my warning folks and be careful where you look for RISES news if you are one of those avoiding everything. There is a pretty big SPOILER online in regards to a role in RISES and it’s all over the Net spreading like wildfire as these things usually do. Apparently, this news was dropped by Joey King -- a young actress who is in the film. Consider yourself warned.”
Just wanted to repost here as a head’s up to those avoiding as many spoilers as they can. One other minor note is that DC Direct, the in-house collectible manufacturer from DC Comics, has recently released several promotional images of upcoming Dark Knight Risesproducts in an advertising magazine available for free at most comic book stores. If you’re interested in seeing what kinds of busts, statues, and figures form the film you can own, head on down and take a look. Also, while you’re there, maybe give a look at…
This Week in Bat-Comics: Batman: The Dark Knight #5 and Justice League #5
Comic books! This week saw two notable Batman comics releases from DC, and both are part of the “New 52.” The first is Paul Jenkins and David Finch’s Batman: The Dark Knight #5, detailing the further exploits of Batman’s attempts at corralling a steroid of some sort while trying to contain a host of villains roaming free throughout the city. The series has had several interesting guest stars including both Batman villains and Justice League members, but for me has kind of fallen flat in the storytelling department.
Artist and co-plotter David Finch’s pencils create some inherent value in the book, though. His dark and moody atmospheres along with dramatic and deep-line superheroes make him a natural artist to bring Batman and his world to life, but the writing front could definitely use some work in my opinion. Check out BOF’s Dark Knight review page and check out the critique of this issue closer to the weekend.
Also this week, the release of the highly anticipated fifth issue of superstars Geoff Johns and Jim Lee’s Justice League title. This issue sees the team allied against one of the greatest villains in the DC Universe, the inimitable New God and Jack Kirby creation Darkseid. Some interesting humility is at play here as far as Green Lantern’s ego, which is put in check from an unusual statement of trust from the Dark Knight himself.
BOF posted a review for this issue written by me. I basically felt that the issue was still relatively strong, although severely lacking in the characterization of several other team members, particularly Wonder Woman and Aquaman. I understand that a page limitation will make this difficult sometimes, but either way, this is still the blockbuster title that was promised to us back in August and should make for an interesting completed story when it wraps in issue #6 next month. The Justice League vs. Darkseid in their first adventure can’t help but make this ol’ DC boy anticipate a lot!
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!
Thanks for reading, see you next time!
The Legend Ends in 175 Days when The Dark Knight Rises.