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.
We’re close to the end of production for The Dark Knight Rises, but I don’t think the buzz has ever been higher. With most films, there seems to be a quiet lull after production has been completed and right before a lot of the publicity hits. That is definitely not so with this film. With renewed interest coming from Batman’s latest outings in animation and video games, the Dark Knight’s on top of the world already. It doesn’t look like things are about to slow down anytime soon, either.
With work on the film winding down, news from the set will become an impossibility after production is slated to wrap later this month. That’s not to say that we won’t see a slew of news related to the film in the meantime, though. And even though this film will be finishing, there’s still plenty of happenings in and around Gotham City to satiate the needs of Batman fans worldwide. So, without further ado, let’s begin our look at the world of Batman this week with the feature: news on what will probably be next summer’s biggest movie.
Prologue…Confirmed or Debunked?
After reports hit the internet saying that a six-minute prologue for Rises would be attached to the upcoming IMAX release of Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, speculation arose about the validity of the initial article. In a report dated October 24th, Jett published a few quickfire statements on BOF from people that should be in the know: a large movie theater chain, and Warner Bros. themselves. In the first part of the report, Jett detailed that AMC Theaters confirmed that the prologue would indeed be hitting IMAX screens in December. The caveat s that instead of hitting all IMAX screens as was initially thought, AMC apparently stated that it would only be attached to 70mm presentations and not digital screens.
Later that day, AMC actually posted a retraction to their confirmation, stating, “The information in this post has been retracted until further notice.” It gets a little more interesting though, as Jett had directly contacted Warner Bros. for comment on the matter. What they wrote back, unsurprisingly, is that there is nothing official about a prologue for the film being screened next month. As Jett rightfully points out, this doesn’t say anything about a Prologue either not coming or not existing, they’ve just chosen to keep quiet about it for now.
I would personally be very surprised if the prologue doesn’t appear in theaters next month. It’s a high profile season for moviegoers and only seems to serve the studio by getting people excited on a level that they couldn’t have been before. I personally think that it’ll be released, but I of course have no way of knowing if it will. Here’s hoping.
Production Hits the Big Apple, Will Not Occupy Wall Street
In a report filed by Jett on October 26th, production of Rises has hit New York City and has begun it’s final stage of production. Jett also points out an important detail stating that all of the shooting in the Big Apple will be done on location, which means that we may potentially have another round of spoiler-laden spy pics. If you’re concerned about being spoiled before you walk into the movie theater on July 20th, then make sure you watch where you’re going on the internet. It’s awful being spoiled when you don’t want to be, I can definitely speak from experience. I was spoiled back in ’05 with one of the major revelations about Batman Begins, and it definitely would’ve made an already great viewing experience even better had I not known that particular element of the plot. A word to the wise, just watch where you’re going!
On a related note, according to a report originating at EW.com, the film will not be shooting near the Occupy Wall Street protests or even in the Zucotti Park location as initially thought. The report from EW states, “The eagerly-anticipated film — which has gone under the code name Magnus Rex and is listed as a current production by The City of New York Mayor’s Office of Film Theatre & Broadcasting — had been scheduled to shoot in NYC months before the OWS uprising began.” Personally, I’m a little bummed about this, just because I felt that another element of urban realism could be added had something to the effect of the protests been used, but I’m by no means concerned by this report. I’m still excited, how about you?
Batman Heads to Jersey
BOF also picked up a report about another shooting location, this time in Newark, New Jersey. From NJ.com, the report states, “There will be extensive traffic delays in the area around City Hall and Downtown Newark along McCarter Highway, Market Street, Raymond Boulevard, Broad Street, Mulberry Street, Halsey Street, Washington Street, and University Avenue, due to street closures and the re-routing of buses.” According to the report, the locations to be used while in the area include several streets and interiors of the town’s City Hall. Rises will be in town the 3rd and 4th of this month.
Jonathan Nolan on Rises, Trump Tower in Gotham City
BOF published excerpts of an interview that Rises screenwriter (and director’s sibling) Jonathan Nolan gave about various aspects of his career right now. The interview, appearing in full at the LA Times Hero Complex blog, talks about Nolan’s new TV series Person of Interest in addition to The Dark Knight Rises. The most telling quote from Nolan about the production came in his feelings surrounding the conclusion to this trilogy.
“It’s bittersweet. It’s been the last nine years of my life. It’s very exciting, and we’re happy to be finishing the story, but I’m going to miss that character. I’m very excited to have been building this kind of universe that we’re all putting together in New York. I think it’s very distinct from the Batman franchise, but it has a couple of elements in common, so I’m excited to be able to continue telling these stories.”
I can’t help but concurring with him. We’ll definitely be getting something memorable next summer, but I’m sure like many of you, I can’t help but feel like we’re losing something when it’s all said and done.
According to a BOF report, Trump Tower will be used in the New York City shoot. The distinctive skyscraper seems like a no-brainer If it’s portraying a specific Gotham location.
Trailer Number Two?
BOF has received unofficial word that the second trailer for Rises will be attached to the upcoming Robert Downey Jr. vehicle Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. That film will be released on December 16th, supposedly the same day that the prologue for the film will appear in IMAX screenings of MI4. At first glance this may seem unlikely, but as several BOF’ers correctly pointed out in emails to Jett, the prologue attached to IMAX screenings of I Am Legend and second trailer for The Dark Knight hit the same weekend back in December of 2007. Either way, it seems like there’s a lot to look forward to in the coming months for the film!
That about does it for news on Dark Knight Rises for this week, so let’s see what’s going on in other areas of Gotham City! First, the source material: Batman in comics!
This Week in Bat-Comics: Detective Comics #3 and Justice League International #3
Batman was actually kind of sparse in comics this week, but there was a notable Batman release in the form of Detective Comics #3. Written and penciled by Tony S. Daniel, the previous writer artist of the main Batman title before the New 52 relaunch, Daniel is showing us what his stories featuring Bruce Wayne are like, since his previous tenure as a Batman writer dealt with Dick Grayson under the cowl. So far, Detective hasn’t been the highest critically acclaimed title of the New 52, but sales are strong and Daniel is definitely trying to bring the notion of “Batman as a bad ass” to the forefront of his current story. That story details the arrival of a villain called the Dollmaker killing and taking apart his victims in order to construct new faces and identities.
I’m of the mind that this isn’t the most engaging Batman story on the shelves right now, but I’m a big fan of Daniel’s artwork and enjoy the title thoroughly from that perspective. BOF did not have a review for Detective #3 as this article went live, but you’ll be able to find one on the site very soon written by the founder, Jett. Be sure to check it out!
It seems that the main Justice League title is getting a lot of attention, but one that’s not quite as high profile is the other team to bear the name in the Justice League International title, which saw its 3rd issue release this week. This book details the adventures of a super-team created by the United Nations with various heroes from other countries officially having a member. These include August General in Iron from China, and Rocket Red #7 from Russia. Also on the team are a couple of DC Comics mainstays, like Booster Gold, as well as Guy Gardner, a ring-wielding member of the Green Lantern Corps. One member on the team that’s not so official? Batman.
The Dark Knight felt that he should observe the team in addition to backing a hero he believes a lot in, that of Booster Gold, who isn’t taken very seriously by the other members of the squad as a leader. So far, Batman’s capacity in the title has almost been as Booster’s bouncer of sorts, in addition to being the team’s very capable and brilliant tactician. The third issue sees some cool tactical moments that Batman devises for the team, and if you’re at all curious about some of the other things Batman’s up to in the new DC Universe, I’d encourage you to check it out. BOF doesn’t regularly review JLI, but you’ll be able to find a good review for the next issue (and the previous two) over at Modern Myth Media written by Ryan Hoss that should probably be available by the weekend.
The other Batman title that hit this week was Batwing #3 written by Judd Winick with art by Ben Oliver. This title, while not starring Batman, features a member of the Batman Incorporated organization and takes place primarily in Africa, with Batwing serving as resident protector and Agent of the Bat. Next week sees a few notable releases of Bat-Comics, including the third issues Batgirl, Batman and Robin (both of which I’ll review for BOF next week) and Batwoman.
Also releasing next week is the second issue of the strong and surprising mini-series Penguin: Pain and Prejudice, detailing where Oswald Cobblepot came from and how this short, fat, awkward, little man can actually be one of Batman’s most formidable foes. Check it out! That about does it for Batman comics news, so just when you thought we were done with the Dark Knight’s latest video game, something else crops up!
Arkham City Burns Up the Charts, New DLC Pack Released
Batman: Arkham City seems to continue to set the gaming world on fire, as recent reports from aggregate sites place it as the best reviewed video game title of 2011. Sales of the game have reportedly been extraordinarily high, with 2 million copies having been sold within the first week of release. This would seem to indicate that the game is an even bigger success than it’s predecessor Arkham Asylum, and will potentially lead to further sequels. Maybe the success of the series could lead to the development team at Rocksteady Studios taking on another DC character? Hmm…
One of the great things about video games today is that the experience doesn’t have to end with the main release. Now with the ability for games to be supplemented with downloadable content (DLC), new pieces can be added to further enrich the gaming experience.
As was done this last week on Arkham City with the release of the Nightwing DLC pack. This features a new playable character for the challenge map portions of the game, that character being Nightwing, otherwise known as Dick Grayson. For those who don’t know, Grayson was the first Robin, but after growing into his own he crafted a new persona and took to the streets independently, outside of the Dark Knight’s shadow. Nightwing provides a lot of really cool and interesting combat and stealth elements that make him a natural in the world of this game.
As Grayson is one of my favorite characters in the DC Universe, I was thrilled to learn he’d become playable. While it would’ve been nice if Nightwing could be taken to the streets of Arkham City, being able to play as him is awesome for this Bat-fan. What do you think?
That about does it for this edition of The Dark Knight Rises Countdown. Be sure to check back here at Movies.com for the latest piece in a couple weeks’ time, and also keep it tuned to here and Batman-On-Film for the latest Dark Knight Rises news as it breaks. And also, as always, feel free to leave a comment on anything you’d like to see from this column and I’ll be happy to do what I can to work it in. Thanks for reading!
259 Days Until The Dark Knight Rises, The Epic Conclusion to the Dark Knight Legend.