'The Dark Knight Rises' Countdown: Playing the Joker Card and the Rejection of the Riddler

'The Dark Knight Rises' Countdown: Playing the Joker Card and the Rejection of the Riddler

Jun 14, 2012

Chris Clow is a recent Western Washington University graduate, and a comic book expert, retailer and contributor to Batman-On-Film.com and Modern-Myth-Media.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.

As The Dark Knight Rises creeps ever closer, the Countdown must go on. Welcome back to your fortnightly roundup of everything related to the upcoming conclusion to Christopher Nolan’s Batman story for the ages! As we continue to get closer, more and more news surrounding the film is trickling in to the good folks at Batman-On-Film.com and Movies.com in the form of interviews, teases, TV spots, and even comic books.

Since it can tend to get a little hectic with news coming from all sides, this Countdown is designed to filter all of the craziness out a little bit and give a concise, one size fits all report of everything happening in the world of the Dark Knight. Since we’re barely over a month away from the film, there’s quite a bit to get to. How about we get to it?

The Joker’s Status in The Dark Knight Rises

As you might imagine, one of the burning questions in many peoples’ minds about The Dark Knight Rises is whether or not there will at least be some mention made of the Joker in the new film. It’s reasonable to think that there would be, after all the threat that the Harlequin of Hate represented to Bruce Wayne and the realizations the Dark Knight came to as a result of his actions was pretty extensive, and shaped the young vigilante’s career rather profoundly.

The question, though, has definitively been answered straight from the horse’s mouth. In an interview with Empire that was subsequently reported by Jett over at BOF, Christopher Nolan himself gave us the answer about whether or not the Joker’s name will have a place somewhere in the new film’s dialogue. I’ll put a slight SPOILER tag here, just in case you don’t wish to know.

In the interview, Mr. Nolan said, “We're not addressing The Joker. That is something I felt very strongly about in terms of my relationship with Heath [Ledger] and the experience I went through with him on The Dark Knight. I didn't want to in any way try and account for a real-life tragedy. That seemed inappropriate to me. We just have a new set of characters and a continuation of Bruce Wayne's story. Not involving The Joker.

So, there you have it! It’ll be interesting to see how the events of The Dark Knight will be referenced now that we have this bit of information, and we’ll have to see how it all plays out next month!

Riddle Me This: Who Did WB Want as a New Villain?

Coming from the same source in Empire’s recent feature on Rises, co-plotter David Goyer revealed that for the third outing of Nolan’s Batman, Warner Bros. was interested in having the Riddler as the primary villain, and wanted to sign Leonardo DiCaprio to the role. A very interesting choice, that if it went through to fruition, would’ve made DiCaprio the fourth Inception alum to join the cast of Rises.

I’m more than a little relieved that this isn’t what transpired, though. While I’m definitely of the mind that the Riddler hasn’t been given a proper treatment in any live action presentation, I don’t necessarily think that Riddler would’ve been a “natural” choice to follow up the Joker. In some ways it’s a little too obvious given how well-known the Riddler is, but Mister E. Nigma will have to wait a little longer before he gets another try at taking down the Dark Knight. If you want to see a great representation of the character, I’d definitely encourage you to check out both of the Arkham games: 2009’s Arkham Asylum, and 2011’s Arkham City.


New Rises Footage Premieres at MTV Movie Awards

On the night of Sunday, June 3rd, new footage from The Dark Knight Rises was premiered to the world at the MTV Movie Awards by the film’s stars, Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, in addition to director Christopher Nolan. Thank God for DVRs! I was very happy not having to watch the awards show and get straight to the good stuff, and in my opinion, it was pretty good.

Particularly a scene involving an unsuspecting henchman, the feline fatale, and the Dark Knight. The footage isn’t available to view online, but you can see the stars and director introducing the footage with some very heartfelt words coming from director Christopher Nolan. Check out BOF’s report on the footage and see the two videos of the stars and of the director talking about the Epic Conclusion!

Soundtrack Info, Tickets Now Available!

411mania.com broke new information about the upcoming album release of the film’s score, composed by Hans 

Zimmer. The tracks break down as follows:

01. A Storm Is Coming (0:37) 
02. On Thin Ice (2:55) 
03. Gotham's Reckoning (4:08) 
04. Mind If I Cut In? (3:27) 
05. Underground Army (3:12) 
06. Born In Darkness (1:57) 
07. The Fire Rises (5:33) 
08. Nothing Out There (2:51) 
09. Despair (3:14) 
10. Fear Will Find You (3:08) 
11. Why Do We Fall? (2:03) 
12. Death By Exile (0:23) 
13. Imagine The Fire (7:25) 
14. Necessary Evil (3:16) 
15. Rise (7:11)

In other news, you might be interested to know that TICKETS ARE NOW ON SALE for The Dark Knight Rises via the fine folks at Fandango. In my area alone, tickets seem to be selling out fast for midnight showings, and I hear similar stories from fans across the country and even internationally. Several theaters (depending on the parent company) are also having Dark Knight Trilogy events beginning in the evening of July 19th, showing Batman BeginsThe Dark Knight, and rounding it out at midnight with The Dark Knight Rises. Sounds like a hell of a way to spend an evening!

You can also check out the new UK TV spot in the player below!

Won’t be long now!

The Dark Knight Rises Will NOT Be Present at SDCC

In a bit of unsurprising news, BOF has learned via a report in Variety that Rises will not be presenting in Hall H at this year’s Comic-Con International. I don’t think this is particularly shocking, as the previous two films followed a similar pattern. Besides, by mid-July, the writing will be on the wall for the performance of the film, so is there a need for a Hall H presentation?

Mathew Modine Talks Christopher Nolan and Batman

In an interview originating from Comic Book Resources, actor Mathew Modine (who plays Lieutenant Commissioner Foley in the film) discussed his primary motivation for taking the part in The Dark Knight Rises: the Batman himself. Here are the two select quotes chosen by Jett and presented at BOF:

The only thing I can say [about The Dark Knight Rises] is that the experience of working with Christopher Nolan and this tremendous cast of returning characters and new characters -- Tom Hardy and Anne Hathaway, my friend Gary Oldman -- on such an extraordinary franchise is one of the highlights of my career."

[Batman] is not a man with supernatural powers, he's not a mythological character -- he's just a man who's damaged, who's broken like so many people in the world... trying to do good. The interesting point then becomes, when you do good, when you're fighting crime, when do you cross that line of becoming a vigilante? I think that 'broken person doing good' is something we all aspire to in our life, trying to overcome our fears and trying to fight evil in the world. He's a character we all relate to.

For some more awesome gushing about the character and the current film series, be sure to check out the full interview at CBR!

That does it for news related to the film, so let’s take a look at the four-color world of Batman in comics!

This Week in Bat-Comics: Batman #10 and Batman and Robin #10

This week saw two big releases from DC Comics for the Dark Knight, the primary of which is the penultimate issue of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s “Court of Owls” story in the main Batman title. This issue sees a lot of the pieces fall into place in regards to the face of the Court of Owls organization, as well as some pretty big revelations surrounding the Wayne family itself. I won’t lie to you, as a longtime Batman fan, the ending did kind of put me off a little bit, but it also exponentially increased my anticipation for the final issue of the story in next month’s issue #11, which hits mere days before The Dark Knight Rises arrives in theaters.

You can check out the BOF review of the issue here, written by the great John Bierly. As seems usual, John and I share much of our feelings surrounding this issue and you may want to give a look to what he has to say. I would definitely call this a solid outing for the team, but it does raise a lot of interesting questions and is moving into an area I definitely wasn’t expecting.

The next big release this week was Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason’s Batman and Robin #10, featuring a huge Wayne family reunion. As you might expect, any of the members of the Wayne family as it currently exists were once bearers of the mantle of Robin, the Boy Wonder. This issue is a full house as far as the Bat Family is concerned, as current Robin Damian Wayne is joined by Dick Grayson (the first Robin, now known as Nightwing), Jason Todd (the second Robin, ostracized by the family for being the villainous Red Hood), and Tim Drake (number three, now serving the Teen Titans as Red Robin). A lot of interesting characters and some fascinating interplay between them definitely made this issue a solid one in my book.

For a more elaborative look at this issue, feel free to check out my review of it at BOF. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying this series over the last year, and definitely love the familial contrast it provides between many of the other Bat-titles. Definitely a thumbs-up!

That does it for this edition of The Dark Knight Rises Countdown. Be on the lookout for new, original content related to Batman in the coming weeks from Movies.com, and definitely be sure to check out the other great Countdown articles on the site. Of particular mention is my super hero brethren, with John Gholson giving great rundowns for both The Amazing Spider-Man and Marvel Studios, as well as Jeffrey Taylor giving you the low-down on all things Superman and Man of Steel. I’ll be back for the next edition of this piece in a couple of weeks, so until then, let the fire rise!

The Legend Ends in 35 Days When The Dark Knight Rises

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