Does ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ Poster Reveal Batman’s Fate?

Christopher Nolan has been uncharacteristically open about his desire to end his version of the Batman storyline, and Christian Bale has followed suit by acknowledging The Dark Knight Rises will be the last time he dons the rubber suit and cape. But some folks are wondering if this means that Batman may meet his mortal end at the hands of Bane, the tough-guy villain played by Tom Hardy. The new poster for the film adds to the suspicion.

Entertainment Weekly reveals the new art, which depicts Batman’s broken mask at the feet of Bane. The tagline says it all: "The legend ends." 

dark knight poster

Does this mean that Bane will beat Batman? Or does it simply suggest that Batman will eventually rise again to defeat his new foe? Let’s not forget that Anne Hathaway is also on board to play Catwoman, who has typically been slightly more of a friend than a foe to Batman. Might the legend of Batman end with Catwoman taking over as Gotham’s guardian? We only have seven more excruciating months to speculate! 

‘The Dark Knight Rises’ Secrets Revealed! (Kind Of)

Christopher Nolan is a notoriously secretive filmmaker. Despite filming scenes of The Dark Knight Rises in the middle of city streets, no one is quite sure of what to expect from Nolan’s final Batman movie. Is Occupy Wall Street involved? Why does Catwoman’s costume look so stupid? Why is there a Catwoman in the first place? Christopher Nolan sat down with Empire Magazine and finally gave a small glimpse into what the newest Dark Knight will be all about.

Empire released some interesting tidbits on their website from Nolan and Tom Hardy, who plays the supervillain Bane. So guys, what can we expect from this movie that won’t be out for over half a year and will undoubtedly go through a myriad of changes during production and post-production?

Most surprising of all, it picks up eight years after The Dark Knight:

Nolan says, "It’s really all about finishing Batman and Bruce Wayne’s story. We left him in a very precarious place. Perhaps surprisingly for some people, our story picks up quite a bit later, eight years after The Dark Knight. So he’s an older Bruce Wayne; he’s not in a great state.”

Older Bruce Wayne? Not in a great state? Jeez, is Batman going to be driving the Batmobile half-a-mile to the pharmacy to pick up his gout medication? Will there be a subplot of him watching an episode of Blue Bloods? Is Lucius Fox going to design a military-grade Bat-Hoveround?

Also, Bane is mean:

Hardy gives some info on the masked evildoer: "He’s brutal. Brutal. He’s a big dude who’s incredibly clinical, in the fact that he has a result-based and oriented fighting style. It’s not about fighting. It’s about carnage. The style is heavy-handed, heavy-footed, it’s nasty. Anything from small-joint manipulation to crushing skulls, crushing rib cages, stamping on shins and knees and necks and collarbones and snapping heads off and tearing his fists through chests, ripping out spinal columns. He is a terrorist in mentality as well as brutal action."

The two previous Batman villains, R’as al Ghul and The Joker, were more cerebral, echoing the tone of the films themselves. Bane, apparently, is a bruiser. The only question is: What’s “a result-based and oriented fighting style.” Results-based? Like Tae Bo? Bane sounds terrifying. 

But be nice, because Bane was in an accident:

Costume designer Lindy Hemming explains some of Bane’s history and how that figures into his costume. "He was injured early in his story,” she says. “He’s suffering from pain and needs gas to survive. He can’t survive the pain without the mask. The pipes from the mask go back along his jawline and feed into the thing at his back, where there are two cannisters."

Hmm, that sounds familiar

‘The Dark Knight Rises’ Occupies Wall Street

Christopher Nolan’s latest Batman installment, The Dark Knight Rises, is the most anticipated movie of next year. Whenever the film shoots on location—be it in Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, or, most recently, New York—Twitter explodes with people gleefully bragging, “There are Gotham PD cars outside my office!” Another way to tell if Nolan’s traveling circus has come to town is by the flash flood of spy videos that proliferate online. This weekend, two videos of a massive brawl in downtown New York hit the web, and they’re very similar to those earlier brawls we saw being shot in Pittsburgh. This might be your last look at amateur footage of TDKR before the real things hits theaters in the form of a six-minute preview ahead of IMAX screenings of Mission: Impossible—Ghost Protocol, this December.

Deadline posted the clips that “supposedly depict a brawl between supporters of Bane (Tom Hardy) and Gotham police led by Batman (Christian Bale).” Amusingly, they look more like a group of kids at recess play fighting, but we’re sure a couple hundred million dollars worth of movie magic will fix that right up.

As you can see, Mr. Nolan found those extras he was looking for.

See Bane Fighting Batman On the Set of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’

It’s pretty official that the internet is ruining movies for everyone considering some very revealing photos from the Pittsburgh set of The Dark Knight Rises have started popping up online. As far as movies go, TDKR is trying to be one of next year’s best-kept secrets, with plot details and the like being held from audiences. But there’s only so much Christopher Nolan and company can do to protect their set and stars from covert-ops photographers. Ah, the travails of shooting on location.

So far, images of Tom Hardy as the cargo pants-wearing villain Bane have been blurred and shrouded in shadows. Not anymore! Here he is fighting with Batman! And here he is staring at paper! It goes without saying that images like these kill the atmosphere of menace Nolan is trying to create, as his hero and his heavy go toe to toe, but it’s safe to say this is the most exciting thing to happen to Pittsburgh since this.

UPDATE: Now with video!

See Tom Hardy as a Cargo Pants-Wearing Bane in ‘The Dark Knight Rises’

The Dark Knight Rises officially began production in Pittsburgh just yesterday, and already the viral marketing campaign has yielded its first treasure. Ladies and fanboys, introducing your first image of Tom Hardy, as the weapon of mass destruction, Bane.

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Like the Joker before him, the marketing nerds at Warner Bros. have chosen to release Bane with an elaborate internet mystery, that involved chanting, and hashtags, and pixels. /Film has a good description of steps that led to this reveal on the movie’s official site, but what about the reveal itself? Hardy, as he did in Bronson, looks transformed. Is there anybody in the business better at bulking up than this guy? (Sorry, Chris Hemsworth.) It’s also a vast improvement from the schlocky Bane of Batman and Robin, but that’s hardly a surprise. So, one down and one more to go. Oh, Anne…come out, come out, wherever you are!

Looks Like Tom Hardy Is Your New ‘Batman’ Villain

Even as you read this, word is spreading across the internet like bedbugs in a Hollister outlet that Tom Hardy has been cast in Christopher Nolan’s upcoming Batman 3. No one’s spilling much as to which part he landed, but everyone’s guess is he’ll play some kind of villain. (The Riddler? Penguin? Killer Croc? Catwoman?) This is huge news, because who ever plays the new Batman villain has two really, really big shoes to fill.

At the moment, Hardy is still mostly known as the guy from Inception (the one with the gun, remember?). That was set to change when he got cast as the lead in George Miller’s upcoming Mad Max movie, but that film has been waylaid in development hell.

Lucky Hardy’s just found himself in development heaven. He’s officially part of Christopher Nolan’s distinguished crew of reusable actors (joining Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Ken Watanabe, and Cillian Murphy), and he’s probably going to be playing one of the most talked-about roles, under one of the most talked-about director in Hollywood. Good for him!

If you want a sense of what kind of menace Hardy can bring to the role of a comic book villain, look no further than Bronson, an ultraviolent British film where the actor is unrecognizable as Charles Bronson, Britain’s most notorious prisoner. His ghoulish charisma reminds us of you-know-who, and proves he’s one of those rare actors who can truly disappear into a role. Check out the trailer below, and dare to disagree.

Welcome to Hollywood, Tom Hardy!

Most people haven’t seen and won’t see Bronson, Nicolas Winding Refn’s surrealist biopic of Britain’s most famous prisoner. What they’ll be missing is one of the most committed and impressive performances by an actor this year. The man is Tom Hardy, a dashing British chap who transformed himself from a mischievously handsome man into a hulking brute — a monster basically, but a likeable one. It’s one of those put-you-on-the-map performances, the kind that Eric Bana pulled off in Chopper and caught Hollywood’s eye. The same thing is currently happening to Hardy, and it must feel fucking great to be him right now.

Hardy already has a supporting role opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in Christopher Nolan’s mega-secretive summer tentpole Inception, and now E! Online is reporting that director George Miller — the man who tried and thankfully failed to bring that ill-advised Justice League movie to theaters — is speeding ahead with the resurrection of his own Mad Max franchise with Hardy in mind for the lead, and Charlize Theron as his female costar. Hurt Locker star Jeremy Renner was another actor rumored for the part, but it sounds like it’s Hardy’s to lose. One roadblock may be the studio’s reluctance to mount such a massive production on the shoulders of an unknown, but where the hell did Sam Worthington come from, right? Courtesy of Tubefan 13, below is a video of the many faces of the full-lipped pretty boy Hardy. Watch that, then watch him transformed in the Bronson trailer, just to get an idea of how serious this guy is.

Nicolas Winding Refn on ‘Bronson’

At first glance, one might expect Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn’s Bronson to be another in an assembly line of violent British crime capers full of cockney thugs and punchy one-liners. But it’s far from that. Bronson is a stark and surreal adventure into the mind of someone who exists in his own reality. It is meticulously staged, colored, and costumed, and it’s scored with one of the eeriest and most effective soundtracks in a long time — full of new wave anthems, heavy dark electro scores, and opera music. Bronson is based on the life of the infamous British inmate Michael Peterson (played by an unrecognizable Tom Hardy), dubbed “Britain’s most violent prisoner,” who spent 35 of his 57 years in prison, much of it in solitary confinement. Refn’s film avoids typical biopic styling in favor of a picaresque character study on Peterson’s self-inflicted transformation into Charlie Bronson. Successfully merging popular genre-movies with theater traditions and performance art, Refn has created and unsettling portrait of self-mythologizing man.

As for Winding Refn, he first gained notoriety from his cult Pusher trilogy, an unflinching glimpse into Denmark’s criminal underworld. Growing up with artist parents, Refn spent his teenage years in New York City and briefly attended the American Academy of the Dramatic Arts; he was sucked into New York’s club scene (the influence of which is made apparent in Bronson’s soundtrack). Winding Refn is an impossible director to pin down, citing The Sopranos, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and avant-garde filmmaker Kenneth Anger as influences (his next film is the Viking epic Valhalla Rising). After speaking with the director, it’s he clear would rather divide audiences than merely satisfy them.

Why did you shoot Bronson in this surreal and episodic nature, considering it’s based on the life of a real person? I always wanted to make a Kenneth Anger movie, and I wanted to combine great theatrical tradition and British pop cinema of the 60s, which was very psychedelic, and at the same time, to make a movie about a man who creates his own mythology. It had to be surreal in order to pay off.

There are reoccurring scenes where Bronson’s in a suit and mime make-up, delivering monologues to an imagined and applauding audience. What was the idea behind this? Because Charlie Bronson has no face. Charlie Bronson is a faceless person because there is no end to Charlie Bronson. For me it was important to show a film about a person that can be interpreted but not understood. The film is divided up into three sections. The first act is Charlie being on stage, in control, wanting to be perceived in a specific way, to see his life the way he wants it to be. In act two, he’s released and we begin to see Charlie in an alternate universe and his difficulties relating to reality. Not because he’s insane but because he lives in another world. Act 3, when he goes back to prison, we see the movie through the audience’s perception of him: is he crazy or is he not crazy? We see the transformation finalize itself at the end of the movie.

When specifically is the transformation finally complete? In the final scene at the end of the film, when he mixes art and violence in the [prison] classroom. That is when the transformation has becomes complete. That’s why the in a way, the movie has a happy ending because in the end he fulfills everything that he set out to achieve.

Can you talk about Tom Hardy and his own transformation into the role of Charlie Bronson? Tom was a great guy to work with, and we had a very interesting work relationship because it was very much collaboration. I do that with any actor — we go on a journey together.

Physically, what did he have to do in order to realistically play an intimidating inmate? He’s into that whole physical training thing, so it was very easy for him to beef up.

One of the trailers describes your movie as A Clockwork Orange of the 21st century. What influence if any did A Clockwork Orange have on the making of Bronson? There was no direct influence other than the use of classical music, and then I guess the Alex character had similarities to Charlie Bronson. They’re both pop figures. But I really wanted to make a Kenneth Anger movie, so the whole movie is stolen from Kenneth Anger.

There is quite a lot of violence in the film … could you discuss how you approached that violence? The violence comes out of my own interpretation of art, that it’s there to penetrate you, to make you think.

The film seems to romanticize mental instability and the creative outsiders who lives by their own rules. I don’t know if it’s a romantic way, but it’s a way to survive. I didn’t want to make a social realistic film about imprisonment because you can’t.

Would you want the real Michael Peterson to see the movie? Is there any way for him to see the movie? I would love for him to see it, but he’s not allowed to because he is in confinement. But his mother came to the premiere, and she really liked it. She thought it was nice tribute.

Did you speak to her directly? Oh, yeah, she was a very nice lady. It was a very nice experience because everybody was so happy with it, even though it was so many other things than a biopic of Michael Peterson.

You also spoke directly to Michael Peterson over the phone in prison, is that right? It was only one time, and now because of the film’s success, all communication with him has been shut down from anybody. Nobody’s allowed to speak with him anymore. He would do anything to help the movie. He’s never seen it, but he thinks it’s the greatest film ever made.

Can you talk more about the conversation you had with him? I told him I wanted it to be two specific things. I wanted to know how he got back into prison after he was released for 69 days, and I wanted him to come up with some lines for the stage monologues.

Which lines specifically? “Prison was madness at its very best.”