As anticipation builds to a feverish pitch for the July 20 premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises", Warner Bros. has updated the film's official website with a new IMAX poster and extensive production notes that fill in some of the story details for the final installment of director Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy.
"Our story picks up eight years later, when it seems that Batman and Commissioner Gordon have succeeded -- the Dark Knight is no longer needed in Gotham," Nolan said. "In that regard, Bruce Wayne has won the battle, but he is traumatized by what happened and doesn't know how to move on from being the figure of Batman. "The Dark Knight Rises" very much deals with the consequences of his and other characters' actions in the previous films."
Although retired, it's the presence of Bane and his siege of Gotham that eventually spurs Bruce Wayne (played by Christian Bale) to don the cape and cowl again. "Bane is a terrorist in both his mentality and his actions," said Tom Hardy, who plays the hulking villain. "He is physically intimidating and he's also very intelligent, which makes him even more dangerous."
Explaining why he chose Bane as the finale's antagonist, Nolan said, "In deciding on who the next villain would be, it was imperative that it was someone completely different from the Joker -- that he be a brute force. The physical component of what Bruce Wayne does as Batman is of extraordinary importance, and we had not truly challenged that in the first two films. I really wanted to see Batman meet his match physically, as well as intellectually. Bane is raw strength with a fanatical devotion to duty, and that combination makes him unstoppable."
"This is the first time it appears highly unlikely that Batman will come out on top in a physical altercation," Bale added. "He has been dormant for years, so he's in a weakened condition to begin with, and Bane is not only incredibly strong but ruthless in terms of his sheer militancy and the ideology that drives him."
While Anne Hathaway first said only that Selina Kyle works by her own set of rules, the actress went into much more detail about her character. "I think Selina does what is necessary to survive and that includes crossing a few lines that others might find unforgivable," she said. "Even if she wants to change, it's hard to escape your past … and she does have a past. That makes her vulnerable, especially these days when anyone with a computer or smartphone can look up almost anything about you. Everybody has moments in life when they think, ‘If I knew then what I know now …' Selina might like the opportunity not to have to live by the choices she was forced to make up to this point."
With nearly 50 pages of information, we've only cracked the surface. The document goes into more detail about Hardy and the Bane mask, which he says didn't inhibit his performance at all. It also explains that the mask actually pumps pain medication into Bane's body, the result of a previous battle. "His life depends on it," Nolan said. "This is somebody whose history is carried with him in a very visible way on his face, making him, in a very real sense, monstrous." There's also talk of Hathaway's Catwoman suit, which was designed to be tight but not too revealing.
If those details aren't enough to whet a fan's appetite for the conclusion of Nolan's Batman saga, there's also a new Hong Kong trailer, which you can watch below. "The Dark Knight Rises" also stars Michael Caine as Alfred, Gary Oldman as Jim Gordon, Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox, Marion Cotillard as Miranda Tate and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake.