When Christopher Nolan was first tapped to reboot the Batman franchise in 2005, few people could have accurately predicted how well that pairing of filmmaker and material would work out. After all, at that point, Nolan had only one big studio credit to his name (2002's Insomnia) and no experience at all in the comic book realm. But the one-two punch of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight proved that he was more than up to the task. Fusing his own specific interests with familiar Batman iconography, Nolan crafted a distinct take on the character that pleased both comic book fans and general audiences... to the tune of over $700 million at the domestic box office combined.
Before The Dark Knight Rises closes out the current Batman series, we celebrate the anniversaries of two older Caped Crusaders.
At the end of Christopher Nolan's first Batman adventure, Batman Begins, Gotham cop (and future commissioner) James Gordon warned his new masked vigilante pal about the potential for "escalation" amongst the city's criminal element in the wake of the costumed crime-fighter's arrival. In the moment, that scene existed to set the stage for the arrival of more challenging villains like the Joker, whose flair for anarchy would baffle and befuddle Batman through the course of The Dark Knight. But in hindsight, that scene was really Nolan's warning to us the audience that he was planning on escalating the franchise, not to mention the entire comic book movie genre, far beyond its expected conventions.
The Dark Knight was the initial shot across the bow and now here comes Nolan's third and supposed final chapter, The Dark Knight Rises, which pushes the director's specific vision to its breaking point. With its super-sized three-hour runtime, expansive storytelling and enormous action set-pieces (many of which were filmed in the IMAX format, which is the ideal way to see the movie), Rises is the fulfillment of that seven-year old pledge from Nolan to moviegoers. When the title card finally appears onscreen at the end of the movie, it's his equivalent of dropping the mic and walking offstage. (WARNING: Spoilers Will Rise Beyond This Point)
The 2012 summer movie season has had its fair share of hits so far (The Avengers, Ted, The Amazing Spider-Man) but one film has loomed large over the multiplex landscape ever since the spring breeze gave way to summer heat: The Dark Knight Rises. The premiere of the third and final chapter in Christopher Nolan's genre redefining Batman series is now just two weeks away and Hollywood is clearing the way for his arrival: between now and the film's July 20th release date, the only major movie opening in wide release is the fourth Ice Age adventure. Yup, even the other studios are dying to see what Nolan has come up with.
Watch as Bane does the dance of the broken bat.
The press release is only a few hours old, but already Batman fans are divided over Anne Hathaway getting cast as Selina "Catwoman" Kyle in The Dark Knight Rises. (Note: Although the release only says "Selina Kyle," I'm gonna go out on a limb and assume that she will, at some point, put on a black jumpsuit and rob an apartment.) Tom Hardy is getting less flack for playing the normally Hispanic criminal Bane -- Hardy's muscles in Bronson and Bane's awful part in Batman & Robin help a lot -- but Hathaway is getting hit on all sides from people criticizing her looks, her acting ability and her personality, saying she's all wrong for the sultry cat burglar. While many are equally quick to defend her, I thought I'd throw in my two cents as to why she's perfect for the role. And no, I don't mean "purrr-fect." I'm not Eartha Kitt.