1. Christopher Nolan wasn't sure if he wanted to make a third Batman film at first. Two things eventually changed his mind. 1. Coming up with the soon-to-be-discussed ending to the film and 2) finding the right tone with co-writers Jonathan Nolan and David S. Goyer that would fit with the preceeding two films.
"There are very few very great third films," he said. "I think in some cases dissatisfaction with third films comes from the sheer exhaustion of the people making it. So I made the decision to do one film at a time and put everything into that film. There are certain third films that exist to fulfull a requirement for a sequel. I wanted a third film that had something to say, that was a conclusion to a larger story." Nolan says the development of the final film was "tricky," but ultimately his Batman finale aspires to blend the "romanticism" of "Batman Begins" with the "relentless crime thriller" of "The Dark Knight."
2. Peter Jackson's epic feat was an impressive inspiration for Nolan. At least through sheer determination and scale.
"I will cop to this: 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy was in the back of our minds the entire time we were making these," he admitted. "What Peter Jackson did was completely different. He had the whole story for all three films; he was physically capable of shooting it all at once. I can't imagine doing it myself. It's one of the great achievements in movies."
"It all comes back to 'Batman Begins' and the scene between Bruce and Alfred on the plane, when Bruce explains what he's going to do. It's not about beating up criminals one by one. It's about being a symbol. Bruce sees himself as a catalyst for change and only ever thinks of this as short term thing... Batman is the most interesting figure for dealing with the theme of the ends justifying the means. It's something I've always been interested in."
4. While a bit off his rocker, when examining Bruce Wayne closely, Nolan says the man is a "very aspirational figure."
"He's a human being. He's not Superman. He has no super powers," Nolan stressed. "Yes, he has extraodinary wealth [a theme evidently addressed in the movie], but on a very basic level, the way he tries to push himself, physically and mentally and dedicate himself ruthlessly to a cause, setting rules for himself -- there's something obsessive about that. Even distubring. But there's something admirable about it, too."
5. Christian Bale says the fascinating psychology behind Bruce Wayne's motivations -- his "multiple personalities" -- drew him to he character.
"I was playing the idea of there being three Bruce Waynes," he explained. "The public vacuous billionaire. The private Bruce Wayne who is still a child. And then the vengeful one who is a monster. It was a man playing multiple parts, a man who dresses up as a monster for a reason, because he feels monstrous, and so he must become a monster in those moments."
Check out the latest issue of EW to read more extensive thoughts from Bale, whether Nolan feels like he was snubbed by the Oscars in 2008, what both artists feel about Batman reboots that will happen without them and more. "The Dark Knight Rises" ascends on July 20th.