Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
'Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens' Trailer Hits Theaters This Friday 'Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens' Trailer Hits Theaters This Friday Christian Bale Admits He Was Initially "Jealous" When Ben Affleck Was Cast As Batman Christian Bale Admits He Was Initially "Jealous" When Ben Affleck Was Cast As Batman Watch: First Trailer For Thomas Vinterberg's 'Far From The Madding Crowd' Starring Carey Mulligan Watch: First Trailer For Thomas Vinterberg's 'Far From The Madding Crowd' Starring Carey Mulligan Watch: Zac Efron Talks About His Masturbation Techniques In 'The Interview' Segment With James Franco Watch: Zac Efron Talks About His Masturbation Techniques In 'The Interview' Segment With James Franco First Look Images: Patrick Stewart As A Neo-Nazi In 'Blue Ruin' Director Jeremy Saulnier's 'Green Room' & More First Look Images: Patrick Stewart As A Neo-Nazi In 'Blue Ruin' Director Jeremy Saulnier's 'Green Room' & More Watch: Footage From "Sick," Unreleased Marilyn Manson Video, Directed By Eli Roth & Featuring Lana Del Rey Watch: Footage From "Sick," Unreleased Marilyn Manson Video, Directed By Eli Roth & Featuring Lana Del Rey R.I.P. Mike Nichols (1931-2014) R.I.P. Mike Nichols (1931-2014) Christopher Nolan Talks 'Interstellar' Twist And Enigmatic Ending Christopher Nolan Talks 'Interstellar' Twist And Enigmatic Ending Watch: Al Pacino Plays An Aging Rocker Transformed By John Lennon In First Trailer For ‘Danny Collins’ Watch: Al Pacino Plays An Aging Rocker Transformed By John Lennon In First Trailer For ‘Danny Collins’ Review: 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1' Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Philip Seymour Hoffman, And More Review: 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1' Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Philip Seymour Hoffman, And More Watch: First Trailer For 'The Age Of Adaline' Starring Blake Lively, Ellen Burstyn And Harrison Ford Watch: First Trailer For 'The Age Of Adaline' Starring Blake Lively, Ellen Burstyn And Harrison Ford Review: Christopher Nolan's 'Interstellar' Starring Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway & More Review: Christopher Nolan's 'Interstellar' Starring Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway & More Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... SXSW Review: Spierig Brothers 'Predestination'  Starring Ethan Hawke SXSW Review: Spierig Brothers 'Predestination' Starring Ethan Hawke From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

'The Dark Knight Rises' Won't Reference The Joker At All, Plus More Revelations From Empire's Extensive Feature

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist June 5, 2012 at 11:25AM

We're now getting into the final stretch before "The Dark Knight Rises," probably the most anticipated film of a year that's had plenty of hotly anticipated pictures. After a main trailer a month or so back, we got another sneak peek of footage at Sunday's MTV Movie Awards, as well as a steady drip of posters and images that have managed to tease without giving away the whole shop.
22

Dark Knight Rises Flying Car
That flying batmobile from the trailer? It's known simply as 'The Bat.'
For all the artistry of the films, it does have to sell some toys as well, and each series entry has seen Batman get to play with a new bit of kit. "Batman Begins" saw the 'tumbler' Batmobile (which is seemingly replicated by Bane in the new film), and "The Dark Knight" saw that split off into the motorcycle-like Batpod. This time around, trailers have shown glimpses of a new flying craft piloted by Bruce Wayne, which Nolan says is known by a simple name. "It is called The Bat. I spent a long time trying to figure out clever names for 'bat-something-that-would fly,' then you go: 'Oh, it's a bat.' It's very much based on a double-bladed helicopter idea, once again a realistic approach to military hardware. We had [visual effects supervisor Chris] Corbould and his guys build it full-scale and come up with this great driving rig for it so we could photograph it in real streets, and there's a big computer-graphics component to it as well. It's fun to take Batman to the next level in terms of his transportation and weaponry -- in terms of his ability to fight people." Production designer Nathan Crowley adds "There is a story reason why Batman needed an Osprey-Jump-Jet-Harrier-Apache beast! It doesn't really fly, but we felt the technology had finally caught up to the point where we could pull it off between FX and practical."

The Joker won't even be referenced in the film.
Sadly, the death of Heath Ledger means that we'll never know if The Joker would have figured into Nolan's plans for a third film. But despite some speculating that the director would nod to the character, he says there won't be a single reference to the clownish criminal. "We're not addressing The Joker at all. That is something I felt very strongly about in terms of my relationship with Heath 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." Probably the right call to make, all in all.  

Tom Hardy, Dark Knight Rises
Everyone involved insists it's the end, but Christian Bale doesn't rule out further installments.
Much of the marketing and pre-release hype have focused on the film being the end to Nolan's trilogy. Indeed, Goyer says that the film started with a germ of an idea for the ending, one that remains intact in the finished film, and which the writer, when he saw it, "got a complete lump in my throat." Most involved are adamant that this is the big finale, drawing a line on the story with a definitive finale: "It's the right way to end it -- to blow the whole thing up" says Jonah Nolan. "I think with almost every other franchise it's a mistake to try and keep those plates spinning. You want stakes. You want tectonic plates to shift. And as a writer you wanna feel like you've worked on a complete story, with a beginning, a middle and an end." And the director certainly seems to be cutting his ties with the series, saying "It's an incredibly fun arena to work in and incredibly rewarding, so I will look back on it very fondly. But I'm done with it." That being said, all involved are realistic about Warner's future plans for the character: David Goyer says "It would be ridiculous to expect that Warner Bros. wouldn't attempt to do something." And Christian Bale says that, while his experience on "Terminator: Salvation" makes him cautious, he'd be game for a fourth if Nolan was: "My understanding is that this is the last one... I've had that experience with another thing of thinking a fourth one could work and it didn't really happen -- and that's a thorn in my side. So if Chris came to me with a script and said, 'You know what? There is another story,' then I would love the challenge of making a fourth one work."

"The Dark Knight Rises" hits theaters on July 20th. Tickets go on sale Monday, we believe.

This article is related to: The Dark Knight Rises, Christopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan, David S. Goyer, Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Heath Ledger


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates