The Legend Ends

This month we preview the epic conclusion to filmmaker Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises.

Leading an all-star international cast, Oscar winner Christian Bale (“The Fighter”) again plays the dual role of Bruce Wayne/Batman. The film also stars Anne Hathaway, as Selina Kyle; Tom Hardy, as Bane; Oscar winner Marion Cotillard (“La Vie en Rose”), as Miranda Tate; and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, as John Blake.

Returning to the main cast, Oscar winner Michael Caine (“The Cider House Rules”) plays Alfred; Gary Oldman is Commissioner Gordon; and Oscar winner Morgan Freeman (“Million Dollar Baby”) reprises the role of Lucius Fox.

The secret to the success to the franchise comes from the roots of it’s screenplay and this film’s screenplay is written by Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan, story by Christopher Nolan & David S. Goyer.  The film is produced by Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan and Charles Roven, who previously teamed on “Batman Begins” and the record-breaking blockbuster “The Dark Knight.”  The executive producers are Benjamin Melniker, Michael E. Uslan, Kevin De La Noy and Thomas Tull, with Jordan Goldberg serving as co-producer.

The Director

Behind the scenes, “The Dark Knight Rises” reunites the director with several of his longtime collaborators, all of whom worked together on the “The Dark Knight.”  The creative team includes director of photography Wally Pfister, who recently won an Oscar for his work on Nolan’s “Inception”; production designer Nathan Crowley; editor Lee Smith; and Oscar-winning costume designer Lindy Hemming (“Topsy-Turvy”).  In addition, Paul Franklin and Chris Corbould, who both won Oscars for the effects in “Inception,” supervised the visual and special effects, respectively.

In helming the film, Christopher Nolan is utilizing IMAX cameras even more extensively than he did on “The Dark Knight,” which had marked the first time ever that a major feature film was partially shot with IMAX cameras.

With Emma Thomas, he is also serving as a producer on the Superman movie “Man of Steel,” being directed by Zack Snyder.

Born in London, Nolan began making movies at an early age with his father’s Super-8mm camera.  While studying English Literature at University College London (UCL), he shot 16mm films at UCL’s film society, learning the guerrilla film techniques he would later use to make his first feature, “Following.”  The noir thriller was recognized at a number of international film festivals, prior to being released theatrically.

The Cast

Christian Bale (Bruce Wayne/Batman)

Bale was born in Wales and grew up in England and the USA.  He made his film debut in Steven Spielberg’s World War II epic “Empire of the Sun.”

Bale’s work to date includes “Henry V,” “The Portrait of a Lady,” “The Secret Agent,” “Metroland,” “Velvet Goldmine,” “All the Little Animals,” “American Psycho,” “Laurel Canyon,” “The Machinist,” “Batman Begins,” “The New World,” “The Prestige,” “Harsh Times,” “Rescue Dawn,” “3:10 to Yuma,” “I’m Not There,” “The Dark Knight,” “Public Enemies” and “The Fighter.”

Gary Oldman (Commissioner Jim Gordon)

Nearly 20 years as a worldwide presence in major motion pictures, he is also known to millions as Sirius Black (Harry Potter’s Godfather), Dracula, Beethoven, Lee Harvey Oswald, Joe Orton, Sid Vicious, and also the terrorist who hijacked Harrison Ford’s “Air Force One.”  He also starred in Luc Besson’s “The Professional” and “The Fifth Element” and also as Dr. Zachary Smith in “Lost in Space.”

Highly regarded as one of the foremost actors of his generation, and an internationally known, iconic figure, he has the distinction of appearing in more successful films than any other artist spanning the past eighteen years.

Tom Hardy (Bane)

Tom has quickly become one of Hollywood’s most sought after actors.

Hardy most recently appeared in the critically acclaimed film “Inception,” directed by Christopher Nolan. Starring alongside Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, Ken Watanabe, Michael Caine Marion Cotillard and Ellen Page,  the film centers around a corporate espionage thief who secretly extracts valuable information from the unconscious mind of his targets while they are dreaming. The film was released in July 2010 becoming the twenty-forth highest-grossing film of all time.

He also stared in the independent drama “Warrior,” with Nick Nolte and Jennifer Morrison. He recently wrapped “This Means War,” directed by McG. The story centers on two CIA agents and best friends (Hardy and Chris Pine) who fight over the affections of Reese Witherspoon’s character. In addition, Hardy recently wrapped Cold War thriller “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,” opposite Colin Firth and Gary Oldman.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Blake)

Joseph was recently seen starring in the Academy Award-nominated “Inception,” directed by Christopher Nolan and also starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Marion Cotillard and Ellen Page.  Among his other upcoming films are the Seth Rogen comedy “50/50,” also starring Anna Kendrick and Bryce Dallas Howard; and the action thriller “Premium Rush,” directed by David Koepp, who also co-wrote the script.  He recently wrapped production on “Looper,” for which he reunited with his “Brick” director, Rian Johnson, and will star opposite Bruce Willis and Emily Blunt.

Gordon-Levitt was also recently cast as Robert Todd Lincoln in the film “Lincoln,” alongside Daniel Day-Lewis and Tommy Lee Jones, which will be directed by Steven Spielberg.

Anne Hathaway (Selina Kyle/Catwoman)

Anne Hathaway shot to stardom when she starred opposite Meryl Streep in the sleeper hit “The Devil Wears Prada.”  In 2008, she secured her place among the highest echelon of actresses when she starred in Jonathan Demme’s critically acclaimed “Rachel Getting Married.”  Her performance in the film garnered nominations for an Academy Award, Golden Globe, Independent Spirit and SAG Award in the Lead Actress category.

She was awarded Best Actress by the National Board of Review, the Chicago Film Critics Association and the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

Morgan Freeman (Lucius Fox)

Academy Award-winning actor Morgan Freeman is one of the most recognizable figures in American cinema. His works are among the most critically and commercially successful films of all time and Freeman himself ranks 10th among worldwide top-grossing actors of all time. His films have earned over $3 billion in cumulative ticket sales.  Whether a role requires an air of gravitas; a playful smile, twinkle of the eye or a world-weary, yet insightful soul, Freeman’s ability to delve to the core of a character and infuse it with a quiet dignity has resulted in some of the most memorable portrayals ever recorded on film.

Freeman won the Academy Award in 2005 for Best Supporting Actor for his role in “Million Dollar Baby.”  In 1990, he won the Golden Globe for Best Actor for his performance in “Driving Miss Daisy.” Freeman also received an Academy Award nomination in 1987 for Best Supporting Actor for ‘street Smart” and in 1994 for Best Actor for “The Shawshank Redemption.”

MICHAEL CAINE (Alfred)

Michael Caine is one of the film industry’s most esteemed actors, with a career spanning over half a century and encompassing more than 100 films and a myriad of acting honours. A two-time Academy Award winner, Caine won his first Oscar, for Best Supporting Actor, for his work in Woody Allen’s “Hannah and Her Sisters,” for which he also received Golden Globe and BAFTA Award nominations. He took home his second Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in Lasse Hallström’s “The Cider House Rules,” also winning a Screen Actors Guild Award and earning Golden Globe and BAFTA Award nominations.

In addition, Caine has garnered four Oscar nominations for Best Actor, the first coming in 1966 for the title role in “Alfie,” for which he also received a Golden Globe nomination and a New York Film Critics Award. He earned his second Oscar nod, as well as a Golden Globe nomination and an Evening Standard Award, for the part of Milo Tindle in 1972’s ‘sleuth,” opposite Laurence Olivier. His role in “Educating Rita” brought him his third Oscar nomination, as well as Golden Globe and BAFTA Awards. He gained his latest Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA Award nominations for his work in 2002’s “The Quiet American,” for which he also won a London Film Critics Circle Award.

The Dark Knight Rises opens in cinemas 19 July

Images courtesy of Warner Bros Singapore

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