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Old 07-05-2012, 05:20 AM   #201
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Day 5 of Empire's TDKR countdown is posted: http://www.empireonline.com/intervie...w.asp?IID=1526

It's an interview with Michael Caine:

Quote:
It's impossible to imagine Christopher Nolan's Batman films without Sir Michael Caine's steady presence as Bruce Wayne's loyal retainer Alfred. Impeccably mannered but clearly concealing steal beneath his white gloves, this Alfred is a force to be reckoned with in his own right. We talked to Caine about his role as Nolan's lucky charm...

The Dark Knight Rises is your fifth movie with Christopher Nolan now. How would you sum him up your experience working with him?
Absolutely great. I was thinking about it now, having finished the last one, that what happened was when you do that kind of movie, you wind up with working with the greatest technicians in every field, in the entire movie industry anywhere. We had the greatest music, the greatest cameraman, the greatest stunts, special effects, scenery, design… It's fabulous. And of course, one of the greatest talents of a director is casting. I once said to John Houston when I was working with him on The Man Who Would Be King, "what is the talent of a director?" He said "casting", and you look at the cast of actors that Chris has got. It's absolutely wonderful every time. And this one, Dark Knight Rises, is no exception. He's got one of my favourite new young British actors, Tom Hardy, who I saw on television a couple of years ago and I went, "who the bloody hell is that?" And he's proved me right.

Did Chris ever say why he wanted you for Alfred? You mentioned The Man Who Would Be King, I think that's one of his favourites.
He didn't say. He just said, "I'd like you to play the butler". I mean, I don't come in and say, "dinner is served" or anything. The butler is an essential character in the whole movie; he's not massive but that pleased me. I don't want to do massive.

But you get some great moments...
I get some great moments. I have a couple in this last one, too.

What's new with Alfred then, in The Dark Knight Rises?
Its such a plot point that I can't tell you. We've signed agreements for silence. I think I'd go to jail if I told you. Or I'd have to kill you. But we don't want either of those things to happen!

It looks absolutely huge, a full-on, epic war movie. What was the experience like making it for you?
For me, it was incredible because the great thing about it was - and the secret of the success of this picture as opposed to those massive blockbusters out there - is the stunts and special effects are real. There is very, very little computer generated imaging in it. All these other ones you see a million people marching towards you, you know they've photographed ten and just kept doubling it up and up and up. In ours, when the stuntman falls off the roof, it's a real man falling off the roof and hitting the bottom. And I think that is very important. It's very human and I suppose the class of acting is a little better... For a start both Batman and the butler are Oscar-winnters! (laughs). Gary Oldman, who's the chief of police, nearly became one himself, do you see what I mean? So it's a very high standard of acting, and a very high standard of reality. That's the secret of that series, for me.

How did it compare with making Batman Begins, your first one with Chris?
It's always the same. He's got an overcoat on and a flask of tea in his pocket. He's very quiet and he just wanders around looking at everything, and then he comes up and whispers something to you and everything is very controlled. Everybody knows exactly what they're doing... With the exception of me! (laughs). Its true, I think he's the great new director of our time. That's my opinion.

How do you feel about Chris now ending the series?
He's got to go on, he's got some other idea, and I'm in it! I've been in everything he's done since he's been in Hollywood. We're each others' good luck charms. I always say to him, "I'm not your good luck charm, you are mine!" (laughs)

Do you talk movies much with him? Do you have similar tastes or reference points?
We don't talk much movies. We have dinner and it could be about anything, but normally the dinner is associated with the movie. He lives in Hollywood so I barely see him. I haven't had a private dinner with him for two years! But we've had lots of dinners on jobs. When we go on jobs we go on dinners every night. We start off in LA, then go to New York and then we come to London, then we go to Paris... So we see a lot of each other. But once he's off on his films and I'm off on mine, we don't see each other again. We don't have much of a social life because I live in Surrey and he lives in Hollywood.

Will you miss playing Alfred?
In a way, but in a way it's right. I mean, I've played him three times. His role in Batman is to be your reality. When you get into the fantasy, suddenly you've got the butler there saying exactly what you're thinking - "you can't do that! You can't go flying up in a bat suit in here! What are you, nuts?!" He is the foot on the ground and that's what was always important to me. And I played it that way. I remember once when Chris told me this would be the last one I said, "if they're doing another one I'm going to play the butler if it's any good and if they offer it to me." He said, "I want ten percent." I said, "No, you're not getting it!". It's that sort of relationship...

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Old 07-05-2012, 11:07 PM   #202
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‘Dark Knight Rises’: Christopher Nolan takes Batman to new place

From a distance, Christopher Nolan’s Gotham City sure doesn’t look like much. The “skyline” begins to emerge over the horizon in the rolling green farmlands about 50 miles north of London, but there are no gothic spires or granite citadels, just the slanted, pocked roofs of two boxy metal buildings.

But nearing the complex on a winding two-lane road, the immensity of the filmmaker’s make-believe metropolis comes into focus: The structures that looked squat from afar are actually 15 stories tall — and as long as 81-story skyscrapers lying on their sides. Constructed more than 80 years ago to house Britain’s Royal Airship Works, the giant coffin-shaped sheds sat unused or ignored for years, and waiting for some great undertaking, after the nation’s flagship dirigible went down in flames in a horrific 1930 crash in France.

The field mice had run of the buildings but after the southern shed was renovated in 1994 it was used every now and then by rock stars preparing for tours (U2 and Paul McCartney among them) and the occasional Hollywood production. Then 525-ton door opened for Nolan in 2004. Cardington has since become a special home base, which is fitting given the fact that illusion, extreme architecture, old-school craft and colossal scale are screen trademarks for the London-born filmmaker best known for his three Batman films and “Inception.”

For 2005′s “Batman Begins” they put in the faux masonry of the Narrows and Arkham Asylum. Nolan’s team added to the indoor cityscape for 2009′s billion-dollar hit sequel “The Dark Knight” and then, for the topsy-turvy fights of “Inception,” special effect guru Chris Corbould built a spinning corridor that made actors like hamster in a wheel. More recently, Nolan and production designer Nathan Crowley added an cruel and exotic underground prison for “The Dark Knight Rises” which opens July 18 and will be Nolan’s final take on the Caped Crusader for Warner Bros.“I think my dad put it best when he visited and referred to it as the world’s largest toy box,” Nolan, back in Los Angeles, said last week with a rare relaxed chuckle. “That is somewhat how it felt to me. We’d wander around and feel it was a great privilege…. There’s an awful lot of my history with the Batman films and also ‘Inception.’ It’s all there.”

If there was a documentary about the 41-year-old Nolan’s own life, that stroll around Cardington could set up a flashback to a key childhood moment: At age 7, he picked up his father’s Super 8 camera and made a film with his Action Man toys (that was the alternative brand that Hasbro used when its deployed its G.I. Joe-style toys in England and Australia). Film and storytelling as pursuits possessed him. Bt 16, he was already puzzling out a story he wanted to tell about dream control; so while other kids were climbing the levels in “Super Mario Bros.,” the intense Nolan was piecing together the tale that would someday became “Inception.”

Nolan broke through in 2000 with his reverse riddle “Memento” (it was based on a short story by his brother, Jonathan Nolan) which earned him an Oscar nomination for screenwriting (two more nods followed for “Inception”). Yet even as he’s become a top filmmaker whose films vie against CG-laden, 3-D spectacles for summer box office bragging rights, Nolan is a decidedly old soul with an outsider aura.

An English literature major who rarely leaves the house without a suit coat, he has no email account, no cellphone, and here in this digital summer of 2012, his Batman movie is the only major popcorn release shot on film stock. He shuns 3-D, typically goes light on digital effects and his stories and characters are not just serious, they’re grim — unlike the wisecracking heroes of “The Avengers” or the just-released “Amazing Spider-Man.” (If Tony Stark ever dropped by Wayne Manor you suspect the first thing he would ask is, “Why so serious?”)

As “Dark Knight Rises” opens, Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) is a sullen shadow of himself, and instead of his Batman mask he hides behind a scraggly hermit’s beard. Eight years have passed since the murder of his true love, Rachel Dawes, and the fatal tumble of the deranged Harvey Dent. With the weight of those memories, the recluse must lean on a cane as he wanders a sealed-off wing of Wayne Manor. The world outside out claws away at that isolation, almost literally in the case of Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) the femme fatale traditionally called Catwoman.

Things get worse for Wayne and Gotham as a mysterious terrorist named Bane (Tom Hardy) unleashes a campaign to sever the city from the outside world; like a brawny butcher swinging a cleaver, there’s no hesitation or empathy that slows his hand as goes about his wet work amid the body count. Anarchy spreads but the chaos is only a cover for the Bane’s true plans — those, like the villain himself, are difficult to unmask.

Some scenes of Wayne’s reclusive bitterness and the urban bedlam evoke the landmark Frank Miller 1986 limited series “The Dark Knight Returns,” which (along with “Watchmen”) propelled much of the comics world into deep, dark grit for the next decade. The reminder of that raises a question for the (apparently inexhaustible) sub-genre of superhero films: Which will echo in the mind of filmmakers more in the years to come, “The Avengers” of “The Dark Knight Rises”?

Even with Cardington and its elbow room, the Nolan film logged a lot of airport time. “Dark Knight Rises” was shot in India, London, Glasgow, Pittsburgh, New York, Newark and Los Angeles. Last year, shooting a scene from the $250-million-plus production at the Senate House on the University of London campus, Nolan was watching the action unfold as Bale finished an intense sequence with Morgan Freeman, Marion Cotillard and Hathaway. After the group had run through the scene multiple times, Nolan walked over to her with upbeat posture of baseball manager taking the temperature of a jittery pitcher.

His advice? Take down the supervillain intonations creeping into the dialogue, Hathaway recalled later on set, still clad in her character’s skin-tight, black battle togs. “There’s no mustache-twirling in Gotham City,” she said. “That’s why what Chris does is really special and celebrated and successful. This is not making fun of the material. It’s serious.” (Hathaway is apparently a good listener, too, her wry and savvy version of Selena has franchise producer Emma Thomas especially eager for the release; the filmmakers heard the fanboy skepticism that greeted the casting. “I can’t wait for people to see what she’s done, she’s brilliant.”)

On the topic of tone, Bale agreed with Hathaway, adding that while Nolan’s Batman movies “have the roller-coaster element and the visual spectacle” required of any superhero film, they veer away from “the silly stuff.” The silly stuff was the enemy that Batman couldn’t beat at one point. Last month was the 15th anniversary of “Batman & Robin,” which presented George Clooney in a Bat-suit with Bat-nipples, and a very different version of Bane — he was essentially a mute, lab-created pro wrestler. Typical line from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Mr. Freeze ”No matter what anyone tells you, Bane, it really is the size of your gun that counts.”

The camp is gone and now the movie are assembled like intricate time pieces. The third movie, especially, has the calibrated plot gears and satisfying story clicks that made “The Prestige” and “Memento” multiple-viewing material for disciples of the director’s film. And while Nolan’s actors are clear about the tone he wants to set, they say they are often in the dark about what the director is actually putting together until they watch the completed movie.

“The things he’s doing in these films, a lot of it I don’t get to see — I’m not aware of it — until I sit and watch the finished film,” Bale said as Nolan and his crew prepared for a scene of total civic chaos. “There’s so much there in script but it comes together when Chris editing it. He knows what it is going to be. That’s why he’s very decisive on the set. The pieces already fit together in his mind.”

Nolan said a primary goal of the third and final installment in his Batman series is to create “a unified statement, a real ending, a true conclusion.” The filmmaker collaborated with David S. Goyer on the story for the new film and then co-wrote it with his brother, Jonathan — an approach that held throughout the trilogy. The third act of the third film delivers a serious of jolting twists and jarring turns and an exclamation point climax. Nolan finale takes Batman and his on-screen mythology to place it has never been before.

While the details can’t discussed, of course, the director enjoys broader conversation about the infrastructure. Fascinated with architecture, the filmmaker describes the rises and falls of his characters as if they elevation points of a blueprint plan. He also presents the trilogy almost as a tale of different levels — the heights of the city, the street level and the underground of caves and sewers. “Dark Knight Rises” presents a story where greed, hypocrisy and false justice bring the down the city’s bridges, stadium and the houses of government.

“We really wanted a cast of thousands, literally, and all of that for me is trying to represent the world in primarily visual and architectural terms,” Nolan said. “So the thematic idea is that the superficial positivity is being eaten away from underneath; we tried to make that quite literal.”

Due to commercial interest in the film and pundit culture of today, “Rises” will be parsed for political messages and controversy fodder so much will be made of images of financial market abuse, politicians behaving badly, a terrorist attack at a professional football game and looting riots. To Nolan, the goal doesn’t seem to be commentary, he just looking for the believable swirl of circumstances needed to get Bruce Wayne back in the cowl.

What’s next for Nolan? He and Thomas (who met in college, married and have four children and eight feature films) are producing “Man of Steel,” the Superman reboot with new star Henry Cavill and director Zack Snyder (Nolan and Goyer also have a story credit on the film). Warner Bros. executives have made it clear they would like Nolan and Thomas to have a similar guiding hand on the next Batman movie.

After “Dark Knight Rises,” moviegoers might expect a respectful recess after Nolan’s Batman, but the character may be too powerful an engine (for the sales of toys, video games, apparel, comics and home video, etc.) to leave parked in a quiet Batcave.

Just as Sony already has a new Spider-Man team in theaters (just 10 years after the start of the first trilogy), Warners is approaching the Caped Crusader as an open-ended, almost seasonal question: What’s our next Batman plan? The impulse has fiscal logic for Warner Bros.; the kids from Hogwarts aren’t around to wave their wands over the box office grosses of the next decade and, well, “Green Lantern II” doesn’t have the right ring to it.

The best option may be a “Batman” reboot with an anointed replacement (perhaps the director’s brother, Jonathan, or his Oscar-winning cinematographer, Wally Pfister) or perhaps an outside candidate (Nicolas Winding Refn of “Drive” seems to be on the fans’ ballot while actor-director Ben Affleck delivered the tone-reminiscent ”The Town” for Warner Bros., Tull and Legendary Pictures).

Nolan himself is the most interesting question mark. Does his persistence on “Inception” hint that he might return to a long-simmering project, such as the Howard Hughes film he flirted with a decade ago? Nolan has often spoken of his fondness for James Bond films and he certainly shows an affinity for globetrotting projects. If so that’s a suitcase he’ll said pack another day. The director, who lives here in Los Angeles, said all he’s thinking about is a vacation.

– Geoff Boucher

http://herocomplex.latimes.com/2012/...r&dlvrit=63378


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Old 07-06-2012, 04:46 AM   #203
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Day 6 of Empire's TDKR countdown is posted: http://www.empireonline.com/intervie...w.asp?IID=1527

It's an interview with Gary Oldman:

Quote:
What was your first meeting with Christopher Nolan about playing Jim Gordon like?
I never had a meeting with him about Jim Gordon. We'd met for a cup of coffee at the 101 Café in Hollywood and he was talking about his reinterpretation of Batman and his life through the comic and where it had travelled, really. From Tim Burton to... absolute ****. I mean, the last movie, whatever it was in the franchise, the early franchise with Mr Freeze, they should take that can of film and blow it up! Chris admired and was a fan of the comic and the original conception of Batman, which was darker. So that was basically the pitch, he was saying, 'I'm going to reinterpret it, I'm going to try and base it more in reality, there will be explanations'. I thought it sounded fantastic. Then they came in with a villain. And I was at that point where you say, "Oh. I can't do that anymore". I really felt I'd played all the notes that I could in terms of villains.

So how did you come to play Gordon then?
I had a think, and then I said to my manager, "What about Jim Gordon?" And they proposed it to [Chris] and, to his credit, he cast me. He went, "Oh that's an interesting idea". And you really get thrown into the deep end. We had a conversation over the phone, we did the deal, the dates were ready for when I'd fly to England. The first day we got to a set - a night shoot - it was me getting out of a cop car on the dock, looking up at the round-up of villains, not knowing who the hell had rounded them up. We did the first rehearsal and he said, "Oh, OK, so you're playing him like that." "Yeah." And he went, "Huh. OK. All right. Take?" And I went, "Yeah." And we did a take and he went, "Very nice. OK. Do you want another one?" And I said, "Well, I've come all this way." He went, "Alright, do another one." We did take two and he went, "Terrific. OK, moving on..." [laughs]. I think sometimes people want it to be far more complex and important and you go, "No, it's as simple as getting off a plane having done your work - or hoping that you've done your work - and walking on a set in front of a camera". There's no rehearsal, there's no whistles and bells and frills. It's just, you know, it's guerilla. You jump out of the helicopter and you're in the battle.

So is that how Chris is as an actor's director? Is it very much that he lets you find the voice and the style yourself?
Well, my experience with him has been that. I think perhaps if I'd done something that he didn't like, he might have said, "Make it more like this," but he trusts the people he casts. He has a great deal of trust, and he expects you to do the work. You've got to turn up ready and prepared; he has no truck with people who are not ready. It's not that he's a bully, he's not a screamer. I've never actually heard him raise his voice to anyone. It's not that he completely leaves you alone, either. You'll do a take and he might step in and say, "There's a little more urgency to this, there's a little more at stake," or "Pull back off on this a bit because remember you've got this scene and this scene coming up, so give me a different colour here that you can play later". He tweaks and nudges rather than tell you how to do it. Listen, I've directed and it's like a benign dictatorship in that you've got to kind of manipulate. I always think directors get what they want but they do it in such a way that the actor feels that they've come up with the idea, when in fact you're giving the director what he wanted all along. There's a real art and a skill to it and a sort of diplomacy involved. Everybody has their way of working. [Tom] Hardy will just want to talk it out and talk it out and talk it out and analyse it. Some people sit quietly on it.

What's Christian Bale's approach?
Christian... I've never really talked to him about it. I've always really got to the set and I mean he's always ready. I just noticed with Tom that he sort of has to bounce it around a bit. And of course Michael! There was one scene [on The Dark Knight Rises] where Michael, Michael Caine, had to get very emotional and it's almost heart-breaking, it's almost too painful to watch. And he came in, take one: Got it. Take two: Got it. Take three: Nailed it. I mean it was like watching a masterclass in acting. I said to Christian at the time, "That is how it's ****ing done." Just seeing it. No messing.

It's funny, because Christian said he said he doesn't feel like he's properly worked with you, even though he's done three films with you, because he's always behind that cowl and it creates this distance. Do you appreciate that?
Yeah, he's rather formidable and he's rather scary in those scenes. In the flesh. It always struck me that it's one of those costumes, it plays well on screen but in person it works, too. He's not Method but he gets there, and when he's Batman he keeps that vocal quality. He keeps it in that register. He can have a laugh, it does make him get a bit silly, and that's Christian's way of surviving, that he can come out of character and make jokes. I think that keeps him sane. And we were using summer for winter so we were standing there in overcoats and scarves and gloves and it's snowing and it's 105 degrees and he's in that suit... It is weird; I don't see Christian, I come in and I meet him on set as Batman.

There was a really big gear shift from Batman Begins to The Dark Knight. How would you define the gear shift again to this final instalment?
Well this is truly... Epic. You know those Fast And Furious movies where they drive at one speed, then they hit that button? And they put the octane or the gas into the engine and they seem to drive at hyperspeed? This is Chris hitting the button. This is the Fast And Furious version. It is a truly epic conclusion to the whole thing, and I don't mean that in a gratuitous way.

How has this whole experience been for you then? Will you miss it?
I think when you're into something like this and you don't know if there's going to be a third - for instance, when we made Dark Knight we didn't know for sure there'd be a third - you go about your life; it's not something that you're constantly thinking about. But once you're there back with all the people again it's like a reunion. There's all the same old people, the same old camera crew, the same old Wally [Pfister, cinematographer], there's the make-up people and you just sort of get back into the swing of it and it's just great to see everyone. So that's a bit bad, that we won't all get together again - or certainly not in that way. I may end up working with Chris again and I may end up working with Christian and Michael or any one of them, but it will be in a different situation. When you like something and you enjoy something you want it to go on. But it's all got to end sometime.


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Old 07-08-2012, 08:46 AM   #204
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Day 8 of Empire's TDKR countdown: http://www.empireonline.com/features/heath-ledger-joker

The Making of The Joker:

Quote:
“AND... HERE... WE... GO!”
Charles Roven (producer): When Chris Nolan brought his vision to Batman he went back to the core of the character from the Detective Comics, when the series first started. Batman Begins was, for all of us — led by him — a reinvention of that iconic franchise. So there was no reason not to treat Batman Begins as the first Batman, and the story continues on. In our history, once Batman began and started to clean the streets of Gotham City, the good news was he was taking on organised crime. But the bad news is that the guy who does it by running round in a bat suit and a cape will attract some pretty fringe people. And the most fringe and most dangerous — but yet the most entertaining — is The Joker. That’s why The Joker had to be in The Dark Knight.
David S. Goyer (co-writer): Even though Batman Begins ended with that tantalising thing with the Joker card, which is something that I had suggested fairly early on and that we thought would be really fun, it wasn’t like, “Oh OK, so here’s what the sequel’s gonna be.” It wasn’t really until maybe three months after Batman Begins came out that Chris sat down with me for lunch and said, “OK, let’s talk about a sequel”.
Christopher Nolan (director/producer/co-writer): I didn’t have any intention of making a sequel to Batman Begins and I was quite surprised to find myself wanting to do it. I just got caught up in the process of imagining how you would see a character like The Joker through the prism of what we did in the first film.
Emma Thomas (producer): From the very beginning of [The Dark Knight], as soon as Chris and (co-writer) David Goyer decided we were going to follow the lead set at the end of the first film and really deal with the character of the Joker, we knew what was going to be the big challenge: coming up against the iconography.
Jonathan Nolan (co-writer): What’s so great about these characters is they’ve been around so long and they’ve been through so many iterations that it’s a little like Shakespeare: it’s people coming in and having their own take on a familiar character and viewing it through a different lens. I think the Joker particularly was a lesson for me because that character can connect to the peyote stories of Native American mythology, and Loki in Norse mythology, and there are so many examples of a Joker-like figure that you can endlessly reinvent that character.
Goyer: I like the Burton films a lot, but the one bone to pick with film, television, anything: I just never felt that the Joker was scary. Chris and I wanted the Joker to be scary. Which is what led to The Dark Knight.
Roven: We were very fortunate that a lot of people really enjoyed Batman Begins, not just as a Batman film, but as a really good film. So we hoped that we would have a lot of goodwill with where we were going.
Sir Michael Caine (Alfred): When Chris called me [about The Dark Knight] I asked, “Who’s the villain?” He said, “The Joker.” I thought, “Oh, Jack Nicholson, who’s going to top that?” I thought for a moment “We’re in trouble here, that’s not a great decision. You don’t try and top Jack”.
Nolan: I had no reservations about following Jack Nicholson’s Joker. And that was very important to us deciding to do it. I certainly knew that, story-wise, who the character was going to be very different. Our version of The Joker was drawn very much from the earliest of the comics, really the first couple of stories where The Joker appeared. I think I made Jonah watch Fritz Lang’s Dr Mabuse prior to writing the Joker…
Heath Ledger (The Joker), speaking in August 2007: I was a huge fan of Jack Nicholson’s Joker, but, you know, having seen Chris’ first [Batman] film, I knew there was a big difference between a Chris Nolan film and a Tim Burton film. And so therefore there was enough room for a fresh portrayal.
"Heath generated an energy and excitement on set that's rare among actors."Aaron Eckhart
“HOW ABOUT A MAGIC TRICK?”Caine: I asked Chris, “Who’s going to play it?” and he said “Heath!” I thought: “Now that’s the one guy that could do it!” [laughs] My confidence came back. And then when I did this sequence with Heath, I knew we were in for some really good stuff.
Nolan: Obviously, I wanted someone with great talent for the part, but when I met with Heath and talked with him about the way I was looking at the character, it became very clear that he wasn’t afraid to take on such an iconic character, which is a tall order! When I first met with him on the project — he came on board very early — I talked with him about the anarchic elements that I saw as being the more realistic Joker, the guy who would actually frighten an audience, and he'd already come up with a lot of that on his own.
Ledger: Chris and I very much saw eye-to-eye on how the character should be played, and it was evident from the meeting that we had a project. We had identical images within our minds.
Nolan: We talked a lot about Alex in A Clockwork Orange, people like that. He'd come up with the same things independently. I looked into his eyes and I just saw... This guy knows he can do something here, he wants to get in and do this thing. And that was without even a script! I always felt — because people were uncertain about the casting; other people were a little surprised by it, I think — but I always felt very strongly that he was going to really put everything into his performance and really do something extraordinary.
Roven: We did consider other actors for the role, but I won’t tell you who. You can imagine that when you’re sitting around talking about who might be interested in playing the role, your mind runs to a lot of names. I’m not going to say that some other names weren’t discussed, but there was only one person that there was ever any serious exchange with.
Ledger: I sat around in a hotel room in London for about a month and I just locked myself away and formed a little diary and experimented with voices. I ended up landing more with in the realm of like a psychopath, someone with no empathy. Very little to no conscience towards his acts. Which is fun, because there is no real limit on the boundaries to what he'd say or how you would say something or what he would do. And I don't know; it's always a very personal process in terms of how you land in the character's shoes, so to speak. It's a combination of reading all the comic books I could and the script and then just really closing my eyes and meditating on it. Also, there is something about the metaphor of working behind the mask, and from within a mask. It always gives you the license to do whatever you want.
“LET’S PUT A SMILE ON THAT FACE!”
Lindy Hemming (costume designer): What we were searching for at the very beginning of how to do this Joker, were images. I was looking through images of people who might have dressed like that in the pop world and the fashion world. You can imagine Vivienne Westwood meets Johnny Rotten, Sid Vicious, Pete Doherty. You think of all those people who dress themselves up and are very interested in their appearance — and then we added into it the life of him. So whatever it is that's wrong with him — made him be like this — means he doesn't care about himself at all, really. He's very sweaty and he probably doesn't have a proper home. We were trying to make him sort of a... I don't want to say vagrant... But a back-story for him that he really doesn't look after himself.
Conor O’Sullivan (prosthetics supervisor): I was never given a concept or reason for the scarring before I started on the design of the Joker’s scars. Once I had it in my mind that it was going to be scars, rather than a fixed smile, I immediately thought of the punk and skinhead era and some unsavoury characters I had come across during this time. The terminology for this type of wound is a ‘Glasgow’ or ‘Chelsea smile’. My references had to be real. A delivery of fruit machines was made to the estate near my workshop and the man delivering them had a ‘Chelsea smile'. I plucked up the courage to ask him for a photo and he told me the story of how he had got his scars while being involved with “a dog fight”; needless to say I didn't pursue the matter, but the photos proved to be very useful reference.
Ledger: It takes about an hour to an hour-and-a-half to get the makeup on. It's pretty quick. They've come up with a new technology for the mouthpiece, as the scars are made out of silicone not prosthetic. My whole bottom lip is fake.
O’Sullivan: After a discovery on the film The Last Samurai, I realised that the best way to apply prosthetics was with a 'carrier' rather than just fitting them by hand after you've taken them out of the mould. This preserved the delicate blending edges as well as the integrity of the sculpture, whilst allowing you to make extremely soft pieces. It took myself and Rob Trenton three years and about £25,000 to work out the method. Once we had perfected the system we discovered that not only were you able to produce perfect, high-definition quality prosthetics on anyone, but it also took you less than half the time to apply — a real selling point when it came to dealing with expensive and tired actors!
Ledger: Then it takes 20 minutes to half-an-hour to paint the face…
O’Sullivan: On the test day Heath was very involved with the painting, and between him, John [Caglione, Jr, makeup artist] and Chris they gravitated towards a Francis Bacon painting that Chris kept referring to. The scarring set the position of the red 'smile' and gave a physical deformity to the whole thing, while the black-and-white makeup gave the ragged clown look.
Heath Ledger and Christian Bale filming The Dark Knight's infamous interrogation scene.
“I’M JUST AHEAD OF THE CURVE”
Nolan: Our Joker — Heath's interpretation of The Joker — has always been the absolute extreme of anarchy and chaos, effectively. He's pure evil through pure anarchy. And what makes him terrifying is to not humanise him in narrative terms. Heath found all kinds of fantastic ways to humanise him in terms of simply being real and being a real person, but in narrative terms we didn't want to humanise him, we didn't want to show his origins, show what made him do the things he's doing because then he becomes less threatening.
Christian Bale (Bruce Wayne/Batman): Heath was totally pushing it with The Joker. He was loving doing that. It was like seeing another actor, you know, going crazy with their role in the kind of immersion of it. And he was just… he was this sort of… punk, you know? An anarchistic, sort of crazy, uh… thing that was kind of crawling at you. He did a fantastic job.
"The Joker is very much an absolute, and Heath played it that way."Christopher Nolan
Michael Caine (Alfred): Heath’s Joker is incredible. He is very, very scary. I turned up every month or so to do my bit, then go back to London. I turned up and had to do a bit where Batman and I watch a video done by the Joker to threaten us. I had never seen him and he came on the television and I completely forgot my lines. I quit. Because it was so stunning. It was quite amazing.Nolan: The Joker is very much an absolute, and Heath played it that way. What was incredible about the way he played it is it's funny; he's created an iconic performance, but there's a vulnerability, there's something... there's depth to it, that's just there simply in the way he plays it, but not in the narrative per se. Simply in the way he plays it, he just manages to make this guy real, and therefore, much more frightening, I think, because you can kind of believe in him, you can believe he could walk in the room and just start being particularly unpleasant, the way he sometimes does.
Bale: I really enjoy when somebody is pushing the work as much as he did. You can see how much he loved it. And I’m like that myself, so you can enjoy it that much more when you get a like-minded spirit. We were very good together.
Jonathan Nolan: Heath’s take on the character will probably be one of the absolute highlights of my career in terms of a great character, a great actor — that was an amazing thing to work on and to experience.
Aaron Eckhart (Harvey Dent): Heath was deeply loved on this movie. It’s very rare that when an actor comes on set every single day that the crew is excited. He generated an energy and excitement that is rare among actors. Chris's eyes would sparkle whenever he talked about Heath. I had the experience of acting with him. Just as an actor, to watch somebody else who makes such bold choices and knows the material so well and is so committed to his character, it's exciting for me as an actor because you're really able to take your character to another level. Heath certainly did that. The movie obviously, in my opinion, in my heart is dedicated to Heath 100 percent. That’s really all I can say. The movie is his.
Ledger: It's the most fun I've had playing a role. I'm really surprised Chris knew that I could do it. And I don't know how he came to cast me. But yeah, it is the bomb. It's definitely the most fun I've had, and the most freedom I had.

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Old 07-08-2012, 04:18 PM   #205
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Here's an updated schedule of talk show appearances. Thanks to kvz5:

http://forums.superherohype.com/showthread.php?t=387455

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Old 07-08-2012, 04:55 PM   #206
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http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=92305

Quote:
Christopher Nolan on The Dark Knight Rises' Literary Inspiration
Source: Silas Lesnick July 8, 2012

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."

With what is arguably the most famous opening line in all of literature, Charles Dickens' "A Tale of Two Cities" paints a portrait of the class struggle taking place in Europe in the late 18th century. In less than two weeks, it's a theme that Christopher Nolan is employing to bring about the conclusion of his Batman trilogy with the release of The Dark Knight Rises.

Speaking at this morning's press conference for the film, Nolan and his brother and screenwriting partner, Jonathan, answered ComingSoon.net's question about the film's direct and indirect allusions to Dickens' masterpiece.

"When Jonah showed me his first draft of his screenplay, it was 400 pages long or something," says the director. "It had all this crazy stuff in it. As part of a primer when he handed it to me, he said, 'You've got to think of 'A Tale of Two Cities' which, of course, you've read.' I said, 'Absolutely.' I read the script and was a little baffled by a few things and realized that I'd never read 'A Tale of Two Cities'. It was just one of those things that I thought I had done. Then I got it, read it and absolutely loved it and got completely what he was talking about... When I did my draft on the script, it was all about 'A Tale of Two Cities'."

Although The Dark Knight Rises was even during production, noted for its savvy connection to real-world sociopolitical events, Jonathan Nolan points out that the film's exploration of class warfare is not limited to a present day struggle.

"Chris and David started developing the story in 2008 right after the second film came out," he says. "Before the recession. Before Occupy Wall Street or any of that. Rather than being influenced by that, I was looking to old good books and good movies. Good literature for inspiration... What I always felt like we needed to do in a third film was, for lack of a better term, go there. All of these films have threatened to turn Gotham inside out and to collapse it on itself. None of them have actually achieved that until this film. 'A Tale of Two Cities' was, to me, one of the most harrowing portrait of a relatable, recognizable civilization that completely folded to pieces with the terrors in Paris in France in that period. It's hard to imagine that things can go that badly wrong."

Beyond the narrative's themes of a class dichotomy, the epic scale of Dickens' tome also matched Nolan's vision of how to conclude his cinematic trilogy.

"It just felt exactly the right thing for the world we were dealing with," says the director. "What Dickens does in that book in terms of having all his characters come together in one unified story with all these thematic elements and all this great emotionalism and drama, it was exactly the tone we were looking for."

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Old 07-08-2012, 05:10 PM   #207
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Anne Hathaway @ press: http://content.usatoday.com/communit...1#.T_n2sPXO-So
Quote:
Hathaway credited her breakout role as a magazine editor assistant in 2006's Prada as fundamental training her for the required action in Dark Knight. It gave her the leg up on the skills needed to kick right alongside Batman (Christian Bale).

"The Devil Wears Prada was really good training for that," Hathaway said at a press conference on Sunday. "I kind of ran all up and down Manhattan then. Now I just ran up and down Gotham."

"It's just part of being a woman," she adds of the heel work. "You figure it out."

Hathaway says she was not pressured to look good in her skin-tight leather cat suit for the role. But she was expected to train to do her own fighting.

"I felt very lucky," Hathaway said. "Sometimes there's a mandate that comes to you, a deal of how you have to look. The way I was treated on this movie was 'Learn how to do what you need to do. And then, however you look that's the way the character looks.' "

"I felt as a woman, very protected that way," she adds.

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Old 07-08-2012, 05:48 PM   #208
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Recap of the press conference @ the Beverley Hills hotel: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/...gh-643871/?p=0

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Old 07-08-2012, 07:37 PM   #209
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http://www.hitfix.com/news/dark-knig...g-war-in-heels

Quote:
'Dark Knight Rises'' Anne Hathaway on her less-schizo Catwoman & waging war in heels

Anne Hathaway's Catwoman is considerably less deranged than the version of the character played by Michelle Pfeiffer in "Batman Returns" - and that's just the way she likes it.

"I loved that the focus was [on] who she was as Selina [Kyle] and that there wasn't a schism within her, that she didn't change when she put on the suit," said Hathaway, speaking at the "Dark Knight Rises" press conference in Los Angeles earlier today. "It was kind of her uniform which she had to wear for her job."

Nevertheless, Hathaway's more grounded portrayal of the character (who's actually never referred to as Catwoman in the film) certainly doesn't translate into a less physically-capable anti-heroine. In fact, writer/director Christopher Nolan made it clear that not only would Selina take part in some fierce bouts of physical action, but that he expected Hathaway to do most or all of her own fighting on-screen.

"When I got the part, Chris had called me into his office and said, 'ok, so there's gonna be a lot of fighting, and when we did 'Inception,' [Joseph-Gordon Levitt] got in really good shape,'" she recounted him saying, with Nolan continuing: "'Joe went to the gym for months so when he did his fight sequence, he did all of his own fighting. I really liked that.'"

Point taken, Hathaway trained for months both prior to and during production of the film, describing the overall physical change in her as "a complete transformation." That said, the pressure she felt from Nolan to get herself in fighting shape never manifested itself as pressure to look a certain way, which Hathaway - having made her living in an industry that holds women up to unrealistic standards of beauty - appreciated enormously.

"I felt very lucky about [that]," said the actress, a close-cropped hairstyle emphasizing her large doe eyes even more than usual. "Because I feel like in a situation like this - and I don't know what other actresses have gone through - I feel like sometimes there's a mandate that comes to you, an ideal of how you have to look, and the way i was treated on this movie was learn how to do what you need to do, and then however you look, that's the way the character looks. And I just felt as a woman, very protected in that way."

Nevertheless, Hathaway's variant of the classic femme fatale is far from dowdy - not only can she keep up admirably with the boys, she does it all in stilettos.

"How did I do it in heels?" she replied to a question about functioning adequately in the ungainly costume. "You just do, it's just part of being a woman. [Laughs] You just figure it out. 'Devil Wears Prada' was really good training for that though. I kinda ran up and down Manhattan, so [in 'Dark Knight Rises' I] just ran up and down Gotham."

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Old 07-08-2012, 10:04 PM   #210
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http://www.hitfix.com/news/dark-knig...he-batman-suit

Quote:
'Dark Knight Rises' star Christian Bale recalls battling Bane and his last scene in the Batman suit

ALSO: IS HE REALLY THE FIRST OSCAR WINNER TO PLAY A COSTUMED COMIC-BOOK SUPERHERO?


Christian Bale is meditating on stage.

Or at least it looks like he's meditating - body completely still, eyes closed serenely against the press corps camped out in the Beverly Hilton ballroom in front of him. Had he not been answering questions and talking (sometimes at length) about his final turn as the Caped Crusader at the "Dark Knight Rises" press conference we'd all gathered there for, one could even be forgiven for thinking he'd nodded off. He sat like that on and off throughout the Q&A, breaking the placid mask only sporadically. I like to think he was envisioning himself in the Batman suit one last time.

"I'm looking at this panel, and I'm just realizing [we have] all these Oscar nominees, and Oscar winners," declared the moderator at one point, excessively complimentary as per his job description. "I'm just kinda floored. Christian, since 'The Dark Knight' came out in 2008, you've become an Oscar winner for 'The Fighter.'" And then, turning to the audience expectantly: "Let's hear it."

That was our cue to clap, and most of us did. Call it Pavlovian adulation.

"So correct me if I'm wrong," the moderator went on, "but that makes you the very first Oscar winner to play a comic-book costumed superhero."

First Oscar winner to play a comic-book costumed superhero.

"Does it?" responded Bale, clearly unaware of the distinction.

Pressing on blindly, the moderator continued: "Have you thought about that?"

"Clearly not," Bale replied, a hint of amusement gliding across his thick Welsh accent.

Yes, it's good to be Christian Bale, who hit megastar status after playing Batman in the first two entries of Christopher Nolan's hugely-successful "Dark Knight" trilogy and has presumably ever since been surrounded by people who feel it's their duty to dig up excessively-qualified career milestones that probably don't make much of a difference to him one way or the other.

And yet Bale doesn't immediately strike one as a conventional leading man, a quality that actually makes him a perfect fit for Nolan's more cerebral brand of superhero film. Like his director, there's a thoughtful quality about him, a sense that he really does believe in the potential of these blockbuster action flicks to function equally well as social commentary. In fact, Bale sees the roots of that in Batman creator Bob Kane's original conception of the character.

"Correct me if I'm wrong, my understanding is that Bob Kane created this character in 1939, which being from England, right, that's the beginning of WWII," said Bale, his muted way of speaking making it occasionally difficult to understand him. "And it was an answer to the uselessness that individuals felt against this humongous tragedy, and what could you do? So it was topical in its inception, that's how Batman began...it began as a very topical character, and I think Chris returned it to that."

To Bale, even the action sequences in "The Dark Knight Rises" are infused with deeper meaning, apparent from his response to a question about what it was like to film the fight sequences between Batman and his formidable adversary Bane (played by Tom Hardy).

"The thing I liked so much about the fight sequences with [Bane] is they're never just knock-down fight sequences," he began, having earlier referenced the villain as "the first adversary of Batman's that you know could probably whip his butt." "You learn something more about each character throughout each fight, which is the mark of a good fight. ...You learn about what Batman has had to go through from the beginning of the movie to the end in order to be able to defeat this man. And you're learning about Bane as well, and the changes that have come over him. And that's always essential in any fight. That's really what you're looking for.. We've seen so many people punching each other non-stop, who cares? You're looking for 'what are the changes? What are the weaknesses? What are the strengths of each character that are going to allow them to dominate one or the other?'"

Bale is the fourth actor to don the famous cape since the release of Tim Burton's franchise-reinvigorating "Batman" starring Michael Keaton in 1989, a lucrative distinction that the majority of Hollywood actors probably would've killed for. Still, his first experience donning the cowl made it tough to fully appreciate his turn of good fortune.

"The first time I ever put on the [cowl] I thought, 'Chris has to [re-do] the cast,'" recounted Bale. "Because the claustrophobia was just unbelievable. I stood there and I thought, 'I can't breathe, I can't think, this is too tight, this is squeezing my head, I'm gonna panic, I'm about to have a nervous breakdown, a panic attack right this second!'"

After suffering this bout of momentary alarm, Bale asked for 20 minutes of privacy to pull himself back to his senses.

"I just stood there and I thought, 'I'd really like to make this movie. I'd like to be able to get through this," he said. "So I just stood for 20 minutes by myself and then called [everyone] back in and said, 'ok....just talk very calmly please, and maybe i can get through this.'"

Of course he did get through it, partially thanks to the costume department ("In the same way Bruce Wayne improves the suit, we improved the suit for ourselves," he told us), and came out the other side with two highly-regarded blockbusters and one likely blockbuster under his belt. On his last day of filming on "Rises," he took 20 minutes for himself once again - only instead of panic this time, the feeling was one of deep satisfaction and accomplishment.

"We wrapped, and we were doing a scene, [I was playing] Batman, it was with Anne as Catwoman on a roof in Manhattan," he began. "And I just went down and sat in a room and i realized this is it. I'm not gonna be taking this cowl off again. So again, i said 'can you please leave me alone for 20 minutes?' and sat with that moment. It was the realization...of real pride of having achieved what we had set out to. It was a very important moment for me, it's been a very important character...and the movies themselves have changed my life and changed my career. So I wanted to just appreciate that."

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Old 07-09-2012, 05:25 AM   #211
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Day 9 of Empire's TDKR countdown is now posted: http://www.empireonline.com/intervie...w.asp?IID=1529

It's an interview with Christian Bale.

Quote:
The action is really ramped-up for Batman in The Dark Knight Rises, to the degree that you took part in a 1,000-strong fistfight on Wall Street. That must have gotten pretty chaotic.
Yeah, with a crowd that big you can’t really control it completely. It’s impossible. ****’s gonna happen. So I see there’s a wall of guys right there. They’re not meant to be there. Because I’m about to throw this guy there, you know? And I had to kinda go, ‘Do I? Don’t I? All right, they’re up for it…’ I went back and checked on them afterwards, and they were all fine. But those are kinda happy accidents which you can’t fake because there really was a guy flying through the air who knocked them all down!

How is it performing fight scenes?
It’s fascinating. It never looks how it feels. It’s so weird. You get moments where I’ve had fights in movies where I get punched really, by mistake and when you look at it on playback it looks like a really crap punch. And then you do another one which is really slow and big and felt like crap and you look at the movie and you’re wincing, like, “That must have hurt!” So it’s always interesting. Often I go to Chris [Nolan] thinking, “Oh, it’s terrible,” and he’s kind of, “Yes, fantastic!” Other moments I think, “We nailed that,” and everyone’s looking around scratching, wondering how they’re going to tell us.

Is this movie much more physical than the other two? It seems there’s much more smash-mouth stuff, because of the nature of Bane.
The nature of Bane, right. Yes, certainly between the two of us. That’s right, because it’s the first time in Chris’ movies that we’ve had an adversary who’s physically superior. Previously it’s always been an intellectual battle and you know what’s going to happen if they meet and it gets to a fistfight.

You and Tom Hardy trade quite a few blows. How was he to work with?
Tom is phenomenal. He’s an extraordinary actor. If I was a director I would want Tom to be in my movies. He knows his ****. But it’s a funny distance that you have in these movies, literally, by being cocooned by a cowl. I don’t truly feel like I’ve worked with Gary [Oldman], even though we’ve done three movies together. I don’t really feel like I’ve worked with Gary because I’m here in this darkness every time. And likewise with Tom, we’re both behind these masks. He’s feeling that isolation as well. It’s a strange feeling. So we agreed after this we’d like to work with each other on something one day!

What was your reaction when you were first told that Bane would be the main villain?
I thought it was a great idea. The only time I’ve ever really familiarised myself with the graphic novels was previous to Batman Begins. For inspiration, for understanding what Chris [Nolan] was going for. After that I never picked one up again, because by then we had created our world, so I just referenced that one. So I wasn’t familiar with Bane, you know? I vaguely remembered just a crazy ‘roid-looking guy with a mask. But I just trust and have faith in Chris. Look, this is not going to be an impulsive decision of his, you know? I always kinda suspected he would do a third one. But it was never definite. And I hoped that he would think of it as a challenge, the fact that with most movies, by the time they get to a third one, it’s crap. So I knew he wasn’t gonna mess around with making a poor decision on who the bloody villain was.

Then I just went and sat around at Chris’ house and astounded him with how slow a reader I am. I sat and read and he kept walking in going, “You’re kidding me! Still?” And I’m like, “Yeah. Still.” Then lunch… dinner… [laughs]. Then he came in and was like, “That actually took you seven hours”. [laughs]. And I understood at that point.

The Dark Knight was an immense success…
I understand that. Yes. I’ve heard, I’ve heard. It did quite well.

You’ve been told, good! But to do a billion, I don’t think anyone could have guessed that. Did that create more pressure on this?
Well, that’s not a bad pressure to have, is it? You should feel you wanna top the experience. I think the bad pressure would be if it was focused on the money. I always confess that I have no idea what people wanna see. I’ve got no clue. I’m an idiot with that. With Titanic I thought, “That’s crazy, why would they wanna make that movie? Everyone knows how it ends so no-one will bother seeing it!” So in fact that the numbers, whilst astounding, don’t interest me in the slightest. You know, it’s very strange for me to be in a movie that has ever done well financially…

Was it strange to be out in daylight in the Batsuit so much for this final instalment?
It was very strange to start with. We had the idea of the intimidation and the mystery being successful in the dark. And so it did feel odd to be outside quite so much. But obviously I got used to that. We kinda made a deal right when we first made Batman Begins; me and Chris said, “Let’s just not let people see Batman half-dressed. It’s just not a good idea.” Batman should be Batman and that’s it. He should always be defined and complete and let’s not ruin that experience for people.

We never really see you wearing the suit without the cowl, do we?
Never do, never. I mean like [during the Wall Street battle scene], it’s funny because when it’s cold the cowl is extremely tight, and it gets better the warmer I get; it becomes more flexible. But after a couple of takes I was trying to breathe and I wasn’t getting the breath properly in my nose. I was starting to see stars and I said, “I have to take this off,” and thank god on this one I can — on The Dark Knight I could as well, but on Batman Begins I couldn’t — so I had to get inside because I couldn’t let anybody see me without the cowl, you know?

Do you think it’s a shame that so much gets revealed so soon these days, via camera phones and the internet?
It’s incredible how much technology has advanced where everybody has cameras and phones everywhere, so I guess you just can’t — and especially the fact that we’re out in daylight so much more with this one — it’s impossible to stop people. I mean we were doing [fight] rehearsals and it’s like, “Oh, I can’t punch that guy ‘cause he’s a paparazzo. He’s not an extra”. They’re right in there. Chris and I are talking and there’s a paparazzo right there! The thing about the net, though, is nobody knows what’s true and what’s not. So that can be quite interesting for us. There’ll be moments when — and it was likewise with The Dark Knight — you go, “Oh ****, somebody got it right there,” but nobody but us knows that. There’s all these other ideas out there too and maybe people haven’t gotten it that that one was right! There’s so much crap that cushions the truth.

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Old 07-09-2012, 08:08 AM   #212
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http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/entertai...stopher-nolan/

Quote:
‘The Dark Knight Rises,’ Behind the Scenes: On the Sound Stage with Christopher Nolan

By MEREDITH FROST

For someone who considers themselves the ultimate Batman fanatic (I freely admit, I’m a bit of nerd when it comes to this), just the opportunity to meet Christopher Nolan would have been enough. To visit the sound stage, where “The Dark Knight Rises” sound-mixing took place would have been enough. Even just getting to see the movie a few weeks ahead of everyone else definitely would have been enough. But getting to do all three? I don’t know if I can even put that into words.

I’ve always loved superhero movies. I remember watching Michael Keaton in 1989′s “Batman” as a kid with my dad. Every bit of it was thrilling to me. I knew (even then) what a force these types of movies were. However It wasn’t until I saw Christopher Nolan’s, “Batman Begins” followed by “The Dark Knight,” that I realized how special these superhero films truly were, or even had the capacity to be. He introduced an unparalleled realm where our common dreams and cataclysmic nightmares can be played out in realistic situations: unsettling, thought-provoking, awesome.

Six months ago I pitched a profile on Christopher Nolan to “Nightline” when I read online that tickets for the midnight screening of the film were already sold out. It’s hard to believe any movie could have such explosive effect so early on in the game.
This would be big.

When I got the “green light” to produce the piece, and found out I was going to meet him in Calirfornia- the superhero “geek” in me took over, full throttle.

Credit: Meredith Frost/ABC

You know that feeling you used to get waking up on Christmas Morning as a kid or that surge of excitement when thrown the keys to your first car? Tie in every singular moment that resonates absolute joy, and multiply it by a thousand. That was how I felt from the moment I stepped onto the Warner Bros. lot and I wasn’t even through the door yet. It was a visceral experience, and a humbling moment of sorts. I thought to myself, “this is where some of the biggest blockbusters of all time are created.”

Before I entered “Screening Room 5″ that morning, I said to myself “Be cool, Meredith. Don’t geek-out too hard, you’ve got a job to do.”

I sat down next to ABC News correspondent Chris Connelly in a theater-like room, just the two of us, and he turned to me and whispered, “Are you ready?” As the lights went down, I actually physically couldn’t believe I was going to be one of the first in the world to watch Nolan’s conclusion to his Batman trilogy. Yes. this was MY JOB. Not a bad gig.
For two and a half hours, I was completely taken into another world. I experienced that larger than life sensation of watching a perfectly constructed story play out, it really was a palpable feeling. After watching the film, I had a renewed sense of childlike wonder. It felt like I saw “Batman” again for the very first time.

Watch ABC News’ Chris Connelly’s full interview with Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale on “Nightline” TONIGHT at 11:35 p.m. ET/PT

As we left the screening room, and parted ways with the PR people, The intuitive Mr. Connelly let me have it. “Ok, now you can let it out” he said. I screamed, like an excited school girl.

I had reached a fevered pitch after seeing this movie, but we were headed to “The Dark Knight Rises” soundstage to meet Christopher Nolan, I was speechless. I had an internal struggle, of sorts: One part of me wanted to completely let loose and talk about the film, the characters, what the movie meant to me, but the “Nightline” producer side kept me composed. In retrospect, had the rabid fangirl come out, it wouldn’t have been fun for anyone (but me).

Credit: Meredith Frost/ABC

After the “Nightline” interview wrapped, I spent some time talking with the sound editors about the incredible dedication Nolan had throughout the entire process of making this film. After seven months of shooting “The Dark Knight Rises,” Nolan spent all of his time in post-production and at the Warner Bros. sound stage. All day, everyday, for 12 weeks, overseeing every nuance of sound, frame for frame.

Talk about commitment.

“When you’re dealing with sound mixing, and post-production, we try to address these subtleties for the audience” Nolan said. “It’s all really about building to this moment where you put it out there for everybody. And until that happens, it’s not done.”
It was just as mesmerizing to hear these words, as it was to see him sit down and collaborate with his editors tweaking the sound for “The Dark Knight Rises” prologue. To me, Christopher Nolan is an artist, unrivaled in his craft. His vision, acute sense of style and storytelling, run parallel to the legacy of his trilogy.

Watch ABC News’ Chris Connelly’s full interview with Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale on “Nightline” TONIGHT at 11:35 p.m. ET/PT

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Old 07-09-2012, 08:22 AM   #213
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Extended article about the Nightline interview tonight.

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'The Dark Knight Rises' Will Be His Last Batman Film, Director Says

Christopher Nolan, the director of the blockbuster "Batman" film franchise, said it was time for him to end the series as a trilogy and his up-and-coming "The Dark Knight Rises" will be his last Batman film.

"You could go on doing it forever, but it wouldn't be the right thing to do," Nolan told "Nightline" in an exlcusive interview. "The right thing to do is to know you've told the story you've set out to tell and that is very much the case with the end of this film."

"It's all really about building to this moment," he added. "I've been working on these films for about nine years now and we have a beginning, a middle and an end now."

Prior to "The Dark Knight Rises," which is out in theaters nationwide July 20, Nolan's "Batman Begins" (2005) and "The Dark Knight" (2008) enjoyed explosive worldwide success, leading up to "The Dark Knight Rises."

"I love Batman because we could all be Batman," Nolan said. "There's this sense of he's a human being whose pushes as far as he possible can and keeps pushing himself further and further."

The filmmaker had high praise for Christian Bale's portrayal of Batman, and said the actor brought "focus and discipline" to the role.

"Bruce Wayne is a very tortured angry guy who does a lot of pushups," Nolan said. "[And Bale] takes what he does very seriously, but he doesn't take himself too seriously. He is the first to acknowledge the inherent ridiculousness of what an actor has to do sometimes. But never will lose, never takes his eye off the ball."

Bale, who had a floundering acting career before being tapped for the lead role in Nolan's franchise, said being Batman opened many opportunities for him with other films that he didn't have before.

"It's meant a great deal in my life in how it's changed... my career," Bale said. "Nobody wanted to cast me for things. It's gotten me over that hurdle."

Nonetheless, Nolan said "we're done" with the franchise and Bale agreed that it was time to walk away.

"I'm certainly proud to have been involved in what Chris has achieved," he said. "I was never sure Chris was even going to do a third [film], so it seems -- leave when its complete... Chris is a really great storyteller. If he says that's it, that's it."

As they wrapped his final installment, Nolan said he went through a "series of emotional good byes" with the cast and crew.

"I remember saying good bye to Michael Caine [who plays Alfred] in the bat cave," Nolan said. "That was the last of his scenes that he shot. So it was very specific, like 'OK, we're never coming back here again.'"

Nolan has been praised for shrewdly revamping the "Batman" film franchise away from its cartoonish predecessors, which drew more on the "straight from the comic book pages" approach.

"Comic book movies have become too much about acknowledging the source material," Nolan said. "For me, it was saying, OK, I don't want to acknowledge the source material in the look and feel of the film, I want to make a real film. A film that tries the best it can to present an exciting and realistic world."

The last time the audience visited that world was with "The Dark Knight," a film that dove deep into the fears and horror of a post-9/11 world. But the film is perhaps better remembered for the late Heath Ledger's striking performance as the movie's villain, The Joker.

"[I] tried to construct the freedom for him to really be able to explore... to say, 'let's really play with this, let's really try and find the psychological reality of the character,'" Nolan said of directing Ledger in the role of The Joker. "Heath just had a ball with it. He had a blast. It was an incredible thing to be a part of? you never knew what his voice is going to do."

Ledger posthumously won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for the role.

In "The Dark Knight Rises," Nolan chose Bane, an unfeeling, meat head with venom in his veins, for his villain, played by actor Tom Hardy. The filmmaker said he chose Bane because he wanted an antagonist who would make viewers "fear for Batman's physical safety."

"What Bane provides is this incredibly frightening physicality," Nolan said. "He is a militaristic presence. He's a monster."

Bane exudes a different kind of evil than previous ones, Nolan said, but the character stays true to his attempt to make the audience have that "unsettled" feeling that the villain could be real.

"We didn't want to do any kind of watered-down version of what Heath has done as The Joker, which was such a seminal thing," he said. "I really wanted to do something completely different and something primarily physical."

But now that he has wrapped his Batman opus, Nolan said he doesn't have anything else in the works yet.

"I really have no idea what I am going to do after this, and I kind of enjoy it," the filmmaker said, laughing. "I'll get bored eventually and figure out what I want to do next because I do love making films, but for me it's always been about a story -- a story that hooks you."
Watch ABC News' Chris Connelly exclusive interviews with Christopher Nolan and actor Christian Bale on "Nightline" tonight at 11:35 p.m. ET/PT

http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/...inglePage=true

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Old 07-09-2012, 07:55 PM   #214
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http://www.hitfix.com/news/dark-knig...crets-revealed

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'Dark Knight Rises' director Christopher Nolan on Bane, grandiosity and secrets revealed
ALSO: THE LAUDED FILMMAKER EXPLAINS WHY HE PREFERS IMAX OVER 3-D


Christopher Nolan is annoyed.

The scene: a ballroom at the Beverly Hilton. The occasion: a press conference for the director's upcoming threequel "The Dark Knight Rises." The object of his annoyance: a slight female reporter holding a microphone. The situation: she's just asked a question that references a key reveal near the end of the film, and...Christopher Nolan is annoyed.

"Obviously, you can't ask that question in a press conference, you'll give away the ending of the film," he snaps, interrupting her in mid-sentence.

"Well, I'm assuming everyone here has seen it," she replies, caught suddenly and hopelessly in a downward spiral of public admonishment.

"Well, but who's the press conference for?" he answers back, a slight flush glazing the boyish smoothness of his cheeks. "Come on, I mean seriously."

She returns to her seat then, handing the accursed microphone back to the attendant who'd just awarded it to her, as if removing it from her grasp might somehow make her invisible again. I suppose that it did.

The point of his irritation removed, Nolan slips seamlessly back into the mask of composure that had been broken only slightly just seconds before, agreeing to answer the first, non-plot spoilery section of the shamed woman's two-part question. And to her credit, it was a good one. Had Bane's voice, which many audience members criticized for being near-unintelligible in the film's first trailer, been re-recorded at all in post-production to make the villain's mask-obstructed speech more understandable?

"Not really," he replied, speaking calmly on his way to not addressing the specific question in any real detail "Some things are clarified and cleaned up. But we try to be true. I'm not really a big fan of ADR, so we try to be as true as possible to the recordings we do at the time. ...So for the IMAX scenes, because the IMAX cameras are incredibly noisy, you're then really in a position where what we would do on the set is immediately do a take without running the camera. And that way you'd get [the actors' voices] in the costume, in the physical positions that they're actually in when they're performing the scene. And those you can sync up very well to picture."

Speaking (or rather, not speaking) of Bane, Tom Hardy - the British actor who portrays the sadistic brute in the film - was conspicuously absent from the panel due to work conflicts (as was another main cast member, Marion Cotillard), leaving Nolan to serve as his unofficial spokesperson. But seeing as the character is so integral to the plot, questions about his performance - almost all of which is delivered from behind that now-famous mask, leering cruelly like some impossibly black alien mouth - were bound to arise.

"If [Tom] were here, I think what he would be talking about is when I called him up and I basically said to him 'look, I've got good news and I've got bad news,'" Nolan began. "The good news is I have a terrific part for you, the bad news is your face is gonna be completely covered for the whole film, so you're gonna have to get across whatever it is you wanna get across through this character through just your eyes and your voice.

"And what Tom did, which I completely love but it takes audiences time to get used to," he continued, "is there's an incredible disjunct between what he's doing with his voice and what he's doing with his eyes. His eyes have this extremely threating stillness to them. His voice is this extremely expressive and different voice. And i've never really seen anything like it. The first time I ever saw him perform a scene with Christian [Bale], I was shocked by it. I mean I really was like, 'ok, I've just never seen this.'"

Audience preconceptions are just par for the course with a film like "The Dark Knight Rises" - arguably the most anticipated and scrutinized film of the year - a fact no doubt heightened by the unyielding cloak of secrecy in which Nolan is known for shrouding his projects. So when the topic of those leaked set photos and videos taken by eager onlookers was brought up, I actually expected a far more negative and impassioned response than he ultimately offered.

"Well, I mean, the world we live in now is if you're gonna do day exterior scenes in a city then everybody's gonna get cell phone photos of it," he said of the leaked images. "But I think what you have to trust in is that audiences understand, or fans understand, that whatever they're seeing as the movie is being made is not the movie, and then they come to the film with fresh eyes. That's certainly what we hope."

One astute reporter in the crowd noted that "Rises" holds quite a few parallels to the famed 1859 Charles Dickens novel "A Tale of Two Cities," which centers on the French Revolution and functions as both a sympathetic portrayal of the French peasantry as well as a condemnation of the vicious mob mentality that arises out of the justifiable anger they direct at the gluttonous aristocracy.

While confirming that he had indeed largely based the structure and themes of the film on the 19th century literary classic, he was quick to point out that the idea to do so actually originated from his brother and co-scripter Jonathan Nolan, with whom he also penned "The Dark Knight" (David S. Goyer received sole screenwriting credit on "Batman Begins" and has received a "story by" credit on the latter two installments).

"When [Jonathan] showed me his first draft of the screenplay, and it was 400 pages long or something, and had all this crazy stuff in it...when he handed it to me, he was like, 'oh, you've gotta think of like 'A Tale of Two Cities,' which of course you've read,'" Nolan recalled, ramping up for a moment of self-deprecation. "I said 'oh yeah, absolutely.' I read the script and was a little baffled by a few things and then realized I had never read 'A Tale of Two Cities.'' [The room burst into appreciative laughter here.]

"So I then got the book, read it, absolutely loved it, got completely what he was talking about...then when I did my draft of the script it was all about 'A Tale of Two Cities' and really just trying to follow that because it just felt [like] exactly the right thing for the world we were dealing with, and what Dickens does in that book in terms of having all of these different characters come together in one unified story with all of these great thematic elements and all of this great emotionalism and drama."

Those with a jaundiced preexisting opinion of Nolan and his films (yes, these individuals do exist) will likely roll their eyes at the above statement, taking the director to task for his pretentious approach to a film series that does, after all, center on a man who fights crime in tights and a cowl. But it's not that Nolan doesn't also recognize the films' value as a form of escapist entertainment; it's just that he doesn't view them only as that.

"To be perfectly honest, we really try to resist at the script stage being drawn into specific themes, specific messages," he replied to a question about the film's more cerebral undertones. "Really these films are about entertainment, really they are about story and character. But what we do is we try and be very sincere in the things that frighten us or motivate us or would worry about when you're looking at 'ok, what's the threat to the civilization that we take for granted,' and we grope at how we're going to frighten ourselves essentially with a force of evil coming into a place.

"We try to be very sincere about that," he continued. "And I think resonances that people find or that happen to occur with what's going on in the real world, to me they come about really as a result of us just living in the same world that we all do and trying to construct scenarios that move us or terrify us in the case of a villain like Bane and what he might do to the world."

True, that's perhaps a bit disingenuous for a man who only a short time earlier had admitted to hinging the script for "Rises" largely on the themes of a Dickens novel, but for a fanboy culture that so often derides film adaptations of their favorite works as coming off like shallow approximations of the original material, criticizing a director for even attempting to imbue the film version of a well-loved property with deeper resonance feels a little contradictory on its face.

"For me, it feels important to make films, even films that we go to for escapism and entertainment, that they in some way be moving us in a real way," said Nolan. "But it is also important to bear in mind that Gotham is not a real city, and we've changed it every time...so that hopefully there's a little reminder in there for people as they watch the film that it is an unreal city."

Not a real city. It was a phrase Nolan threw out more than once during the Q&A, and yet, as one reporter correctly pointed out, Gotham has always been seen as representative of New York - the skyline of which, it bears mentioning, is displayed more prominently in "Rises" than it was in either of the previous entries. To hear Nolan talk about it, however, that wasn't necessarily a conscious choice.

"Gotham has always been in some sense a stand-in for New York, and so obviously there's resonances there," he replied succinctly.

Like the Big Apple, everything about the "Dark Knight" trilogy evokes feelings of grandiosity, of operatic largeness and scale. This is what the big-screen was made for, the films and their creators seem to cry out at every available opportunity. So it's no surprise, then, that Nolan has embraced the use of IMAX perhaps more than any other Hollywood director ("Rises" features more than an hour of IMAX footage as compared with "The Dark Knight"'s 28 minutes), and - perhaps counter-intuitively - has not embraced the far more ubiquitous 3-D format.

"'The Dark Knight,'was a very important movie in terms of getting across the idea of eventizing movies and the theatrical experience," he said. "We got a lot of mileage out of really making a big deal out of our premiere engagements in a very old-fashioned way, like they used to do in the '50s and '60s [with] 70 mm projection.

"For me," he went on, "IMAX is all about it's [being] the best possible quality image when you film with their cameras and project that film in their theaters on those huge screens. There's really no other way to do that with any other imaging technology. What I love about it, as opposed to 3-D, is it creates a much larger than life image. When you watch a 3-D film, the parallax makes it more intimate, it shrinks the imagery that you're looking at. I actually really like for these characters and these movies, I really like to see Batman larger than life on that enormous screen. The clarity of the image really draws me into the movie, and I enjoy that."

For a director who started out on such an incredibly small scale - his first film was the ultra-low-budget 16mm neo-noir flick "Following," succeeded by the attention-getting 2001 mind-**** "Memento" - that larger-than-life sensibility is something he's acclimated to with admirable effectiveness. Which begs the question: Is there any desire to pull back from the blockbuster Hollywood machine once you've enjoyed such massive returns from it? In short: will we see another "Memento"-scaled (or even "Prestige"-scaled) production from him?

"I have no idea what's next," he told us. "I'm going on holiday, and just relax[ing], and [I] quite enjoy not knowing what I'm gonna do next, which is fun. As far as the ride from doing sort of...smaller [films]...[to] these big films, what I like to say about it is the process has always been reassuringly familiar to me. It's always been this thing of you're there on set, but really your job as a director is to ignore the scale of things and really just try and look at the shot that you're gonna put on screen, [and] how is that gonna further the story? I've found that process to be more similar on different scale films than it is different."

He answered the question with typical equanimity, though it's an equanimity that's far from painting a complete portrait of Christopher Nolan, the director and (some would say) creative genius. Like his films, there are, of course, layers located beneath the composed exterior, guarding secrets. This exterior, this mask, was broken only once, and only just barely, with the female reporter I described earlier. The crack disappeared from sight just as quickly as it had materialized.

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Old 07-09-2012, 10:00 PM   #215
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CW Premieres The Batmobile Documentary July 16th

http://comics-x-aminer.com/2012/07/1...ary-july-16th/



Quote:
Thebroadcast network premiere of the new half-hour special on the history and evolution of the Batmobile – THE BATMOBILE – will air on Monday, July 16, 8:00-8:30pm ET on The CW. An encore of the special will air from 8:30-9:00pm ET.

The special will have its world premiere screening at Comic Con in San Diego on July 12, where all six of the Batmobiles from film and television will also appear for the first time together.

From its inception in the late 1930s, the Batmobile has been a symbol of power, hope and justice, as well as the pinnacle of technology as the most awe-inspiring weapon in Batman’s arsenal. In its contemporary and most robust form as the Tumbler, the Batmobile is a combination of unbridled creativity, advanced technology and the pursuit of “justice on wheels.”

The special uses archival footage, images and illustrations of the Batmobile to document its birth and evolution to the present day. Interviews with filmmakers, key designers, builders, stunt drivers, actors and fans of the Batmobile lead the viewer on an exploration of the true impact of this cultural icon. Personal stories will interweave with historical context to tell the definitive story of the world’s most recognized automobile. Interviews include actors Christian Bale and Adam West, and directors Christopher Nolan, Joel Schumacher and Tim Burton.

THE BATMOBILE is from New Wave Entertainment and Warner Bros. The special was directed by Roko Belic, produced by Tara Tremaine and edited by Michael Fallavollita.

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Old 07-09-2012, 10:19 PM   #216
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http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage...h-bust-up.html

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Originally Posted by The Sun View Post
Batman’s Brit brilliant

LEAKED early reviews of Batman blockbuster The Dark Knight Rises are throwing around words such as “epic” and “masterpiece” like they’re going out of fashion.

And director Christopher Nolan – normally renowned for keeping his projects top secret until their release – has revealed his Batman trilogy will end with an almighty British bust-up.

Newly revealed production notes show the movie – out in both the United States and Britain on July 20 – begins eight years after where 2008 movie classic The Dark Knight left off.

During those years Bruce Wayne, again played by the dark genius that is Christian Bale, has hung up his codpiece. But he dusts it down again for a final fight with the terrifying masked terrorist Bane – a role which is perfect for Christian’s fellow Brit Tom Hardy.

And this time the caped crusader may have met his match.

Nolan revealed: “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.”

Watching the two brilliant, brooding British actors go toe-to-toe on screen is an exciting prospect.

Chuck in a bit of Anne Hathaway as Catwoman – and a mammoth 164-minute running time – and we are definitely in for a comic book classic.

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Old 07-10-2012, 01:52 AM   #217
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http://t.co/wwkLZ2rg

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'Dark Knight Rises'' Michael Caine on Christopher Nolan: 'Chris is very secretive'


Christopher Nolan is clearly skilled in the art of the ambush - just ask Michael Caine.

"I was at home one Sunday morning about nine years ago, and there was a knock on the door, and there was Chris standing there," recalled Caine, speaking at a press conference for "The Dark Knight Rises" over the weekend. "And I recognized him [as] the man who had directed two films...'Memento' and the other one...'Insomnia.' And he had a script, and I thought 'oh, this is gonna be a lovely little thriller we're gonna do.'"

Little did he realize that Nolan had something considerably bigger in mind.

"So he came in...and I said 'what's the name of the movie?'" Caine continued, speaking in that famous cockney accent. "And he said, 'Batman Begins.'...and I thought 'bloody hell, he's gonna do some great big movie!' And I thought, 'I'm too old play Batman, I wonder who he wants me to be?' I knew it wasn't Catwoman. And he said, 'the butler.'"

Understandably, the idea of playing the hired help in a big-budget superhero movie isn't bound to be a welcome one to a two-time Oscar winner ("I thought, 'I don't know whether I want to say...dinner is served, would you like another bowl of soup?" the actor recalled). Not helping matters was the fact that Nolan wasn't even willing to leave the script with him to read overnight.

"He gave me the script, and...I said 'I'll give you a ring tomorrow.' And he said - Chris is very secretive, very secretive - and he said 'no, I want you to read the script now and I'm taking it away with me.' He didn't want me to keep it! So he had a cup of tea with my missus, I read it, and I said 'yes, I'll do it.'...I was stunned by the writing, because it was a relationship...it wasn't just like cipher characters that you normally get in these big special effect stunt movies. They were real, real people, and [it was] written like a drama. And I said yes, and I've never regretted saying that for one moment."

The lesson? If you're an acting legend and your quiet Sunday morning at home is interrupted by a knock at the front door, it might just behoove you to answer it.

"The Dark Knight Rises" hits theaters on July 20.

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Old 07-10-2012, 02:42 AM   #218
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http://www.3news.co.nz/The-Dark-Knig...9/Default.aspx

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Old 07-10-2012, 05:15 AM   #219
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As part of its TDKR countdown, Empire is streaming the entire soundtrack online: http://www.empireonline.com/news/story.asp?NID=34498

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As part of our countdown to the release of The Dark Knight Rises, we have a very special treat for you today. Below you can listen to the film's Hans Zimmer soundtrack in its entirety, giving you a taste of the atmosphere and action you're in for come July 20. And before you ask, we've closely parsed the track titles and none of them reads "Death Of Qui-Gon" so we're pretty sure that this is free of overt spoilers.

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Old 07-10-2012, 11:58 AM   #220
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5 Things You Probably Didn't know about 'Dark Knight Rises' until now:

http://www.eonline.com/news/328529/t...know-until-now

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Old 07-10-2012, 01:02 PM   #221
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Comingsoon.net/SHH! Full Set Report for TDKR
http://www.superherohype.com/feature...k-knight-rises
Quote:
You may remember Part 1 of our The Dark Knight Rises set visit a couple of weeks back and now we have some more to share with you, specifically our interview with producer Jordan Goldberg as well as some of the technical crew working with Nolan to make the final chapter of his Batman trilogy.

As a reminder, all these interviews were conducted back in August before anyone knew almost anything about the movie as a group of journalists sat in the press skybox at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh while Nolan shot a scene of Bane disrupting a football game by the Gotham City Rogues. Ironically, this visit took place the same week as literally dozens of pictures of Catwoman and Bane ended up on the internet from the outdoor location shoot.

Warner Bros. Pictures has provided SuperHeroHype with a brand-new image taken on the day of the shoot as Heinz Field literally explodes in the middle of the kick-off play, disrupting the game. In the shot (click here for a bigger version) you can see some of the things we discussed in Part 1, and you can get an idea of how many extras were actually in the stands. We imagine that when FX coordinator Chris Corbould was done with the shot, the stands in the arena will be completely filled. See if you can spot director Christopher Nolan in the picture and we'll let you know at the end of this report so you can see if you got it right.

PRODUCER JORDAN GOLDBERG

Jordan Goldberg hasn't been working with Nolan as long as Emma Thomas (who we spoke to in Part 1) but he joined the team with The Prestige as an associate producer and was involved with writing some of the auxiliary material for The Dark Knight and Inception, including "Batman: Gotham Knight” and the Inception motion comics. While on set, we mainly spoke with Goldberg about shooting at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh and the scenes filming that day.

Introducing football to Gotham and getting Heinz Field

"The football game was always in there. Football is very American, very big city kind of thing. If you live in a big city, you definitely have a football team and that settles that in that reality. At one point, we were talking about shooting in different places and Pittsburgh was always a place and this is a huge sports town. They love their sports, so this is rather fortunate that we were able to do this scene here. These people are still out there and they just want to be out there because Hynes Ward is out there, Bill Cowers is out there, raffling prizes off, so it's a huge deal. We had the fortune that our executive producer, Thomas Tull, is a part owner of the Steelers, so we have a lot of good relations with the organization. When you put on a football thing it's a big to-do, just because of all the moving parts that are involved with a football game. At that time, we were talking about shooting in Pittsburgh, so it just seemed like the best marriage to bring in the Steelers and luck would have it, a lot of them wanted to be in a movie because they'd never been in a movie before. They were big fans of Tom's other movies like 'The Hangover,' and then the opportunity to be in a Batman movie, they really got involved. They're in camp, so we only had a chance of getting some of the small crop guys, most of the veterans who were able to talk their coach out of missing a day of camp to shoot with us.”

How Chris Nolan has acclimated to shooting football

"We have a guy down there named Mark Ellis who has worked on a lot of sports film. Most sports films you've seen he's been the coordinator behind them. Mark and I had been talking for a while and Chris had an idea what he wanted in the game and he dialed into the fact that this event should take place at the beginning of the game at a kick-off, because that's a very iconic part of any football game. With that information, I was able to get it to Mark and we were able to design a very easy play out there to make the thing happen.”

Seeing Batman out in the daytime

"I won't say much because I don't want to ruin any of the story things for you guys, but you have to think about it because obviously the guy is built to fight at night, so the question is what is involved with the story that would force him to take the streets during the day? I think that alone should show you when we talk about scope or scale that the stakes have been increased because he's not at his comfort level in doing his fighting crime bit.”

The decision to follow the Joker with Bane and Catwoman

"I can't really speak for Chris. All I can say is that it's a tough act to follow, obviously, because the Joker is an iconic villain. We're doing some iconic characters from the lore in this film and the villain we found with Bane, this is taking it from an approach of allowing the fact that Bane, because he's not as well known as the other ones, Chris is able to do stuff with him that's interesting and enables us to dial into him being different and in his own way. He's as lethal or more (than the Joker) which you need as we do another movie.”

How the screenplay changes while shooting

"He and Jonah, the writing process if pretty finalized by the time they start rolling cameras. Things change a bit and different ideas come into play but for the most part, it's pretty locked in. The story is a pretty big detailed blueprint for us to go through. I think it enables us to move very efficiently that way and all the actors are very relaxed in this scenario because they know what they're doing and nothing really changes so they can lock in on their characters and bring something new to it.”

The scope of the movie compared to the first two

"Every story has to have a great ending and I guess when you talk about the franchise as a trilogy, it keeps getting bigger and bigger, so yeah, you have to ratchet it up. The scope and scale of this movie - I didn't think you could top the last one, but I think we have. I think something like this helps you do that, because any time there is a football game, there's a lot of kinetic energy out there and the stunt we're going to pull off there--you'll see after lunch--the explosions we're going to do are pretty big and the stakes are very high. I think when you see the movie, you see the final thing put together, it's a pretty jaw-dropping spectacle what happens out there.”

The budget of Dark Knight Rises vs. the previous Batman movie

"Honestly, Chris and Emma and the rest of the team just start from a place where they want to make a really good movie and they don't really think about what the budget was. We're lucky because when you have a big success it helps. Obviously you go to a town like this and everybody is so enthusiastic to have you around and a lot of that is due to the last movie's success, but ultimately, the mission is to come into it and make a great film and a good story, great spectacle, and I think that's the way he approaches it which is why I think people like it.”

More here: http://www.superherohype.com/feature...k-knight-rises

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Old 07-10-2012, 04:30 PM   #222
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Audio of cast interview from press junket (July 8th, 2012): http://www.4shared.com/mp3/yDnTW4K0/...-08-12-Do.html

Spoilerish question was edited out. Must have a 4shared account to hear/download it.

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Old 07-11-2012, 01:36 AM   #223
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Bale The Kyle and Jackie O Show Interview
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xs3...-12_shortfilms

Hathaway The Kyle and Jackie O Show Interview
http://austereo.castmetrix.net/podca...Show100712.mp3


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Old 07-11-2012, 05:45 AM   #224
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Day 11 of Empire's TDKR countdown: http://www.empireonline.com/intervie...w.asp?IID=1532

Hans Zimmer discusses scoring the Batman trilogy:

Quote:
WORKING WITH THE DAMNED in 1980 prepared me for a life with Chris Nolan. Chris phoned me up, and I remember meeting him and really liking him, but thinking Batman was an impossible task. I really wanted to work with Chris Nolan, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to be part of reinventing Batman. It came with a lot of baggage. I thought Danny Elfman had done a fantastic score for Tim Burton, and I couldn’t think how to do something different. The other problem was that I kept thinking about the duality of Bruce Wayne and the Dark Knight. I wasn’t sure how one person could handle both. As you can tell from my history with The Damned, I was quite ready to go and be the Dark Knight, but I didn’t know how to do the love story. I kept hedging and being coy until Chris asked what the problem was, and I said I didn’t want to do the lovey-dovey stuff! So he suggested I work in collaboration with someone else.
James Newton Howard and I had been saying for years that it would be fun to do a score more collegially, more like a band – going back to The Damned again! We both came from bands, and it didn’t actually turn out as him doing the lovey-dovey stuff and me doing all the dark stuff, but it was really and truly a great collaboration. What happens when you work with a partner, is the partner lets you do the things that you didn’t think you could do. When you work alone you talk yourself out of your crazy ideas, but a partner gives you the encouragement to go forward with them.

It was a really interesting process between myself and James, and Mel Wesson and whoever else we pulled into the band. It was never this un-creative sort of process of the director coming to listen to what the composer has prepared a little earlier, that dry conversation. It was always… there were always several people in the room and it was much more of a free-flowing conversation about what we could really do with the movie. We started off with two massive themes – one James wrote and one I wrote – which we ultimately combined and which actually works better than anything else we’ve done. It’s certainly iconic.

Another part of Chris that I got to know… People love temping their movies when they cut them. They use all sorts of things. There’s a cue from The Thin Red Line which I now call The Forbidden Cue because it’s appeared in more temps than anything ever. If you ever put that thing in, I’m not going to come and see your movie! But Chris, from the word go, wanted original music. We had a sort of two-pronged approach to this dilemma, the dilemma being that I hadn’t finished whatever I was working on. I was in Los Angeles and Chris was in London. Mel Wesson was in London too, so I suggested Mel go to over to the cutting room, to see what sort of thing we needed to start off with. My feeling was that it didn’t even really have to be a piece of music. It just had to be something really iconic, like the flapping of ginormous wings or something. So Mel created that, and that was a good start. We put a pole in the ground with that, and decided we were going to have some of this electronic stuff.

CHRIS NOLAN IS A SMART AND DEVIOUS MAN. Chris kept phoning and describing films to me that he was shooting. I didn’t have any footage, he was just telling me what he was doing on the phone, and saying, “I can’t make this scene work, and I don’t know what music to put in, and I don’t want to use other people’s. Can you just dash something off?” So even though I was working on something else, somehow or other James or I would dash something off and send it over. A lot of the stuff developed that way, sort of in the periphery of my vision, in a way. It was actually quite nice. By the time we came to London to see Chris’ first cut, the movie was populated with all these little ideas and vignettes that we had written… which of course then meant that we sat down and threw it all out and started again! But actually it wasn’t entirely like that. Some of it actually did get stuck, and became the colours and the tones of the whole thing. By the time we finally saw the film, Chris had manipulated these musical ideas in to a fuller form.

The first few weeks on a film are so painful, because I am trying to invent the language. On Batman, Chris was making me work subconsciously on the music before I actually even started it, so it never got overwhelming. That’s why I initially said no to Batman, because it is such a responsibility. By Chris feeding me little bits, my psyche could get around it!

I kept thinking and talking to Chris about what I thought the Batman character was. If there was an arc to be had, it was that he sees his parents getting killed – that’s the defining moment of his life – and he feels guilty for it. The theme is interrupted at essentially two notes: it’s never completed, because he never gets past this point. I spent three weeks removing notes from the main Batman theme until I got it down to just two notes. I am very proud of it. It’s always the beginning of a theme. It promises that he can become a hero or a complete man, but none of that ever happens, because he can’t get past that moment. If you listen really carefully in the first film, there’s this little choir boy at one point, and what the choir boy does, through electronic trickery and too much time spent in the studio, his note actually freezes and goes on for about four minutes. I know that’s really dodgy symbolism, but we literally froze him in time.

For me, there was an architectural problem with the film, because really, we don’t get Batman until way into the movie, so I thought if we set up a couple of things you can recognise in a second from right at the beginning, like the ostinato, the little bubbling string figure, when he’s coming, when we get to the moment in the movie when he’s actually going to appear, you’d hear that stuff and really get excited. It was as simple as that. I wanted some little symbolic motifs that would signal to the audience that really, honestly, it is going to happen.

There were endless months of discussion. None of this stuff happened overnight. Actually, it ALL happened overnight – that seemed to me the best time to write Batman music.

I never thought of it in terms of being something where we would have to do a sequel. I always thought of Begins as a self-contained story. You have no idea how I’ve been sitting here trying to complete the story in the third film, just in terms of the narrative of the scores. I need to one way or another bring everything full-circle. It needs to be a life that makes sense, and a journey that we go on with the character. I’ve been looking a lot at the first movie. I feel we have certainly captured the essence of the Batman for the story Chris is telling. My conversations with Chris are about a character with real emotions and real issues. These are things I can relate to. In a way, it’s closer to the comic books than all those other comic book movies. This film is based on a psychological reality. Chris is a real film maker and knows how to deal with the psychology of characters, who is unafraid of approaching the dark side and not trivialising it.


IN THE FIRST MOVIE WE WERE A BIT VAGUE IN TERMS OF THE THEMES. I had my motif for Batman, but then everybody else had bits and pieces, but they would change around. In the second film, The Joker had a really definitive motif in direct counterpoint to Batman’s, and in the third one Bane has an enormous amount of musical material. But it’s not so much really that I try to write themes for characters, it’s more what the character does to the world around him. It’s like, The Batcave is a place, but it’s really about the character, and vice-versa. I try to find music that works well with the environment. I’ve forever been trying to work out how to do Gotham as well, and give it its own tone. It needs to convey that everything isn’t all right, and I’m forever trying to convey a sort of unbalancing of that world, with little undercurrents of danger and unrest.

We used a lot of drumming on Begins, and that was yet another short-cut to making it very masculine. The whole back-story of him ending up in a far-away Oriental culture, I thought was really interesting, so I think the tribal drumming worked in that sense too. It was a way of being masculine without using an enormous amount of orchestral pomp or rock guitars. I was listening to it yesterday actually, and there are parts that are just a barrage of drums. I couldn’t quite get a handle on what this thing was! But I think also that there’s something primeval about the drums, and it balances really interestingly with all these wonderful toys that Lucien Fox is playing with. There’s an idea… What superpower does Bruce Wayne have? The only superpower he has is money. But I’m trying to say that somewhere inside him there’s a core of steel, a strong man with strong convictions, for better or worse, because he’s very ambiguous.

His whole behaviour in the second movie is morally pretty questionable, but there’s a commitment – he’s committed to what he’s doing, and so it’s very important to feel that in the music. I think the music does do that. We only did it twice, when he has that epiphany in the Batcave and then at the end of the movie, how we harmonise that two-note theme, makes it take on a different meaning of resolve.

This one has more action than the other two, perhaps more than them combined. Since Batman Begins, the music we developed generally became the language of action movie music or trailers. You can’t switch on the TV or go and watch an action movie without hearing somebody doing the ostinato. It’s in the subconscious of the cultural zeitgeist now. It was in danger of diluting what we did, so we had to ensure that it was fresher and harder.

When we did TDK, everyone knew were doing another Batman movie, but no one expected it would be the way it was. We want you to have the same experience with this finale. The joy is in the discovery, because this will hit hard. We have come full circle now. In the other films, the themes were building towards something. Here, we reach the end.

When we did Batman Begins, we never thought we were going to spread two notes over three movies! The character changes and it’s amazing how flexible two notes can become. In this film, though, the context is much heavier. It’s important for us to say “this is the end”. There is actually one track I wrote that the record company will put out that it actually called “The End” and I mean it! It became a track where I am going “Okay: this is the last note…!”

I have to say that, now I know how it ends, I would have started it exactly the same. The surprising thing is how consistent the tone is, and how in Chris’ writing… I don’t think he knew how the third movie was going to end, but there was an inevitability that was set up in the first one that leads you to a certain place. The defining moment in this character’s life is his parents’ death, and you need somehow to get beyond that point.

I KNOW HOW TO WRITE A BIG BOMBASTIC SCORE – I’ve done a few! But in a funny way I’ve spent longer hours on these more organic Batman scores, worrying about tiny little details, making new sounds and palettes, and building instruments. We’ve got an armada of technicians working with us. I was forever trying to convince Chris that I wanted it broad but not loud. I wanted it murky and not bright. It had to seem to come from within the movie as opposed to being a score that sits on top of the movie. I wanted the music to seep out of Wally’s cinematography. I brought in Mel Wesson to become a bridge between sound effects and music. He does a lot of the ambient sound design, and you can’t quite put your finger on if it’s a sound effect or if it’s music. He’s painting with sound; that’s really what he’s doing. It was important to create a whole sonic world for these characters to inhabit.

These films are special to us. I’m a terrible procrastinator, and I said to Chris the other day that one of the reasons I’m procrastinating so much on TDKR is that I don’t want it to end! This one especially… I’m not giving anything away, but I was saying to him that all my life I wanted to be a film composer, and all my life I’d wanted to do a movie like this one, but nobody had written it. I didn’t know it would ever exist. And he wrote it. And what am I going to do now?! It’s so ironic that I had to be talked into doing the first one.

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Old 07-11-2012, 01:29 PM   #225
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“The Dark Knight Rises” probably has the best chance ever for a superhero film to rise into the best-picture mix at February’s Oscars. The film is the last in a celebrated trilogy that elevated comic-book movies to operatic proportion, and Hollywood likes sending finales out with a lovely door-prize (Peter Jackson’s first two “Lord of the Rings” films were Oscar also-rans before the trilogy’s conclusion won best picture).

It has the weight and scope — and then some — of 2008’s “The Dark Knight,” the “Batman Begins” sequel whose snub in the best-picture field helped prod the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to expand the category to more than five nominees.

And in the snub department, academy voters are not likely to forget that Batman boss Christopher Nolan, one of modern Hollywood’s true innovators, has yet to be nominated for best director. So there could be an “oops, sorry about that” sheepishness among Oscar types working in both Nolan’s and the film’s favor.

Nolan doesn’t feel snubbed that “The Dark Knight” was overlooked for best picture or that he missed out on a directing nomination for that one and his 2010 thriller “Inception,” a best-picture nominee. He actually sees a one-of-a-kind honor in the way his films have played out over Oscar season.

“Look, the idea, the fact that people have talked about ‘The Dark Knight’ as being a key reason why the academy changed their rules and expanded the field is just a huge honor for the film, in a weird way,” Nolan said.

The rules now allow for as many as 10 best-picture contenders. Opening next week, “The Dark Knight Rises” may just speak for itself as a work of high costume drama — albeit superhero costumes — that’s worthy of show business’ highest honors, no matter how many nominees there are.

The film is gorgeous, sharply written, briskly paced despite an epic running time approaching three hours. The characters have depth and pathos, and the drama feels far richer than the usual hero-saving-the-world saga. The action reflects our own hard times as a masked terrorist lays siege to the masses in a sort of perverse Occupy Gotham City movement that pits the comic-book world’s 99 percenters against the rich and rapacious.

“I’m not saying this as a cast member. I’m saying this as a member of the academy. So far, it’s the best film I’ve seen all year,” said Anne Hathaway, who plays master thief Catwoman in “The Dark Knight Rises.” ‘’He’s transcended the genre now. I think he’s shown that a comic-book movie can actually be epic, extraordinary cinema.”

So that’s one Oscar vote already from past best-actress nominee Hathaway. Round up the rest of Nolan’s key cast and the film’s got even more academy backers: four Oscar winners — Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Marion Cotillard and Batman himself, Christian Bale — and another longtime awards season oversight, Gary Oldman, who finally got his first nomination last season.

That’s half a dozen big names pulling for “The Dark Knight Rises.” Sure, it’s a tiny fraction of the academy’s nearly 6,000 members. Yet when that many great actors sign up for a superhero flick, it must be something special.

They and co-stars Tom Hardy and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, two of Nolan’s “Inception” colleagues, deliver superb performances in a genre whose characters often act more than a little campy.

That has been the difference in Nolan’s Batman films. Characters wear silly disguises, but it all feels real — so real that Heath Ledger posthumously won the supporting-actor Oscar as the Joker in “The Dark Knight,” playing a madman hidden behind makeup that looked like a melted ice cream cake.

Nolan “takes it seriously and he treats the characters like human beings, not as caricatures, and he treats the world as a real place,” Gordon-Levitt said. “He walks that line of delivering you a spectacle but not talking down to you.”

It’s not as if the academy has disrespected Nolan’s films. He’s been nominated himself three times, for the screenplays of “Inception” and his 2001 breakout hit “Memento,” as well as best-picture as a producer on “Inception.”

Nolan’s films have received 21 nominations — including eight each for “Inception” and “The Dark Knight” — and won six Oscars.

“Regardless of whether ‘The Dark Knight’ was nominated or not, we had nothing to complain about,” Bale said. “I don’t think Chris would be complaining whatsoever. I think he’s doing very well.”

The Directors Guild of America, whose awards contenders usually are a close match for the Oscar directing field, has nominated Nolan three times, for “Memento,” ‘’The Dark Knight” and “Inception.”

Hathaway thinks it’s a huge oversight that Oscar voters have yet to follow suit but that “it’s probably just a matter of time” before Nolan wins his Oscar. “I hope it happens with this one,” she said.

Nolan’s not fretting over his Oscar prospects, though. He knows it’s a different kind of film — smaller, more intimate drama — that usually dominates at the awards. He’s actually quite pleased at how his movies have fared during Oscar season.

“The academy’s been incredibly good to me and my films, and it would be churlish of me to complain,” Nolan said. “Really, we’ve been honored by the academy in more kinds of different ways, and very importantly to me, Heath Ledger winning the best supporting-actor Oscar. These are things that mean a lot to me.”

Still, wouldn’t it mean more to win that directing Oscar himself?

“That would be terrific, but at the end of the day, they owe Stanley Kubrick and Alfred Hitchcock a lot more than me, you know what I mean?” Nolan said, citing two Hollywood greats who never won the directing prize. “It’s kind of like, get in line.”
http://www.washingtonpost.com/nation...GdW_story.html

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