Publicity for The Dark Knight Rises has kicked into high gear with press screenings of the the IMAX prologue, the viral Operation Early Bird and the release of a brand-new teaser poster over the weekend. Today, The LA Times had the opportunity to speak with director Christopher Nolan about the highly-anticipated release, discussing the reasons for choosing Bane as the film’s primary villain.
“I didn’t know him very well,” says Nolan of the comic book iteration of Bane. “David Goyer got me a bunch of stuff on him and we looked into him. I only knew him by name, I wasn’t familiar with his back story. He’s a very cool character. And getting an actor like Tom to take it on, you know you’re going to get something very special. Tom is somebody who really knows how to put character into every gesture, every aspect of his physicality in the way that great actors can… With Bane, the physicality is the thing. With a good villain you need an archetype, you know, you need the extreme of some type of villainy. The Joker is obviously a particular archetype of diabolical, chaotic anarchy and has a devilish sense of humor. Bane, to me, is something we haven’t dealt with in the films. We wanted to do something very different in this film. He’s a primarily physical villain, he’s a classic movie monster in a way — but with a terrific brain. I think he’s a fascinating character. I think people are going to get a kick out of what we’ve done with him.”
Nolan also discussed the jump forward in time that fans will experience between the The Dark Knight film and The Dark Knight Rises. As was previously announced, the new film will take place eight years after the end of the 2008 film.
“It will make a lot more sense to people when they see the film,”Nolan explains. “But it’s not a great mystery — it’s the jumping-off point for the film — but it’s hard for me to articulate it. I think the mood at the beginning of the film will make a lot of sense. If I had to express it thematically, I think what we’re saying is that for Batman and Commissioner Gordon, there’s a big sacrifice, a big compromise, at the end of the ‘The Dark Knight’ and for that to mean something, that sacrifice has to work and Gotham has to get better in a sense. They have to achieve something for the ending of that film — and the feeling at the end of that film — to have validity. Their sacrifice has to have meaning and it takes time to establish that and to show that, and that’s the primary reason we did that. It’s a time period that is not so far ahead that we would have to do crazy makeup or anything — which I think would be distracting — but it gave them something to get their teeth into, particularly Christian in terms of [portraying] this guy who has been frozen in this moment in time with nowhere to go. He really has done an incredible job figuring out how to characterize that and express that.”
Set for release on July 20, 2012, The Dark Knight Rises also stars Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Juno Temple, Josh Pence, Daniel Sunjata and Nestor Carbonell.