The Dark Knight Rises Production Notes Reveal New Details

Some of the highlights from the notes include:

Director Chris Nolan on the time lapse between films: Our story picks up eight years later, when it seems that Batman and Commissioner Gordon have succeeded—the Dark Knight is no longer needed in Gotham.  In that regard, Bruce Wayne has won the battle, but he is traumatized by what happened and doesn’t know how to move on from being the figure of Batman.  ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ very much deals with the consequences of his and other characters’ actions in the previous films.”

Christian Bale on Bruce Wayne’s journey throughout the series:In ‘Batman Begins,’ you see the tragedy and the pain that motivates this angry young man, who feels useless and is searching for a path—who wants to find out who he is and what he can become.  Then in ‘The Dark Knight,’ he’s discovered that path.  He is useful; he is doing what he imagines is the best thing for him to be doing in his life.  Now, we are eight years on and he has lost the one thing that gave him a purpose…until he is forced to deal with a new threat to the city and to himself.”

Nolan relates: “In deciding on who the next villain would be, it was imperative that it  was someone completely different from the Joker—that he be a  brute force.  The physical component of what Bruce Wayne does as Batman is of  extraordinary importance, and we had not truly challenged that in the first two films.  I really wanted to see Batman meet his match physically, as well as intellectually.  Bane is raw strengthwith a fanatical devotion to duty, and that combination makes him unstoppable.”

“This is the first time it appears highly unlikely that Batman will come out on top in a physical altercation,” Bale  allows.  “He has  been dormant for years, so he’s in a weakened condition to begin with, and Bane is not only incredibly strong but ruthless in terms of his sheer militancy and the ideology that drives him.”

Tom Hardy attests: “Bane has come to do a job and has no feelings of remorse.”

Screenwriter Jonathan Nolan says: “Something about her morally ambiguous philosophy finally gives Batman someone he can relate to.  In a weird way, she’s the yin to his yang.  The dynamic between them is so fresh—the playful way she kind of pokes fun at him—it  sparks a connection between them and takes some of the somberness away from his character.”
“I think Selina does what is necessary to survive,” relates Hathaway, “and that includes crossing a few lines that others might find unforgivable.  Even if she wants to change, it’s hard to escape your past…and she does have a past.  That makes her vulnerable, especially these days when anyone with a computer or smartphone can look up almost anything about you.  Everybody has moments in life when they think, ‘If I knew then what I know now…’  Selina might like the opportunity not to have to live by the choices she was forced to make up to this point.”
On Commissioner Gordon: “Gordon was more useful to the political leaders of Gotham when the city was overrun by organized crime,” Nolan points out.  “Now that is under control, so there are people eyeing his job, presuming he’s no longer needed.  But Gordon has been struggling with the fact that all of this is based ona false foundation.”
“It’s a secret that’s eaten away at him for years,” confirms Gary Oldman. “Crime is at an all-time low in Gotham, but Gordon knows that it’s tainted.  Now he’s ready to come clean, but there doesn’t seem to be a right time or place, and he also questions if the city is ready for the truth.  Then, because of Bane, he’s in the field again.  I think he’s like a soldier who likes to be on the front lines, getting his hands dirty.  He’s probably been doing a lot of paper pushing in the intervening years and that has dampened his spirits.  Now you really feel like the old Gordon is back.”
“It required very intense preparation,” the director continues. “And when it came time to shoot, Christian and Tom worked extremely well together.  It was frighteningly real, and quite intimidating to see these iconic, larger-than-life characters really go at it. There are plenty of other large-scale action  scenes  in the film,  but that  face-to-face confrontation between these two adversaries was something I really felt  was the centerpiece of the film.”
There were also preparations being done on the ground, where the fuselage of the CIA plane would eventually fall to earth.  Everything was cleared from the area, to ensure that there was no threat to people or wildlife.  The weather also cooperated, giving the filmmakers clear skies.
The struggle unfolding inside the turboprop plane was filmed at Cardington, a converted airship hangar north of London.  Corbould’s team constructed the fuselage of the plane on a gimbal, which was able to tip the aircraft from horizontal to vertical and rapidly roll it from side to side, severely testing the equilibrium of the cast and crew. “I don’t know why on Chris’s sets we always end up tumbling around or turning upside down,” Pfister says, only half-joking.  “Logistically, it makes for quite a challenge when you’re shooting it, but it also makes for a great bit on film.”
Nolan offers: “It’s a terrific combination of the tactile reality of the Batcave and the functionality of the Bat-Bunker.”
Zimmer says that, like the character, the theme accompanying Selina Kyle is “full of ambiguity, which is far more interesting than just being bad or good.  Chris’s movies always contain a certain amount of ambiguity, and I try to put some of that into the music.”
You can read all of the production notes for the film here.
The Dark Knight Rises opens in theaters and IMAX on July 20.