Don't lie to yourself: any news about The Dark Knight Rises is news you want to hear. It has been difficult waiting for the official statements out of Christopher Nolan's camp (while avoiding those crappy on-set videos), but now we have our first hints at what is to come in TDKR, and dammit all, Nolan has pulled a fast one on us again. Be warned, some very minor spoilers ahead, but it is nothing that we won't see for the eventual plot synopsis of the film. And it is not like you haven't seen The Dark Knight.
Empire has the interview in which Nolan tells how TDKR will take place eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, dealing with an older Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) who "is not in a great state," says Nolan. It would be no surprise that Wayne's life has taken a wrong turn, seeing as Batman is likely to have endured harsh public scrutiny since the events of TDK, in which he took the blame for Harvey Dent/Two-Face's crimes. Nolan continues, saying "it's really all about finishing Batman and Bruce Wayne's story.
We left him in a very precarious place .. .with Bane, we're looking to give Batman a challenge he hasn't had
before. With our choice of villain and with our choice of story we're
testing Batman both physically as well as mentally."
Along with the interviews, the magazine has also posted new photos of both Bale as Batman and newcomer to the series Tom Hardy as the villain Bane, who many comic fans will remember for his "Knightfall" storyline, in which Bane (mentally and literally) breaks Batman's back. If Hardy's interview is any indication, his incarnation of Bane will be no less physical, stating Bane is "brutal ... he's a big dude who's incredibly clinical, in the fact
that he has a result-based and oriented fighting style ... it's about carnage. The style is heavy-handed, heavy-footed,
it's nasty. Anything from small-joint manipulation to crushing skulls,
crushing rib cages, stamping on shins and knees and necks and
collarbones and snapping heads off and tearing his fists through chests,
ripping out spinal columns. He is a terrorist in mentality as well as
brutal action." So definitely not the Joel Schumacher version we don't like to talk about but we all know exists.
One area the Nolan/Hardy Bane has been drawing attention (and some criticism) is in his costume and look overall. In the comics, Bane has always been shown as a mammoth-sized muscle freak with a luchador mask and a million Venom tubes coming from his back. Not exactly the image that comes to mind when dealing with the universe Nolan has established for the recent "Batman" films. Costume designer Lindy Hemming goes on the record, stating that Bane (again, light spoilers!), "was injured early in his story. He's suffering from pain and needs
gas to survive. He can't survive the pain without the mask. The pipes
from the mask go back along his jawline and feed into the thing at his
back, where there are two cannisters."
So while we don't know if the "gas" described has the same properties as Venom, we do know it fits Bane's M.O. of addiction.
With the project moving into the post-production stages, we can now salivate like mad as more and more of these little (official) pieces of information begin to come out of the project, to build on the already deafening hype. Nolan also confirms the "prologue" of the film will play in select IMAX theaters in front of Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol and will be "an introduction to Bane and a taste of the rest of the film." As basic as that sounds, knowing Nolan — and the prologue that introduced the Joker to world — it's got to be one hell of a taste.