Wednesday, 28 December 2011

'Dark Knight Rises' Buildup Brings Year Of Questions, Expectations

Despite trailer, Christopher Nolan's Batman film is shrouded in secrecy.
By Eric Ditzian

Christian Bale in "The Dark Knight Rises"
Photo: Warner Bros.

The "Dark Knight Rises" trailer left the MTV News movie staff with a whole fresh set of questions: Is Robin really in the movie? Why is Bruce Wayne walking with a cane? But in a way, there was something very familiar about our state of mind after checking out the new footage.

That's because, since the beginning of the year, we've been consumed with burning questions about Christopher Nolan's third Batman film. And at every turn, we'd tried to get answers to those questions, hitting up the film's stars time and time again. Sometimes, we came away with new insights. Sometimes, answers only led to another set of queries. There's something exasperating about this whole endeavor — but also something awesome. And the movie doesn't even hit theaters for another seven months.

When it does finally arrive, will the film deliver a definite end point to the story line Nolan and his cohorts have been spinning since 2005's "Batman Begins"? After all, Nolan himself promised us back in February, before production even began on the project, that it would: "We're very much excited about really finishing a trilogy and giving a conclusion to our story," he said. "And that's what we're doing."

By the end of the year, after shooting had wrapped, co-star Gary Oldman assured us Nolan had stuck to that promise. "There's a conclusion," he said. "[Nolan] brings and he touches on the first [film, 'Batman Begins'] and he weaves it in, and it resolves. And I think it's a trilogy, but it's just great. The story is terrific. I mean, it's just epic."

So, a tiny bit of confirmation there. Yet Oldman also laughed afterward, "I can't say anything!" That was a theme we heard repeated again and again during the year. When we asked Joseph Gordon-Levitt if his character was Robin, he answered, "You know I can't have this conversation!" When we pressed Tom Hardy about his role as the villain Bane, he exclaimed, "I can't [talk about it], so let's have another question!" And when we wondered whether Marion Cotillard was telling us the truth when she claimed her character, contrary to rumor, would not in fact turn out to be Talia al Ghul, the daughter of "Batman Begins" villain, Ra's al Ghul, the actress responded with a sly smile, "I am!"

We're not sure what's more impressive: Nolan's oeuvre or his ability to keep his actors' lips sealed. They would, however, say one thing without worrying about giving up a "Dark Knight Rises" spoiler: Everyone loves Nolan. "It's genius, what he does," Hardy shared. Cotillard told us, "It's amazing to work on Christopher Nolan's set," while Nestor Carbonell added, "He's one of these amazing storytellers."

If anyone could sum up the year in "Dark Knight Rises" news, though, it was Liam Neeson, who may or may not actually be in the movie (though we're pretty sure he is) and who told us simply that he doesn't have "a f---ing clue what it's about!"

Well put, Mr. Neeson. Us too. But we can't wait to find out.

Check out everything we've got on "The Dark Knight Rises."

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