Nolan and Bale's epic goodbye to Batman
Tue, 10 Jul 2012 6:34p.m.
By Kate Rodger
Four years ago The Dark Knight saw Batman go from hero to fugitive, making well in excess of US$1 billion at the global box office to become the successful comic-book superhero of all time in the process.
The Dark Knight Rises next week is the final chapter in Christopher Nolan’s critically acclaimed Batman trilogy, and the record books are almost certainly poised to be broken again.
Christian Bale returns as the Batman for the last time. Saying goodbye to a character which has changed his life and career forever brings mixed emotions.
“It’s sad,” says Bale.“[But] it’s right, it’s correct. It means so much to me, the relationships I’ve formed with Chris Nolan, the crew, the other actors, with the character itself, with the other stories that could be told with this complex and wonderful character.”
Full Dark Knight Rises interview with Christopher Nolan.
Nolan couldn’t agree more. The filmmaker left his mark outside Hollywood's famous Grauman's Chinese Theatre during a hand and footprint ceremony on the weekend and these films helped him earn that honour, but he could be forgiven for feeling sad about the end of his Batman journey.
“It’s that thing, that for any great story it will have these three parts, and a very satisfying conclusion,” says Nolan.
“I’ve been working with these characters for 10 years now, it’s an important part of my life, it’s been incredible, I will miss it absolutely, but its time to move on.”
The legend of The Dark Knight will always be remembered for the extraordinary posthumous Oscar-winning performance of Heath Ledger as The Joker. His death meant choosing a new villain for this final chapter was an enormous challenge.
“Heath had played such a wonderful Joker, we couldn’t have a villain comparable to him, because it would have paled by comparison, so Chris had to choose a villain that was very different,” says Bale.
Full Dark Knight Rises interview with Christian Bale.
So Batman must come in from the cold to save Gotham from the imposing Bane.
If The Joker was an anarchist, Bane is a terrorist, and for the first time, Batman meets an opponent who is physically superior to him.
Whether or not he triumphs over Bane is as big a question as whether this final chapter will triumph over all which has come before it, but Batman knows his time of reckoning is here.
“We have a beginning, a middle and an end,” says Bale.
“It’s the right time, and it would be too long if we went to a point where we realised we’d made a movie that wasn’t as good as the others, and so far I believe we’ve always made a movie that has bettered the one before.”
Audiences will discover if Bale’s belief in the Batman is absolute when The Dark Knight Rises opens next week.
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