The Dark Knight Rises - Kate Rodger's LA experience
Tue, 10 Jul 2012 1:00p.m.
By Kate Rodger
What’s a girl to do when a strict life-threatening review embargo means she can’t talk about the most highly anticipated superhero movie of the year, a movie so fresh in her mind she can still hear Batman’s growl in her ears?
Her only solace is to talk about everything and anything else she can get her greedy little hands on that has even the slightest hint of Batman DNA. Truth be known though? The less you know about The Dark Knight Rises the better, and you certainly won't be getting any spoilers from me, here or anywhere else.
I’m here in Los Angeles for The Dark Knight Rises junket. This means joining other international entertainment reporters and reviewers to watch the film, interview the cast, and then file my piece for 3 News.
I'm told that yes, it does come in black
But of course, it means so much more than that. It means witnessing this final chapter unfolding and enthralling and then closing on the greatest comic-book superhero trilogy of our time. It means being able to ask master filmmaker Christopher Nolan, why must the legend end?
Of course, in a little over a week you get to see The Dark Knight Rises in all its big screen IMAX glory for yourselves, and judging by my chats with the cast and Nolan today, they cannot wait for audiences to experience it.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (original character John Blake, a Gotham cop in the film) and Anne Hathaway (Selina Kyle, otherwise known as Catwoman) are both new additions to the Bat fray, and quite obviously stoked to be part of the legend. I interviewed Gordon-Levitt alongside his partner in fighting crime, Gary Oldman, who plays Commissioner Gordon in the trilogy.
They talked of the intensity of the long seven-month shoot, and for Oldman, of his more than seven-year long journey with Nolan’s Batman. Both men are clearly in awe of Nolan's re-imagining of the comic-book superhero.
Hathaway is always a delight to talk with, very warm and engaging, and waxing lyrical on her Catwoman escapades today she was irrepressible. It was certainly an interesting choice of Nolan’s to bring the cat back into the picture, and has he ever given us reason to doubt him? Nup. But that’s enough about that for now, or my first-born will be forced into The League of Shadows by Warner Bros for revealing too much.
The Dark Knight Rises cast (Reuters)
I was Christian Bale’s last interview after a long day locked in a Beverly Hilton hotel room (not as dodgy as it sounds, mores the pity) and his relief was palpable. It certainly made my lifelong mission to make this very serious man smile that little bit more achievable, and a smile I got. I can now die happy.
Talking about his Batman though, Bale is back in very serious mode and that’s just sweet by me. It’s been a life-changing and career-changing role, it propelled him into the heights of the Hollywood A-league, and he’s gone on to win an Oscar and a swathe of other awards for his outstanding performance in The Fighter. He told me his relationship with Batman has been a romance, one he feels sad to be moving on from, but one he has so much to thank for. He also talked about Heath Ledger’s Oscar-winning contribution to the Batman legend, and how there will never be any other Batman villain to better him.
Of course, the final chapter does have a new villain. His name is Bane. If the Scarecrow was a madman, the Joker an anarchist, then Bane is a terrorist.
To my huge disappointment British actor Tom Hardy, who plays Bane, wasn’t in town for interviews. Bale says Hardy is a fantastic actor and Bane is a monstrous opponent for Batman, one who for the first time is physically superior to Batman. Comic-book aficionados will of course know Bane as the man who broke Batman’s back. Yep, he’s that nasty.
There is also another new addition to this cast of characters. Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard became a Nolan favourite after her outing in Inception, she boards the Batman franchise as the wealthy Wayne Enterprises board member Miranda Tate.
Dark Knight Rises poster in the Beverly Hilton hotel
Two favourites of the past two films return, bringing all their Oscar-winning star power to proceedings. Sir Michael Caine is pivotal as more than a butler to Bruce Wayne, his Alfred one for the ages. His journey in this new Batman is an even more emotional and harrowing one. And master gadget man Lucius Fox is once again the wonderful Morgan Freeman. He wasn’t just content with Batman breaking land-speed records, this time he set his heights much higher, as in much higher off the ground. In my biggest disappointment of the day, myself and several other journalists were unlucky enough to have their interview slots cut for this dynamic duo and I almost burst into girlie tears! So you can imagine how truly gutted to my core I was to then spot Morgan Freeman wandering past after his earlier interviews were complete, smiling warmly at me with his eyes shaded BY AN ALL BLACKS RUGBY WORLD CUP CAP! From whence it came and why he chose to wear it for the junket I will never know, as I didn’t get to interview him. I suspect you heard my heart breaking from New Zealand.
But the word disappointment certainly won’t be featuring when my full review is cleared for posting next Tuesday. Consider the embargo respected (I’m such a good girl) and hang fire for July 19 when the film opens in NZ. It might pay to bear in mind that Nolan’s love of the IMAX camera crossed new frontiers this time around, and he shot an entire half the film using them. Aucklanders, I urge you to see The Dark Knight Rises at IMAX if you can.
Watch Kate's report from LA tonight on 3 News at 6pm.
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12/07/2012 5:25:45 a.m.
Great, well written article. Can't wait till the 19th.
11/07/2012 2:25:30 p.m.
Fantastic article, thanks so much! Glad to hear you had such a great time, but so sad you didn't get to interview everybody. Looking forward to your review!
10/07/2012 11:05:58 p.m.
In Nolan We Trust!
10/07/2012 9:37:07 p.m.
Great read Kate! Looking forward to your review on Tuesday.
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