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'The Dark Knight Rises' preview: Christopher Nolan, Christian Bale discuss the key scene at the heart of the Batman trilogy

With the release of The Dark Knight Rises, director Christopher Nolan completes a trilogy of grave and gritty Batman films that began with Batman Begins in 2005 and continued with The Dark Knight in 2008. The third installment brings unity and closure to the saga  – but that’s not to say Nolan and his collaborators had a master plan from the start. The filmmaker says he always knew he would never make more than three Bat-flicks, but he approached each project as if it might be the last. His strategy: Pour every Batty idea into the work at hand; remain consistent with the themes and plot of the previous chapter; keep a fuzzy option or two open for what might come next… except for Rises, which Nolan swears is his Batman swan song. “The truth is I always wanted to tell more of Bruce Wayne’s story, but in a superstitious sense, you can’t plan on that,” says the helmer, whose other credits include Memento and Inception. “You have to tell one great story, one great film. And if people demand another one, you have permission to make it.”

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The Dark Knight Rises...but not for Broadway musicals: Why Christian Bale won't be seeing 'Newsies'

Once upon a time, Newsies was a movie musical starring Christian Bale that flopped at the box office and with critics when it was released by The Walt Disney Company in 1992. Today, Newsies is a lauded Broadway musical smash starring Jeremy Jordan in the role played by Bale in the film, which despite failure inspired a passionate cult of fans who call themselves “Fansies.” No one is more surprised by this turn of events than Bale himself. “These things never make any sense,” the Oscar-winning actor and Hollywood’s current Batman told EW in a recent interview. “I’m incredibly happy for them. They’re having the success our movie never had.”  READ FULL STORY

Comic-Con: Up close and personal with every single Batmobile ever -- VIDEO

There are very few things in life better than getting to strap into the impossibly cool Batmobile from the Michael Keaton-era Batman movies and enjoy a quick spin in the sun-dappled dusk of San Diego Comic-Con.

To commemorate the end of Christopher Nolan’s Bat-trilogy next Friday with The Dark Knight Rises, Warner Bros. trotted out six iterations of the Caped Crusader’s sweet wheels: The cartoony car from Adam West-era TV series; the sleek Keaton-era car from both Batman and Batman Returns; the outlandish cars from the Joel Schumacher-era Batman Forever and Batman & Robin; and the Nolan-era tank-like “Tumbler” vehicles from Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.

We got an up-close look at all of them, including that aforementioned ride in the Keaton-era Batmobile — and you’re likely not going to believe who was driving it. Check out my full video report below:  READ FULL STORY

'Dark Knight Rises' new IMAX poster

With just a little over a week until the July 20th release of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, fan excitement for the epic conclusion is gearing up.

For the lucky few that already have tickets to a midnight IMAX screening, even more great news: IMAX announced yesterday that ticketholders attending 12:01 a.m. screenings of The Dark Knight Rises on July 20 will receive an exclusive print featuring the movie’s villain, Bane (Tom Hardy). For those that don’t yet have midnight tickets, good luck.

The black-and-white image premiered on Fandango Tuesday.

Read more:
You can now stream the ‘Dark Knight Rises’ soundtrack online
‘The Dark Knight Rises’: Christopher Nolan cements his place in Hollywood at hand and footprint ceremony 
Five things we learned from ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ production notes

'The Dark Knight Rises' star Tom Hardy talks about playing Bane and inventing the villain's controversial voice: 'It's a risk.'

When Christopher Nolan asked Tom Hardy to play the villain in his third and final Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises, due July 20, the director doted on one job requirement in particular: the budding star would have to wear a mask that looked like a leathery baboon mouth with metal casings for fangs – a sort of steampunk respirator as fashioned by Francis Bacon. “I think he worried it would be something I might not consider because wearing a mask might damage my career or something. He thought I’d be worried that the audience couldn’t see my beautiful face,” says Hardy, who also worked for Nolan in the filmmaker’s 2010 Oscar-nominated smash Inception. “Like I care. It’s Chris Nolan! I would wear a paper bag over my head for that man.”

To play Bane, a willfully evil and possibly unstoppable force of mind and might, the British actor wanted to develop a distinctive voice, one that evoked (albeit elliptically) the comic book character’s erudition and ethnic heritage (Bane hails from a fictional Caribbean country). Hardy sought a sound befitting a man steeped in malevolence and old soul wisdom and who could trace his roots to ancient Latin culture. “There were two doors we could walk through,” says Hardy. “We could play a very straightforward villain or we could go through this very quirky door, which is totally justified by the text but may seem very, very stupid.” Not surprisingly, Hardy decided to go for the second option. “It’s a risk, because we could be laughed at—or it could be very fresh and exciting,” he says. While some found his dialogue incomprehensible in the IMAX-exclusive sneak peek attached to Mission: Impossible—Ghost Protocol last December, the actor asks for patience. “The audience mustn’t be too concerned about the mumbly voice,” says Hardy. “As the film progresses, I think you’ll be able to tune to its setting.”

Bane’s motivation as a villain remains one of Rises’ best-kept secrets—although the trailers suggest his master plan requires the razing of Gotham and the death of Bruce Wayne. Does Bane represent a specific political or philosophical complaint? The answer is… maybe. “I think the politics of the film are going to be hotly debated one way or another, as they were in the last film,” says Nolan. Listening to Hardy compare Bane to the scarred, clown-faced villain who terrorized Gotham City in The Dark Knight, you almost get the feeling of a revolutionary usurper with tremendous resources. “The Joker didn’t care—he just wanted to see the world burn, and he was a master of chaos and destruction, unscrupulous and crazy. Bane is not that guy,” says Hardy. “There is a very meticulous and calculated way about Bane. There is a huge orchestration of organization to his ambition. He is also a physical threat to Batman. There is nothing vague about Bane. No jokes. He’s a very clean, clear villain.”

For more about The Dark Knight Rises, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, which features our annual Summer Movie Preview. Get the scoop on all of the season’s most anticipated films, including The Avengers, The Amazing Spider-Man, Prometheus, Men In Black 3, Snow White and The Huntsman, and more.

Entertainment Weekly is now available on most tablets, including the iPad, Nook Color, Kindle Fire, and Samsung Galaxy. Think of it like the EW you already love, but on steroids: With our digital magazine, you can buy the recommended movies, albums, books, and DVDs while you’re reading about them. Plus, you can watch music videos and film trailers, and find movie showtimes in your neighborhood. Current subscribers can access the digital version of EW for free by downloading the EW app (also free) and logging in using your name and address or the information on your subscription label. Single copies of the magazine are also for sale through the app if you prefer to read EW that way. If you’re not a subscriber, but would like to become one, you can do so by going to ew.com/allaccess.

New 'Dark Knight Rises' poster: 'The Legend Ends.' Will Batman die?

On the rare occasions when blockbuster demi-god Christopher Nolan emerges from his bleak dream-cave to unveil non-revelatory revelations about next year’s The Dark Knight Rises, the director has worked overtime to explain that Rises will be a genuine conclusion to his version of the Batman mythos. A new poster for the film makes that idea explicit. Batman’s mask lies on the ground, broken. In the background, we can see apparently unintelligible villain Bane walking away. The tagline is simple: “The Legend Ends.” It’s an interesting, uncompromising sales pitch — it’ll be intriguing to see how Rises plays in the same summer as the candy-colored superhero bromance The Avengers. It also adds more fuel to the main question hovering over Rises: Could they actually kill off Batman? Check out the full poster below: READ FULL STORY

Warner Bros. finally confirms 'Dark Knight Rises' prologue before 'Mission: Impossible'

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After two months of whispers, unauthorized announcements, and studio “no comments,” Warner Bros. officially announced today that the six-minute opening sequence of next July’s The Dark Knight Rises will premiere before certain IMAX screenings of Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol on Dec. 16.

“Our experience on The Dark Knight shooting and projecting IMAX 15 perf 65mm/70mm film was inspiring,” said Christopher Nolan, in the statement. “The immersive quality of the image goes beyond any other filmmaking tool available, and in revisiting Gotham, we were determined to shoot even more of the movie in this unique format. Giving the fans an early look at an IMAX sequence is a great way to draw attention to what I believe will be an incredible way to experience our story when it comes out next summer.”

Buried in that cinematic geek-speak is a detail that might effect your moviegoing plans. Not every IMAX theater is a 70mm IMAX theater. In fact, the PG-13 clip will only screen at 42 locations across North America. For the compete list, click here: READ FULL STORY

Christian Bale on 'The Dark Knight Rises': He's done with Batman, and he really really means it

Christian Bale confirmed that next summer’s The Dark Knight Rises will be his last outing as the hoarse Caped Crusader. Again.

Recall that last November, he said as much to E!: “This will be, I believe, until Chris [Nolan] says different, the last time I’ll be playing Batman,” Bale said then. “Absolutely, we want to go all out with it.”

But the enthusiasm and anticipation for the third Christopher Nolan Batman film is such that when Bale recently told another reporter the same thing, the Internets buzzed anew. “I wrapped a few days ago so that will be the last time I’m taking that cowl [Batman hood] off,” he told the Philippine Daily Inquirer. “I believe that the whole production wrapped yesterday, so it’s all done. Everything’s finished. It’s me and Chris — that will be the end of that Batman era.”

Warner Bros. and Bale’s representative didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, but it’s long been known that Bale had originally signed for three Batman films. And since he’s agreed to film two Terrence Malick films back to back, he might be busy for the foreseeable future. Better check the batteries on the Bat Signal. Bales doesn’t expect to be answering it anytime soon.

Read more:
The Knight Shift: The Men Behind the Cowl
‘The Dark Knight Rises’ trailer

'Batman: Year One' clip: Iconic graphic novel gets the animated treatment

Batman: Year One doesn’t tend to get as much attention from outside comic-fan circles as Frank Miller’s other iconic Caped Crusader romp, The Dark Knight Returns. But Year One — which cross-cuts between Bruce Wayne’s early days as Batman and Jim Gordon’s arrival in Gotham City — has aged much better than Returns, thanks to David Mazzucchelli’s noir-perfect art and Miller’s pre-bananas ability to weave together terse realism and outlandish melodrama. So expectations are high for the animated adaptation of Year One, which hits DVD and On Demand in October. Iconic Bat-voice Kevin Conroy won’t be participating — the role will be played by Southland/The OC star Ben McKenzie — but I’m more stoked about the participation of Bryan Cranston (as Gordon) and Katee Sackhoff (as Gordon’s extra-marital crush Sarah Essen). Check out a clip from the film below: READ FULL STORY

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