Eight years? Hopefully, Bruce Wayne and Alfred Pennyworth have finally finished those long-promised improvements to the foundation on the southeast corner of Stately Wayne Manor.
In an article posted earlier today by Empire magazine in the U.K., The Dark Knight Rises director Christopher Nolan skillfully teases a tiny bit more of the 2012 film, the last in his definitive Batman trilogy. "It's really all about finishing Batman and Bruce Wayne's story," states Nolan. "We left him in a very precarious place. Perhaps surprisingly for some people, our story picks up quite a bit later, eight years after The Dark Knight. So he's an older Bruce Wayne; he's not in a great state."
This eight-year jump means all manner of things could've happened since Batman decided to take the fall for Harvey Dent's death and become a wanted fugitive from the police. Eight years of constantly fighting the police while trying to stop Gotham's criminals seems a bit excessive, so perhaps Bruce simply quits at some point and goes into a form of retirement until this new major threat emerges.
Nolan also offered some tidbits about Bane, the villain played by beefed-up actor Tom Hardy as shown in the Empire cover here. "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."
Hardy's take on his character? "He's brutal. 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 not about fighting. 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...A little more intimidating than Robert Swenson's version in the 1997 movie Batman and Robin, then. Got it.
Interestingly, Dark Knight Rises costume designer Lindy Hemming was also quoted in the article, passing along some information about Bane's mask. "He 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."
Oh, one more thing about this eight-year time jump...Since this is indeed both Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale's final Batman film, and this is now an older Batman, it's possible that Nolan may do the unthinkable and actually have Batman die in the film's finale. More Batman films with a different Batman and a different director are inevitable considering how much box office they pull in, but if The Dark Knight Rises is intended as the final film in Nolan's trilogy, maybe he'll be allowed to give his Batman an actual ending...?
The Dark Knight Rises arrives in theaters in the U.S. on July 20, 2012.