Fortunately, Screen Rant was at the film’s European premiere in London to talk to the cast and crew – including Tom Hardy and Hans Zimmer.
WARNING – THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS DARK KNIGHT RISES SPOILERS!!!!
I made my way down to London (as per usual with this sort of event) to the BFI IMAX cinema for a screening of The Dark Knight Rises. We were ushered into the foyer, where the Batpod was on display alongside the costumes of Batman, Bane and Catwoman. We had to surrender all electronic equipment before entering the screening.
This isn’t going to be a review piece (read our Dark Knight Rises review here), but the film is stunning, powerful and visceral. The director takes the series to the next level – not only in terms of action, but also emotionally. I’ve been a Batman fan for a quarter of a century, and it’s great to see the character portrayed in this way. If you have the opportunity to see the film in IMAX, then you should do so – some moments are truly breathtaking.
After the screening, I made my way to the Odeon in Leicester Square to pick up my press pass for the screening. I had a couple of hours to kill, so I pottered about London, grabbed a coffee and started writing my notes. I eventually took my position on the press line and waited – praying that the rain would hold off (it didn’t). Attending the premiere for the film was Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Morgan Freeman, composer Hans Zimmer, producer Emma Thomas, screenwriter Jonathan Nolan – and, of course, the man who resuscitated the Batman franchise, Christopher Nolan.
There was a carnival atmosphere in the air. Most of Leicester Square was filled with fans eager to catch a glimpse of the film’s stars. Some of those gathered were in costume, while others were wearing Batman-themed garments. At the center of the square stood a giant cracked Batman mask, surrounded by shooting flames. The premiere kicked off with the Tumbler doing a lap around the square, and then the stars arrived – to cheers from the crowd.
Cast and crew started arriving fast, with Tom Hardy getting loud cheers from the crowd – he worked them like a pro, too, signing autographs and taking pictures. Hardy spoke to me about what it was like to join the third film in the series, saying:
“[Christian Bale, Marion Cotillard, and Anne Hathaway are] all incredible actors, and of course Nolan’s an incredible director, so it’s a dream come true.”
He also mentioned how he prepared for the role:
“I went to the gym and I put some weight on, and I put a mask on and I got on stage and I did an accent – that was it.”
Then I had an opportunity to speak with the film’s composer, Hans Zimmer, and I asked him about the challenges he faced when composing the score for this third film in the series:
“A new villain, not getting sad that it was our last one, figuring out how not to procrastinate forever, because it was our last one. I didn’t want it to end. In one way or another Chris and I have been working together now for eight years – so it felt a little sad.”
The character of Bane brings an added dimension to this new film, so I asked Zimmer how he created a theme for the character. According to Zimmer:
“If the truth be told, I wrote the Bane thing and recorded it last year, the first of July, in London – before Chris had even started shooting. It just came out of conversations with the script really. So I just had a really insane idea and went for it and he liked it.
All right, I’ll tell you the long story: I went to Warner Bros. and asked ‘Have I earned the right yet to hire a really big orchestra and try this idea? If it goes wrong then we can chuck it away and don’t mention that I just blew half the budget.’ They said go ahead. It turned out okay, and the old chant works.”
Cillian Murphy was also on hand to discuss his small (but pivotal) role in the film as Jonathan Crane – the only villain to appear in all three of Nolan’s Batman films.
“I never die, I don’t know why not. It’s just nice to be back. It’s always nice to work with Chris and just nice to play a little part in the last two.”
Without a doubt, one of the most important behind-the-scenes creators working on Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy has been his brother, Jonathan, who co-scripted The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises. I asked him how he went about concluding the trilogy, to which he said:
“Different writers and comic book artists have always tried to imagine how this ends. I read all of those. Chris read some. But he was really proceeding from his place with living with this character for ten years now and he’s trying to imagine what is the fitting ending for our take on this character. Chris always had a sense of where we wanted to go and you get to a fundamental moment where, if it’s all working, a kind of gravity, where if you add to it, it then supports the underlying idea. I’m very happy with the ending and I certainly hope audiences are.”
The Dark Knight Rises concludes Nolan’s take on the Batman myth and the premiere event concluded with the stars taking their seats in the Odeon to watch the epic battle between Batman and Bane.
The Dark Knight Rises is currently in theaters, and I highly recommend that you check it out.