The Dark Knight Rises. Perhaps the only topic in popular culture that’s received so much speculation since the oft debated, never to be determined question of whether or not Lady Gaga is actually a man.


Wait a second…has any one heard from Marilyn Manson lately?

This comes with good reason. Christopher Nolan (the brilliant English director behind Inception and the previous two Batman films) has managed to keep most of the happenings pertaining to all of his films under lock and key. No matter what the man is attached to, he creates in relative silence; and yet still he manages to demolish all expectations.

While there are still some key factors we all want to know about that Nolan won’t comment on, he has gone and changed our expectations once again – only this time he has done so long before the film’s summer release. Through sources like Empire and The International Film Festival, Nolan has been rather candid about aspects of the film we couldn’t have ever imagined.

Let’s look at the 3 biggest reveals about The Dark Knight Rises. It should go without saying that you should stop here if you don’t want to learn anything about this highly anticipated release.


THE PROLOGUE WILL SCREEN BEFORE ‘MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL’, AND WE KNOW WHAT HAPPENS.


News broke a few months back that fans could expect to see a prologue for TDKR at IMAX screenings of the new Tom Cruise spy film. This was confirmed by Nolan soon after, but thanks to film bloggers around the world who have seen press screenings of the prologue, we now know what audiences can expect.

Reports are telling us that the footage (which runs, in Nolan’s words, “six, seven minutes”) introduces us to Bane. While that might sound only slightly exciting, let me fill you in on the back-story. Bane, along with other criminals, are being held captive on some kind of air transport. In order to escape, Bane causes the plane to begin heading straight for the ground – he intends to crash the plane.

While few details have been leaked as of yet, reports are saying that Bane’s breakout is disrupted by Batman during one of the most intense, practically filmed action sequences in history. And, according to all who have seen the footage, the preview ends with Bane dropping Batman’s shattered cowl.


All of those billions of dollars, and Bruce just had to skimp on the structural integrity of his helmet.


BANE WILL BE AS FLESHED OUT AND CENTRAL TO THE STORY AS THE JOKER IN THE DARK KNIGHT


Bane may best be known (unfortunately) to the general public as the one-dimensional, big, oafish steroid junkie seen lumbering around whilst uttering cryptic grunting sounds from Batman and Robin… but don’t expect to see that in this film.

Nolan has been very coy about what Bane achieves or attempts in the film, but he has promised eager fans that Bane will be much more cunning, much more brilliant, and much more vindictive and true to the comic book version than the previous portrayal. The fact that he’s a brute with an above-average threshold for pain and an intellect to match (in the comics he was raised in a prison system and managed to garner street smarts from staving off other prisoners and the equivalent of a classical education from an elderly Jesuit priest)makes the true nature of his character more imposing than what his prior film appearance implied. Bane is rare in that he is a villain that is both a physical and cerebral match for Batman.

In recent interviews, Nolan has made a habit out of hinting that Bane will also play into the larger story that all three of his films are telling, which is ultimately about Bruce Wayne and the fall from one of the most painful moments of his young life. With so much good intention behind his actions, Bane is still somehow instrumental in the education of Bruce Wayne.
This leads to…


BRUCE WAYNE IS GOING TO GET HURT – PERHAPS IRREVERSIBLY.


When it was announced that Bane would be playing against Batman, fans immediately assumed it could mean only one thing: The end of Bruce Wayne.

In the comics, Bane used his cunning to find out who was behind the cape and cowl after staging a prison break at Arkham Asylum and releasing most of Batman’s archnemeses. After Batman was worn down and exhausted, Bane sneaked into the Batcave and beat Batman to a pulp – ending the fight by breaking the Dark Knight’s back over his knee and declaring himself the new “King of Gotham.” Bruce stopped being Batman, and handed the job over to another character. (Could the inclusion of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character as a young police officer named John Blake in DKR foreshadow a similar circumstance?)

Given Nolan’s own statement about the film, we know Bruce isn’t in very good shape from the minute the first scene rolls. In an interview with Empire, Nolan said the following:

It’s really all about finishing Batman and Bruce Wayne’s story. 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.


Will this Bane break the Bat just like his comic book counterpart?

If nothing else, we know that Batman is going to suffer the most debilitating injury of his life. What this means for the use of the word ‘Rises’ in the title can only hint that something truly legendary awaits audiences come July.