Director Christopher Nolan has been out doing a smattering of press talking about the upcoming “The Dark Knight Rises” and spoke with The Los Angeles Times about why he chose to use Bane (and ultimately actor Tom Hardy in the role) for the film’s antagonist.
A big key was the different style of threat he poses to Batman. “With Bane, the physicality is the thing. With a good villain you need an archetype, you know, you need the extreme of some type of villainy. The Joker is obviously a particular archetype of diabolical, chaotic anarchy and has a devilish sense of humor. Bane, to me, is something we haven’t dealt with in the films. We wanted to do something very different in this film. He’s a primarily physical villain, he’s a classic movie monster in a way – but with a terrific brain. I think he’s a fascinating character. I think people are going to get a kick out of what we’ve done with him” says Nolan.
Nolan admits he had little knowledge of the character until David Goyer gave him background information – “I only knew him by name, I wasn’t familiar with his back story. He’s a very cool character. And getting an actor like Tom to take it on, you know you’re going to get something very special. Tom is somebody who really knows how to put character into every gesture, every aspect of his physicality in the way that great actors can. He’s a very, very physical actor. He transforms himself and it’s there in every movement.”
One big question has been why this film is set years after the events of “The Dark Knight”. Nolan says the reason behind that decision will be explained in the film – “it’s hard for me to articulate it. I think the mood at the beginning of the film will make a lot of sense. If I had to express it thematically, I think what we’re saying is that for Batman and Commissioner Gordon, there’s a big sacrifice, a big compromise, at the end of the ‘The Dark Knight’ and for that to mean something, that sacrifice has to work and Gotham has to get better in a sense. They have to achieve something for the ending of that film – and the feeling at the end of that film – to have validity. Their sacrifice has to have meaning and it takes time to establish that and to show that, and that’s the primary reason we did that. It’s a time period that is not so far ahead that we would have to do crazy makeup or anything – which I think would be distracting – but it gave them something to get their teeth into, particularly Christian Bale in terms of [portraying] this guy who has been frozen in this moment in time with nowhere to go. He really has done an incredible job figuring out how to characterize that and express that.”
Finally, Nolan also talked about the six minutes of preview footage popping up in select IMAX theaters screening “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol” starting this Friday. Nolan says the aerial stunt sequence “was a tricky sequence to shoot but a lot of very talented people worked very hard on it. And I’m thrilled with the result. We shot it in Scotland. We braved the weather – it rains all the time there, a terrible place to do an aerial sequence, which is why no one has sort of done it before. You usually wind up in the desert or something for very practical reasons. But it really came off. We got very lucky with the weather and a lot of good planning went into it. I think it had a very unique look.”