In the movies the Dark Knight does not always save his lady, but in the Aurora theater the story unfolded differently. The male instinct to rescue and protect kicked in the way it does in less complicated superhero tales. At least three of the 12 victims of the shooting died because they were physically protecting the women they came to the movie with. Alex Teves, 24, used his body as a shield to cover his girlfriend. He was shot, and she survived. Matthew Robert McQuinn threw his body in front of his girlfriend, Samantha Yowler. He too was killed, and she was pulled to safety by her brother, Nick Yowler. Jonathan Blunk, 26, pushed his girlfriend, Jansen Young, under a seat. Again, he was killed, and she got out after the shooting was over. Young crawled out and realized she and her boyfriend were alone in the theater, only he was really wet, and she couln’t believe what had happened, so she tried to convince herself that someone must have thrown a water balloon. (Here is Young in one of the saddest Today show videos ever, her trying to match the steady upbeat tones of the format while talking about gruesome stuff: “I think John just took a bullet for me,” she says. “He provided me the opportunity to survive.”)
If Superman and Batman duked it out, who would win? The question put Man of Steel director Zack Snyder in a tough spot, since The Dark Knight Rises auteur Christopher Nolan is the guy who hired him to make the new Superman movie.
Snyder and new Superman actor Henry Cavill showed off new Man of Steel footage Saturday that operates on the premise that “this is the first Superman movie,” Snyder said. “We respect the canon and we knew the comic book exists; the movies are their own thing. When we started, we had to act as if no film had been made. We approached it in our head as if we’re making a Superman movie for the first time.”
The clip teased an earnest origins story rooted in the heartland, where young Clark Kent grows up on an American-as-apple-pie farm and displays heroic powers as a child that makes him feel like an outcast. Later, the classic red cape waves heroically in the breeze and Superman soars into the heavens per standard iconography, but there’s also contemporary inflections when Superman mixes it up with military troops that look like they could have been airlifted straight out of Iraq or Afghanistan.
“A lot of times in the past, Superman has been this big blue Boy Scout up on a throne that nobody can really touch.”
From a distance, Christopher Nolan’s Gotham City sure doesn’t look like much. The “skyline” begins to emerge over the horizon in the rolling green farmlands about 50 miles north of London, but there are no gothic spires or granite citadels, just the slanted, pocked roofs of two boxy metal buildings.
But nearing the complex on a winding two-lane road, the immensity of the filmmaker’s make-believe metropolis comes into focus: The structures that looked squat from afar are actually 15 stories tall — and as long as 81-story skyscrapers lying on their sides. Constructed more than 85 years ago to house Britain’s Royal Airship Works, the giant coffin-shaped sheds sat unused or ignored for years, and waiting for some great undertaking, after the nation’s flagship dirigible went down in flames in a horrific 1930 crash in France.
The field mice had the run of the buildings but after the southern shed was renovated in 1994 it was used by occasional rock stars preparing for tours (U2 and Paul McCartney among them) or Hollywood production. The 525-ton door opened for Nolan in 2004. Cardington has since become a special home base, which is fitting given the fact that illusion, extreme architecture, old-school craft and colossal scale are screen trademarks for the London-born filmmaker best known for his three Batman films and “Inception.”
For 2005′s “Batman Begins” they put in the faux masonry of the Narrows and Arkham Asylum. Nolan’s team added to the indoor cityscape for 2008′s billion-dollar hit sequel “The Dark Knight” and then, for the topsy-turvy fights of “Inception,” special-effect guru Chris Corbould built a spinning corridor that made actors like hamsters in a wheel. More recently, Nolan and production designer Nathan Crowley added a cruel and exotic underground prison for “The Dark Knight Rises,” which opens July 20.
The Dark Knight Rises is just a few months away from hitting cinemas, and there’s already talk about the film’s home video bonus features. Last Friday, Warner Brothers held an event just outside the offices of Legendary Pictures in Burbank, California. The showcase spotlighted all five Batmobiles seen throughout the years, from the ’60s camp series to Christopher Nolan’s recent incarnation.
A six-minute prologue sequence, that introduces Tom Hardy’s villainous Bane, will air before screenings of Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol in select IMAX theaters in the U.S. and Canada this December (2011).
The clip, which received a PG-13 rating from the MPAA, was shot on the IMAX 15 perf 65mm/70mm film that Nolan used for key action sequences during the film.
The Dark Knight Rises takes place eight years after the previous film, The Dark Knight, where…
Heath Ledger’s Joker blasted through the opening heist sequence with chilling conviction. Smart, scary and utterly riveting, Ledger’s character set the tone for the rest of the picture by blending ice-cold humor with utterly remorseless criminal smarts.
Director Christopher Nolan repeats that winning strategy in The Dark Knight Rises, as revealed in Thursday night’s press screening here of the first six minutes of the highly anticipated follow-up. This time around, intense British actor Tom Hardy, playing Batman nemesis Bane, sparks his own “Holy crap!” moment about three minutes into an Abu Ghraib-inspired airplane hijacking from hell.