'The Dark Knight Rises' will be his last Batman film, says Christian Bale

'The Dark Knight Rises' is previewed by actors Christian Bale and Gary Oldman

Darla Khazei/FRE/AP
'The Dark Knight Rises' has filmed at various locations, including Wall Street in New York.

While fans have been treated to a teaser trailer and amateur set photos galore over the past six months or so, it’s only now that we’re getting a full and (genuinely) polished look at exactly what co-writer/director Christopher Nolan and his creative team are aiming to deliver with The Dark Knight Rises.

Recently-released official Batman and Bane imagery and plot details concerning the film’s setting has encouraged speculation, anticipation, and (mild) controversy amongst moviegoers eager to see The Dark Knight Rises. Buzz concerning the project should only become all the more pronounced before 2011 is over, what with both a full-length trailer and the movie’s prologue slated to begin showing in theaters in a matter of weeks.

Two staples of Nolan’s Batman movies – actors Christian Bale and Gary Oldman – have been busy promoting and discussing their latest starring efforts (The Flowers of War and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, respectively); so, naturally, reporters have been particularly keen to get the pair to also discuss The Dark Knight Rises, given the (slight) uptick in attention being paid to the film as of late.

Here is what Bale told Inquirer Entertainment, with regards to his having completed work on Dark Knight Rises:

“I wrapped a few days ago so that will be the last time I’m taking that cowl [Batman hood] off. I believe that the whole production wrapped yesterday, so it’s all done. Everything’s finished. It’s me and Chris – that will be the end of [our] Batman era.”

On the topic of how the Oscar-winner views the Bruce Wayne/Batman character:

“We always maintained from the beginning that if you wanted to break it down, there are three personas – Batman is sincere, the private Bruce Wayne is sincere. The public version of Bruce Wayne, the playboy, is a completely fabricated performance.”

Lastly, Bale provided nothing but praise and support for three new additions to Nolan’s Caped Crusader saga: Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle/Catwoman, Tom Hardy as Bane, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Gotham cop John Blake:

“When Chris [Nolan] watched the screen test, he agreed that Anne did a wonderful job. In many ways, she has the hardest job. There are a number of people who feel that the Catwoman role has been defined previously. So, I always saw Anne’s role as being the toughest job of any of us…

“[Tom Hardy is] a phenomenal actor. I like working with him a great deal. He goes the whole hog. I know that Bane has been seen in movies before. But, in my eyes, Tom is essentially creating Bane for the first time so there’s great freedom for him to be able to do so…

“Joseph [Gordon-Levitt] is a very intriguing guy. I would see Joseph’s performances in other films while we were filming. He’s somebody who truly seems to love acting. He’s a good, smart guy. He did a very good job in the movie.”

Gary Oldman teases The Dark Knight Rises

Gary Oldman is (of course) remaining tight-lipped, when it comes to the secrets of The Dark Knight Rises. However, that doesn’t mean the actor isn’t willing to tease certain matters, be it that of how the film brings Bruce Wayne’s character arc full circle – or how his Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy costar, Tom Hardy, will fare as Bane, seeing how his villainous on-screen counterpart is bound to be compared to the late Heath Ledger’s Oscar-winning portrayal of The Joker in The Dark Knight.

Here is what Oldman had to offer MTV, with regards to the ending of The Dark Knight Rises:

“There’s a conclusion. [Nolan] brings and he touches on the first [film, 'Batman Begins'] and he weaves it in and it resolves and I think it’s a trilogy, but it’s just great. The story is terrific. I mean, it’s just epic.”

With regards to how Oldman thinks Nolan can possibly “top” Ledger’s (now, iconic) antagonist and his reign of chaos against the citizens of Gotham City in The Dark Knight:

“I think it was smart of Chris to go with a lesser-known villain. Instead of going for the Riddler, instead of going for Penguin and all that kind of you know, he’s gone a slightly different way with the story, and I think he’s got enough smarts and enough class. I know this much about Chris Nolan: he wouldn’t make a third for the sake of it.”

Sandy Schaefer blogs at Screen Rant.

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