With the hugely-anticipated release of Christopher Nolan’s final chapter in his Batman trilogy, ‘The Dark Knight Rises,’ on the horizon (you can purchase advanced North American tickets for the film here), ComicBookResources has caught up with one of the newcomers to Nolan’s Batman saga in Matthew Modine, who’s portraying Gotham Deputy Commissioner Foley. ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ sees Christian Bale returning to the role of the Bruce Wayne/Batman alongside series regulars Commissioner Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman), Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman), and Alfred (Michael Caine) – Bruce Wayne’s butler, guardian, and above all, friend. Besides Modine, newcomers to Nolan’s Dark Knight series also include Anne Hathaway’s morally ambiguous Selina Kyle/Catwoman, Tom Hardy’s villainous Bane, Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s John Blake, and Marion Cotillard’s Miranda Tate. In the interview, Modine exclaimed his excitement about being a part of ‘The Dark Kight Rises,’ and working with Christopher Nolan and the films first-rate cast: “I’m very excited to be a part of the film…if I told you any more, I’d be in violation of my non-disclosure agreement! “The only thing I can say is that the experience of working with Christopher Nolan and this tremendous cast of returning characters and new characters — Tom Hardy and Anne Hathaway, my friend Gary Oldman — on such an extraordinary franchise is one of the highlights of my career. Gary’s an old friend, we’ve worked together before, we came up together. I’m a great admirer of Gary. Even if I wasn’t in a scene, I wanted to be there, watching how [Nolan] was making the film, watching the other actors work. I mean, look who you have! When do you get a chance to watch Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman and Gary Oldman and Christian Bale? Some of the most wonderful actors alive working today?”

Modine also dubbed himself a Dark Knight movie franchise fan, saying that the appeal of doing ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ was partly motivated by his movie fandom, but largely motivated by his love of Batman the character: “I think he’s such an extraordinary character, Batman, because he’s a human being. He’s not a man with supernatural powers, he’s not a mythological character — he’s just a man who’s damaged, who’s broken like so many people in the world…trying to do good. The interesting point then becomes, when you do good, when you’re fighting crime, when do you cross that line of becoming a vigilante? I think that ‘broken person doing good’ is something we all aspire to in our life, trying to overcome our fears and trying to fight evil in the world. He’s a character we all relate to.” With another laugh, Modine joked, “You can’t really relate to Thor, for instance! I like the story, but I don’t relate to him — I can’t use his hammer!”

The actor also shed some light on the experience of working with director Christopher Nolan, describing the filmmaker as a hands-on director: “This may sound simplistic to say it, but when Christopher Nolan makes a film, he stands by the camera. The only person I can compare him to in this sense is Stanley Kubrick, who used to operate the camera. I’d say 90% of ‘Full Metal Jacket,’ the camera was operated by Stanley Kubrick. Today, so many film directors are not on the set. They’re behind the television monitor viewing the movie from dozens of yards away from where the action is actually taking place. We know from the past, that image of the director standing there with a megaphone saying ‘Action!’ My point is, that’s not so much done today, so to have a director standing on set, participating and being involved in the scene, is very old school.”

Modine also compared ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ to ‘The Avengers,’ attributing the popularity of Nolan’s Batman series to the painstaking real world grounding:“I don’t want to offend the [Marvel] people by saying that the Avengers are just mythological characters with magic powers, because I’d offend half of the people who buy comic books. But the thing that’s extraordinary about Batman is that he’s a man, he’s not a superman. He’s of this earth…he’s broken and he’s trying to repair himself,” Modine clarified. “I think that Christopher Nolan has been a masterful storyteller in taking that story about the Dark Knight and re-envisioning the story for a whole new generation of film goers.”

While the overall plot for ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ is still shrouded in much secrecy, I think it’s safe to say that that we can expect something rather E P I C from the film judging by the two previous chapters in Nolan’s Batman trilogy (‘Batman Begins’ and ‘The Dark Knight’), the films marketing campaign, the stellar cast and most importantly, for me, the final theatrical trailer.  ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ hits cinemas and IMAX on July 20th. Christopher Nolan’s film is based upon characters appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ stars Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle/Catwoman, Tom Hardy as Bane, Gary Oldman as Commissioner Jim Gordon, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake, Michael Caine as Alfred, Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox, and Marion Cotillard as Miranda Tate. Juno Temple, Josh Pence, Daniel Sunjata, Nestor Carbonell, Tom Conti, Joey King, Brett Cullen, Chris Ellis, Josh Stewart, Christopher Judge, Adam Rodriguez and Rob Brown co-star. The screenplay for the eagerly awaited film is written by Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan, from a story by Nolan and David S. Goyer.  Check out the production notes ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ below.

Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ “The Dark Knight Rises” is the epic conclusion to filmmaker Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. Leading an all-star international cast, Oscar® winner Christian Bale (“The Fighter”) again plays the dual role of Bruce Wayne/Batman. The film also stars Anne Hathaway, as Selina Kyle; Tom Hardy, as Bane; Oscar® winner Marion Cotillard (“La Vie en Rose”), as Miranda Tate; and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, as John Blake. Returning to the main cast, Oscar® winner Michael Caine (“The Cider House Rules”) plays Alfred; Gary Oldman is Commissioner Gordon; and Oscar® winner Morgan Freeman (“Million Dollar Baby”) reprises the role of Lucius Fox.

The screenplay is written by Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan, story by Christopher Nolan & David S. Goyer. The film is produced by Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan and Charles Roven, who previously teamed on “Batman Begins” and the record-breaking blockbuster “The Dark Knight.” The executive producers are Benjamin Melniker, Michael E. Uslan, Kevin De La Noy and Thomas Tull, with Jordan Goldberg serving as co-producer. The film is based upon characters appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. Batman was created by Bob Kane.

Behind the scenes, “The Dark Knight Rises” reunites the director with several of his longtime collaborators, all of whom worked together on the “The Dark Knight.” The creative team includes director of photography Wally Pfister, who recently won an Oscar® for his work on Nolan’s “Inception”; production designer Nathan Crowley; editor Lee Smith; and Oscar®-winning costume designer Lindy Hemming (“Topsy-Turvy”). In addition, Paul Franklin and Chris Corbould, who both won Oscars® for the effects in “Inception,” supervised the visual and special effects, respectively. The music is composed by Oscar® winner Hans Zimmer (“The Lion King”).

In helming the film, Christopher Nolan is utilizing IMAX® cameras even more extensively than he did on “The Dark Knight,” which had marked the first time ever that a major feature film was partially shot with IMAX cameras. The locations span three continents and include the American cities of Pittsburgh, New York and Los Angeles, as well as sites in India, England and Scotland.

“The Dark Knight Rises” is a presentation of Warner Bros. Pictures, in association with Legendary Pictures. Slated for release beginning July 20, 2012, the film will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.