Speaking in the latest issue of SFX Magazine, Christopher Nolan shared his thoughts on a number of subjects related to the hugely-anticipated conclusion to his Batman saga, ‘The Dark Knight Rises.’ On the topic of mixing familiar cast members from the filmmakers previous chapters in his Dark Knight trilogy, ‘Batman Begins’ and  ‘The Dark Knight,’ to the new additions in ‘The Dark Knight Rises,’ Nolan revealed, “We have an incredible ensemble that we put together for the first two films. Some familiar faces are back, but we have added some new characters. Anne Hathaway is playing Selina Kyle, who is quite an electric character, I think. And Tom Hardy is playing Bane, who is an extremely physical, extremely powerful villain. Then, obviously, Christian’s playing Batman again, and around him we have Gary Oldman playing Commissioner Gordon, Morgan Freeman playing Lucius Fox and we have Sir Michael Caine back as Alfred. In this film, we really get to look at that relationship again, and watching Christian and Michael play the relationship between these two characters has been one of the great joys of working on these films. The great thing about Alfred and what Michael brings to it, in emotional terms, is that there is a heart there. Alfred has known Bruce since he was a baby. He’s very much the father figure, but he’s also the confidante and, to a certain extent, the conscience of Bruce Wayne.”

Christopher Nolan also gave his thoughts on Bruce Wayne/Batman’s new crime fighting arsenal, which includes the Caped Crusader’s new flying vehicle “The Bat”, an urban warfare-esq mixture of a plane and helicopter, “Batman has always been the most grounded of superheroes because he is just a man whose only identifiable superpower is extraordinary wealth, really. He has resources through Morgan Freeman’s character, Lucius Fox, and his control of Wayne Enterprises, to have all kinds of technology at his disposal. In this film, we explore some interesting new gadgets – some quite startling things, I think. But, at the same time, we tried to never lose of sight of the balance between the technology he uses and his basic humanity – the drive and commitment to justice that comes from him as a man.”

Based upon the iconic 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 Dark Knight Rises’ is written by Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan, from a story by Nolan and David S. Goyer. Once the credits started to roll after the final scene in ‘The Dark Knight’ – the visually stunning montage scene featuring Jim Gordon’s (Gary Oldman) epic “he’s the hero Gotham deserves” monologue, capped off with that last beautiful shot of Christian Bale’s Batman on his Bat-pod going off in the distance – a third instalment in Christopher Nolan’s Batman series has been sitting gloriously and comfortably at the top of my “most anticipated film” list. The release of that film is now less than a month away, arriving in cinemas and IMAX on July 20th. Check out the official synopsis and production details for ‘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.