the dark knight rises batman New The Dark Knight Rises Images Highlight Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway & Marion Cottilard

Entertainment Weekly has released this collection of images from Christopher Nolan’s third and final Batman film, ‘The Dark Knight Rises.’ This new batch first landed online in low-res form over the weekend, now available officially, they highlight some excellent new looks at a number of the key newcomers to Nolan’s Batman saga in Anne Hathaway’s Selina Kyle/Catwoman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s John Blake, and Marion Cotillard’s Miranda Tate. The collection also showcases new looks at Christopher Nolan on set, Christian Bale’s dual role of Bruce Wayne and Batman, and both Michael Caine’s Alfred and Morgan Freeman’s Lucius Fox, who over the course of ‘Batman Begins’ and ‘The Dark Knight’ have been an integral part of Bruce Wayne and Batman’s inner circle alongside Gary Oldman’s Jim Gordon. ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ is set eight years after Batman took the fall for Two Face’s crimes in ‘The Dark Knight.’ The film sees the Caped Crusader resurface to protect a city that brands him an enemy as a new terrorist leader, Bane, overwhelms Gotham’s finest.

Accompanying the images, Entertainment Weekly has released a number of quotes from their ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ feature, with Christian Bale shedding some light on the psychology of Bruce Wayne, “the idea of there being three Bruce Waynes. The public, vacuous billionaire. The private Bruce Wayne who is still a child. And then the vengeful one who is a monster. Remembering that, I was no longer playing a guy who was dressing up and looking silly. It was a man playing multiple parts, and a man who dressed up as a monster for a reason, because he feels monstrous, and so he must become a monster in those moments.” Also, Christopher Nolan spoke on Batman being a symbol for Gotham City, ”It’s not about beating up criminals one by one. It’s about being a symbol. Bruce sees himself as a catalyst for change, and only ever thinks of this as a short-term thing. I talked about this idea a lot with Christian during the making of all the movies; it was the only way we knew to understand the reality of Batman.”

Judging by films stunning trailers, its marketing campaign, the first-rate cast, and most importantly; the two previous installments in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight saga, ‘Batman Begins’ and ‘The Dark Knight,’ I always expected something rather special from ‘The Dark Knight Rises.’ Thankfully I can confirm that it delivers, big time! 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 film is written by Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan, from a story by Nolan and David S. Goyer. Check out the production details and official synopsis for ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ below the new selection of images. The film lands in cinemas and IMAX from July 20th. You can check out my interviews for ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ here: Anne HathawayChristian BaleChristopher NolanGary Oldman and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman (lots more to come).

the dark knight rises christopher nolan1 New The Dark Knight Rises Images Highlight Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway & Marion Cottilard

the dark knight rises christian bale michael caine1 New The Dark Knight Rises Images Highlight Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway & Marion Cottilard

the dark knight rises morgan freeman marion cotillard New The Dark Knight Rises Images Highlight Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway & Marion Cottilard

the dark knight rises joseph gordon levitt1 New The Dark Knight Rises Images Highlight Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway & Marion Cottilard

the dark knight rises anne hathaway1 New The Dark Knight Rises Images Highlight Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway & Marion Cottilard

the dark knight rises christian bale New The Dark Knight Rises Images Highlight Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway & Marion Cottilard

It has been eight years since Batman vanished into the night, turning, in that instant, from hero to fugitive. Assuming the blame for the death of D.A. Harvey Dent, the Dark Knight sacrificed everything for what he and Commissioner Gordon both hoped was the greater good. For a time the lie worked, as criminal activity in Gotham City was crushed under the weight of the anti-crime Dent Act. But everything will change with the arrival of a cunning cat burglar with a mysterious agenda. Far more dangerous, however, is the emergence of Bane, a masked terrorist whose ruthless plans for Gotham drive Bruce out of his self-imposed exile. But even if he dons the cape and cowl again, Batman may be no match for Bane.

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.