anne hathaway christian bale batman catwoman The Dark Knight Rises Behind The Scenes Images Highlight Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway & Tom Hardy

A number of behind-the-scenes images have landed online (I found them over at forums.superherohype.com) from Christopher Nolan’s triumphantly invigorating third and final Batman movie, ‘The Dark Knight Rises,’ showcasing new looks at Christian Bale’s Batman, Anne Hathaway’s Selina Kyle/Catwoman, Tom Hardy’s merciless, masked villain Bane, cinematographer Wally Pfister, director Christopher Nolan, and composer Hans Zimmer. Although I’m not 100% sure, I believe these images were debuted in ‘The Art and Making of the Dark Knight Trilogy,’ a new book by Jody Duncan Jesser and Janine Pourroy. The book tells the behind-the-scenes story of ‘Batman Begins,’ ‘The Dark Knight’ and ‘The Dark Knight Rises,’ complete with never-before-seen images and in-depth interviews with Christopher Nolan and all of the films’ key cast and crew – including the likes of cinematographer Wally Pfister and co-writers David S. Goyer and Jonathan Nolan. Out in cinemas and IMAX now, the story for ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ is set eight years after Batman took the fall for Two Face’s crimes in ‘The Dark Knight.’ It sees the Caped Crusader resurface to protect a city that brands him an enemy as a new terrorist leader, Bane, overwhelms Gotham’s finest.

Once the credits started to roll after the final scene in ‘The Dark Knight’ – the visually stunning montage scene featuring Gordon’s 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 had been sitting gloriously and comfortably at the top of my “most anticipated film” list. The screenplay for ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ is written by Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan, from a story by the Nolan’s and David S. Goyer. Based upon the 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. Matthew Modine, Daniel Sunjata, Christopher Judge, Ben Mendelsohn, Juno Temple, Aidan Gillen, Liam Neeson, Cillian Murphy, 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. Check out the production details and official synopsis for ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ below. My interviews for the film can be read here (more to come): Christian Bale interview #1Christian Bale interview #2Christopher Nolan interview #1Christopher Nolan interview #2Anne Hathaway interview #1Anne Hathaway interview #2Gary Oldman and Joseph Gordon-Levitt joint interview, and finally Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman joint interview.

anne hathaway selina kyle the dark knight rises The Dark Knight Rises Behind The Scenes Images Highlight Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway & Tom Hardy

batman bane christian bale tom hardy the dark knight rises The Dark Knight Rises Behind The Scenes Images Highlight Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway & Tom Hardy

catwoman the dark knight rises anne hathaway The Dark Knight Rises Behind The Scenes Images Highlight Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway & Tom Hardy

christopher nolan hans zimmer The Dark Knight Rises Behind The Scenes Images Highlight Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway & Tom Hardy

nolan the dark knight rises The Dark Knight Rises Behind The Scenes Images Highlight Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway & Tom Hardy

tumblr m7r8fdXBb01qd3lh0o1 500 The Dark Knight Rises Behind The Scenes Images Highlight Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway & Tom Hardy

Cillian Murphy Crane Scarecrow The Dark Knight Rises The Dark Knight Rises Behind The Scenes Images Highlight Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway & Tom Hardy

tumblr m7szh7PQz41rv3qs8o3 500 The Dark Knight Rises Behind The Scenes Images Highlight Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway & Tom Hardy

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.