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Accompanying an interview with the acclaimed cinematographer Wally Pfister, the August edition of American Cinematographer Magazine has debuted a number of excellent behind-the-scenes images from Christopher Nolan’s triumphantly invigorating third and final Batman movie, ‘The Dark Knight Rises.’ The images showcase new looks at Christian Bale’s dual role of Bruce Wayne and Batman, Anne Hathaway’s Selina Kyle/Catwoman, Tom Hardy’s merciless, masked villain Bane, Wally Pfister, Michael Caine’s Alfred, the Batcave, and “The Bat” – the Caped Crusader’s new high-tech flying vehicle. In related ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ news, the film crossed the $500 million worldwide box office mark over the weekend with a $537.2 million take. To date, ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ has raked in $248.2 million internationally, while its US box office take is currently at a hefty $289 million – well on its way to reach the $1 billion worldwide box office mark.

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, for me, it delivered 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. 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. 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. My interviews for the film can be read here: 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.

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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.