Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent

During a recent interview with IGN’s Keepin’ It Reel podcast, Aaron Eckhart, who played Harvey Dent/Two-Face in Christopher Nolan’s ‘The Dark Knight,’ reflects back on his experience with the director and where he feels the Batman franchise could go next: “I mean, look, Iron Man is so successful and the tone of Iron Man is completely different than the Nolan Batman series. They’re both very successful, right? And both entertaining. You could take Batman that way. You know Chris (Nolan) has done such hard work and created this tone, and Christian (Bale) has, and Heath (Ledger) and everyone who’s been in these movies. I’d hate to see it be trivialized. Batman’s kind of special because it’s one of the last comic books, or only comic books, that’s truly tackling, in my opinion, issues. And relevant issues. I mean when I read The Dark Knight I go, ‘this is a comic book movie? This is insane.'”

Aaron Eckhart continued, “I mean you’re talking about a city that’s being taken over by corrupt forces and nobody will stand up for good, for decency and humanity and nobody can walk to the streets at night. Who wants to live in that city? And do the people really have to be vigilantes to set things right? I mean serious issues and it wasn’t tongue in cheek. And that’s where Heath was just so amazing. You know I said to Gary (Oldman), ‘You know Gary how do you act in one of these things, what’s the tone of it?’ And that’s a conversation I had with Chris. And to see Heath just take this thing deadly serious was exciting, and I feel privileged to have been a part of that, and I would hate to lose that because everybody who comes up to me on the street all over the world, the thing that they inevitably say about The Dark Knight is that it’s about something, it’s serious, it resonates with them. Look, I don’t know because I’m just an actor, but I don’t know that Chris would ever give up total control of this franchise. I can’t see Chris ever letting go of this movie.”

‘The Dark Knight Rises,’ the conclusion to Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, is currently the 8th highest grossing movie of all time at the worldwide box office with earnings of $1,081,041,287 billion. The two previous Dark Knight instalments, ‘Batman Begins’ and ‘The Dark Knight,’ ended their theatrical runs at $372,710,015 and $1,001,921,825 global totals, respectively. All three Dark Knight movies are available now on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital Download.

’The Dark Knight Rises’ saw Christian Bale returning to the dual role of Bruce Wayne and Batman alongside series regulars Commissioner Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman), Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman), and Alfred (Michael Caine). Newcomers to Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy included Tom Hardy’s Bane, Anne Hathaway’s Selina Kyle/Catwoman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s John Blake, Marion Cotillard’s Miranda Tate, Matthew Modine’s Foley, and Ben Mendelsohn’s Daggett.  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 and Adam Rodriguez co-star.

Check out the production details and official synopsis for ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ below. My interviews for ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ 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.

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.