You may have heard that there is a new Batman film coming out next week. Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises will hit cinemas both sides of the Atlantic at midnight on July 19th/20th.
In this day and age it’s incredibly easy to ruin the impact of a blockbuster by drowning yourself in trailers, posters, TV spots, fan reactions and reviews. Case in point was the 25-minute “super-cut” of The Amazing Spider-Man which presented all of the various promotional material into one straight narrative which will have rendered the final product pointless for anyone who watched it. (read all our Spider-Man coverage here)
So in order to make sure everyone gets the most out of their TDKR experience we’ve put together this five point plan to make sure you make it through the next 10 days.
And needless to say, more important than these, just have a little bit of common sense in the next 10 days – if you see an article or review of The Dark Knight Rises, don’t read it!
1. Read some Dickens
“What the hell?!” said half a billion Batman fans.
In a press conference this morning, Christopher Nolan explained one of the key influences on the early DKR script that was first drafted by his brother Jonathan… (via comingsoon.net)
“When Jonah showed me his first draft of his screenplay, it was 400 pages long or something,” says the director. “It had all this crazy stuff in it. As part of a primer when he handed it to me, he said, ‘You’ve got to think of ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ which, of course, you’ve read.’ I said, ‘Absolutely.’ I read the script and was a little baffled by a few things and realized that I’d never read ‘A Tale of Two Cities’. It was just one of those things that I thought I had done. Then I got it, read it and absolutely loved it and got completely what he was talking about… When I did my draft on the script, it was all about ‘A Tale of Two Cities’.”
So there you have it, Dickens inspiring one of Hollywood’s greats. What’s next, Michael Bay basing his next Transformers film on Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights?
2. Watch the first two Christopher Nolan films
What better way to prepare yourself for the final part of a trilogy than with the two films that precede it? Batman Begins (★★★★) may not feature any of Gotham’s big trademark villains but the Irish one-two of Liam Neeson’s Ra’s al Ghul and Cillian Murphy’s Scarecrow work as perfect antagonists as the origins of Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne are being revealed. Also it helps to remind ourselves of a time when Katie Holmes was an actress.
There’s nothing else we can really say about The Dark Knight (★★★★★) that hasn’t been said before. The most celebrated super-hero movie of all time and IMDB’s top rated film from the 2000s, only a cynical fool could fail to get wrapped up in its power, heart and majesty.
3. Explore the Frank Miller connection
Whether you’re a huge fan of comic-books or have only indulged yourself by browsing through the odd graphic novel in your local book shop, chances are you know who Frank Miller is. The writer/artist behind the Ronin, Sin City and 300 comics is also regarded as one of the key influences on Nolan’s interpretation of the character through his ground-breaking 1986 DC Comics series “Batman: The Dark Knight”.
The four-part series was collated and presented in a single volume as “The Dark Knight Returns”.
But be warned, reading it may well give you a few ideas about potential endings of Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises…
4. Watch Warner’s official pre-release featurette
To those of you who have somehow failed to see any trailers for The Dark Knight Rises and remain completely in the dark about the film’s basic characters and plot points I say one thing – well done and how was the last year without films, internet or magazines?
But for the rest of you this 13-minute promotional featurette from Warner Bros is a nice little primer for events that are to come, that just recaps all of the official publicity without really giving anything new away.
Unlike the production notes that were released last weekend and were apparently laced with spoilers, this really won’t surprise anyone who has seen the official trailers or the prologue that ran before IMAX screenings of Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol.
It’s really great to see Nolan actually shooting some of the action set-pieces and to hear his basic introduction to Catwoman and Bane.
5. See some pretty pictures
Batman has been around since 1939 and has inspired generations of illustrators and designers. For decades most of this work would have been kept in sketchbooks gathering dust, but now with the magic of the internet, even the worst artists in the world can share their work through vacuous self-indulgent tools like Pinterest and Tumblr.
Some favourites are below…
Now then only 244 hours to go…