The Dark Knight Rises Goes into Production ... Without Christian Bale?
05.06.11 by BJSprecher
Today is a big day for comic book movie fans. Academy Award–winning director Kenneth Branagh's Thor adaptation opens in theaters across America, ushering in the next phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe by making the leap from the tech-based heroes seen in Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk to the mystical and magical side of the Marvel Universe with characters like the god of thunder, Thor (Chris Hemsworth).
But, perhaps more important, today also marks the start of production on what is easily one of the most highly anticipated comic book movies of all times, The Dark Knight Rises — director Christopher Nolan's sequel to The Dark Knight (TDK). It was revealed last week that Jodhpur, India, would be the location where Nolan planned to kick off the production, with a small crew and only one actor, title star Christian Bale. However, while the HindustanTimes confirmed the arrival of the filmmaker and his crew in India on Wednesday, it seems that Bale will not take part in the initial shoot after all.
According to the HindustanTimes, Nolan arrived in Jodhpur, India, via chartered plane on May 4th "with over a dozen crew members," but reported that "Bale...is not coming to the country." An anonymous "industry source" also revealed Nolan's plans while in Jodhpur:
Chris flew down to India in December last year in a hush-hush affair for a recce [reconnaissance] in Jodhpur, and he loved the place. He will shoot a two-day desert sequence there and inside the Mehrangarh Fort on May 6 and May 7. It'll be a fraction scene in the movie and perhaps the audiences won’t even come to know that it’s India.
Without Bruce Wayne/Batman, it's unclear what the scenes shot in Jodhpur will involve, but it has been speculated that they will involve the League of Shadows, the terrorist group led by Ra's al Ghul (played by Liam Neeson — and Ken Watanabe as his proxy — in Batman Begins) that Bruce Wayne (Bale) briefly joined during his training to become Batman. Considering Nolan has several times expressed his desire to wrap up the storyline begun in Batman Begins, this scenario seems plausible.
After shooting in India, The Dark Knight Rises production will move to either New York City, London or Pittsburgh, which is serving as Gotham City's double. The script was written by Nolan's brother, Jonathan, from an idea conceived by Nolan and David S. Goyer. Also reprising their TDK roles are Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox, Sir Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth, Nestor Carbonell as the mayor of Gotham City, and Gary Oldman as Commissioner James Gordon. Joining the cast are Tom Hardy as the villain Bane, Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman, Josh Pence as the younger version of Ra's al Ghul, and Juno Temple as Holly Robinson. Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Daniel Sunjata, Diego Klattenhoff, and Burn Gorman also star.