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Tag: The Dark Knight (31-40 of 75)

Justin Bieber, Google king: The most searched terms of 2010

justin-bieberImage Credit: Pamela LittkeyAs 2010 draws to a close, it’s time to turn to the Google Zeitgeist — because we are what we search, no? In addition to searches about major political events and humanitarian crises, there was, of course, the celebrigoogling. This year’s most searched person in the United States: Justin Bieber. Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian, Nicki Minaj, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Lil Wayne, Taylor Swift, Eminem, and Megan Fox rounded out the top 10.

On the film front, Batman and Star Wars were the most searched for movies, which is kind of wild considering neither Batman nor Star Wars movies came out this year. (Of course, we can’t rule out Clone Wars as being responsible for the surge in searches.) Or even last year! But they are pretty awesome. Toy Story 3, Dear John, Tron, Percy Jackson, Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Avatar, and Inception were among the most-searched films as well. READ FULL STORY

Hans Zimmer to replace iconic 'Superman' score

superman-scoreImage Credit: Lester Cohen/WireImage.com; David Livingston/Getty ImagesI didn’t grow up reading Superman comic books and I’ve never seen an episode of Smallville. My Superman universe begins with Marlon Brando and ends with Clark Kent wiping the counter with a bully at a greasy Metropolis diner. (That’s right: The Richard Pryor One and The Quest for Peace never happened.) And when the kids are sleeping and I run around my family room pretending my bath towel is a cape when I think of Superman soaring through the sky, I hear John Williams in my head. His Superman score is so buoyant and heroic that it’s difficult to picture The Man of Steel without it pulsing in the background. When director Bryan Singer attempted to literally recreate the look and feel of those first two Supe films for 2006’s Superman Returns, there was no way he could do so without incorporating Williams’ stirring anthem.

Now that Zack Snyder has been assigned to reinvent the Superman legend — with the guidance of Batman’s savior, Christopher Nolan — it’s understandable that Williams’ theme music must go. According to NBC-San Diego, Hans Zimmer, the maestro behind Gladiator, Inception, and the Nolan Batman films, will compose the new score for Snyder’s superhero. I’m a huge fan of both artists: Where Williams’ best work makes you swoon in its supreme elegance, Zimmer’s rousing anthems evoke the adrenaline of a battlefield charge. Snyder’s new-look Superman — moodier? grittier? —  might still have an “S” on his chest, but he’ll be flying to a new tune. I’m as interested in hearing the new Superman as I am in seeing him.

What do you think about Superman changing his tune? Vote below:


Christian Bale: The hero Batman deserved and needed

Stephen Vaughan

There’s a famous tale that Batman & Robin director Joel Schumacher settled on George Clooney as his second and final Batman after sketching the superhero’s cowl with a Magic Marker over Clooney’s face in photos. I’m sure there was actually much more involved in the casting, but the story underscores a basic truth about playing every superhero, but especially Batman: No one really cares who wears the suit.

At least that was true for a long time. READ FULL STORY

'Batman 3' rumor tracking: Will Tom Hardy be playing Hugo Strange in 'The Dark Knight Rises'?

Stephen Vaughan

Will actor Tom Hardy be playing a psychotic shrink for his Inception director Christopher Nolan in the third Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises? And will the film be based on a well-regarded Batman comic storyline entitled Prey? Those are the popular speculations among hardcore fans of the acclaimed and popular superhero franchise — and just this past Friday, both speculations were reported as proverbial done deals by a couple different websites. In fact, on Friday Nov. 19, the website scriptflags.com reported that an unnamed “P.R. contact” working on behalf of The Dark Knight Rises confirmed the Prey plot. We weren’t as lucky: Representatives for both Warner Bros. and Nolan declined to comment on casting or creative details. So officially, the Hardy-as-Strange casting and Prey plot rumors are still only rumors to us.

What’s fascinating about the evolution of these rumors — and it is indeed an evolution — is that it resembles something of an Internet iteration of the “telephone” whisper game. So let’s figure out how the game started. This is about to get confusing, folks. Are you ready? Here we go: As far as we can tell, it began on Nov. 18 at Digital Spy, a British entertainment website. This is how their definitive-sounding report began: “Tom Hardy is rumored to have been cast as Dr. Hugo Strange in director Christopher Nolan’s film The Dark Knight Rises. Total Film reports that the upcoming sequel will be based on the graphic novel Prey and feature Batman being pursued by Hardy’s deranged police psychiatrist.”

For the Batman ignorant, some explanation. Dr. Hugo Strange: A greedy crook and crooked psychiatrist fixated on turning people into monsters. In one memorable appearance during a classic stretch of Batman stories in the mid-’70s, Strange discovered Batman’s Bruce Wayne secret identity, impersonated him for awhile, then tried to auction off the ID to other villains. In the aforementioned Prey, Batman’s police ally Jim Gordon is pressured to assemble an elite team of cops to hunt and capture the vigilante superhero; Strange assists them and becomes psychotically fixated with the task. Provocative stuff. Hugo Strange is a cool, classic Bat-villain, even if he lacks the name brand recognition of, say The Riddler or Catwoman (although I might argue that casting Hardy in the role would be a tragic misuse of the actor’s good looks). And as many others have noted even before all these rumors hit the web, Prey would seem to be appropriate fodder for Nolan’s third Dark Knight movie, as his second one left off with the hero playing the scapegoat for Two-Face’s homicidal sins and becoming a wanted murderer in the process.

That said, Digital Spy’s report made me curious. Their first paragraph calls the Hardy-as-Strange news a “rumor.” In the second paragraph, the site acknowledges that it was merely repeating information posted by the British film magazine Total Film. So I decided to click over to Total Film to read how they were reporting their news. READ FULL STORY

'The Dark Knight Rises': Which superstar actresses should Christopher Nolan cast?

Weisz-Portman-HathawayImage Credit: David Gabber/PR Photos; David Gabber/PR Photos; Sylvain Gaboury/PR PhotosFor the past couple weeks, Hollywood gossips have been buzzing about the fact that Inception helmer Christopher Nolan has been auditioning actresses for two roles in his third Batman film, entitled The Dark Knight Rises. Deadline reports today that the director will soon meet with these six stars: Rachel Weisz, Naomi Watts, Blake Lively, Natalie Portman, Anne Hathaway, and Keira Knightley. This follows a report at ComicBookMovie.com that Nolan has met with Charlize Theron for one part (said to be a character named Sarah Essen) and Vera Farmiga and Kacie Thomas for another (said to be a character named Julie Madison). To these names, I can report to you exclusively today that Nolan has just decided five seconds ago to meet with every single woman in Hollywood (and several locales outside of it) between the ages of 18 and 91 over the next two weeks, because hey, why not? Thoroughness, you know.

Okay, I confess: I may have made up my exclusive “news.” For the record, reps for Nolan and Warner Bros. declined to comment on the casting process. But just in case ComicBookMovie.com at least got the names of the characters right, here’s what you need to know: READ FULL STORY

Who will be Batman's next movie nemesis? Catwoman? Clayface? Maybe even... Superman?

new-batman-villianImage Credit: Everett CollectionChristopher Nolan’s third Batman movie has a title: The Dark Knight Rises. But who will be the villain? The speculation has already begun. Geoff Boucher of The Los Angeles Timeswho reports that The Riddler and Mr. Freeze are both out of the running — is promoting the theory that Two-Face (played by Aaron Eckhart in The Dark Knight) will return to terrorize Batman and all of Gotham City with his hideous visage. Amid reports that Nolan has been auditioning actresses for an unspecified role, there’s been much speculation that Catwoman or Poison Ivy will figure into the mix, not only as foil but also as love interest to the now single Bruce Wayne. (Tweeted Paul Dini, the screenwriter and comic book scribe: “The Dark Knight Rises. If the villain does turn out to be Catwoman, I can hear the snickering already.”)

Of course, I have my own potential enemies list for what’s likely to be the final Nolan/Christian Bale Batman movie. (Not that I want it to be their last team-up. I’m just guessing they’re aspiring to — or will be content with — a thematically-tidy trilogy.) My choices flow out of my musings on The Dark Knight’s memorably unsettling cliffhanger … an ending that set up the Batman himself as the villain of his next cinematic adventure.

Let’s recap. If you recall, The Joker’s rampage of chaos and murder had scarred both the face and soul of Gotham City’s crusading district attorney, Harvey Dent (Eckhart). No longer capable of believing in his idealism, Dent pursued bloody vengeance against lawmen and lawbreakers alike, ceding his moral choices to a mere flip of a coin. Batman — whose quest to save Gotham City from crime and corruption is as much a culture war as it is a back-alley battle with thugs — couldn’t allow the public to lose faith in the values embodied by the inspiring “White Knight” DA. So he made a rather radical sacrifice: He took the blame for all the murders that Harvey Dent committed during his cynical day as Two-Face so that Gotham could continue believing in the good man he once was. Over the objections of his policeman ally, Jim Gordon, Batman redefined his symbolic meaning: Goodbye bat ears, hello scapegoat horns. “I’m whatever Gotham needs me to be,” Batman growled before riding into the night, a lawless villain on the run — a “dark knight.” Batman’s voiceover: You’ll hunt me. You’ll condemn me. Set the dogs on me. Because that’s what needs to happen. Because sometimes the truth isn’t good enough. Sometimes people deserve to have their faith rewarded.

Heavy. So heavy that I’m going to spend the next two paragraphs being really pretentious and ponderous about it. READ FULL STORY

Tom Hardy to be in 'Batman 3'? Who will he play?

tom-hardyImage Credit: Steve Granitz/WireImage.comChristopher Nolan has tremendous loyalty to his actors. Christian Bale, Ken Watanabe, and Cillian Murphy have all appeared in multiple Nolan movies. Inception’s Joseph Gordon-Levitt was rumored to be under consideration as the Riddler in the new Batman sequel. And Michael Caine has been in so many of his films that I’m tempted to rewatch Memento just to see check to make sure he’s not in the background somewhere hiding behind a lamppost or in a garbage can.

Now Tom Hardy, who was the breakout supporting star of Inception as the dream-team’s “forger,” has been added to Nolan’s relatively stable stable. Deadline reports that Hardy is set to get a lead role in the upcoming Batman sequel. It’s unclear what the part will be, although based on the virtuosic crazy he demonstrated in Bronson, I’m hoping it’ll be a villainous one. In fact, it’s actually a pretty strong possibility that he’ll end up playing a certain green-suited cryptic criminal instead of Gordon-Levitt, although others have speculated that he might be good as the Killer Croc. I’ll wager that if Nolan has expressed in the past that the Penguin is too far-fetched a baddie for his Gotham, him including a green-scaled crocodile-man in the next sequel is an unlikely bet. Mr. Freeze is also probably out, if only because Schwarzenegger’s terrible puns left so many people cold (sorry!), as well as the possibility of he being Heath Ledger’s replacement as the Joker, since Nolan has said he won’t do that.  Personally, if he’s not the Riddler, I could see him as Black Mask or Hush, if only to have a villain that was created in the decades since the days of Cesar Romero and Frank Gorshin.

So, PopWatchers, riddle me this: Who should Hardy play? Should it even be a villain?

Read more:
EW review: Bronson
Fourth Mad Max film still a go

'All-Star Superman' will get animated. Does this mean we're finally done with gritty superheroes?

dark-knight-supermanImage Credit: Stephen Vaughan; DC ComicsThe formula for superhero movies hasn’t really changed that much since Bryan Singer’s X-Men ten years ago. Make it grim and gritty. Remove all primary colors. Tell the actors to scowl. Don’t put anyone in a costume unless you have to. The post-Matrix vogue for bleakly dystopian action movies merged with the post-Frank Miller trend of “realism” in comic books, and the result was Batman’s Alec-Baldwin-with-strep-throat voice.

Friends, there is another way. Look no further than Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s epic All-Star Superman, a miniseries that supercharges all the hokiest elements of an unabashedly hokey character – Bizarro talking funny! Time-traveling Superman from the future! Kryptonite in every color! Jimmy Olsen! – and becomes a funny, sad, world-beating epic. According to The Hollywood Reporter, All-Star Superman is next in line for DC’s well-regarded series of direct-to-DVD animated movies. (Christina Hendricks is voicing Lois Lane, and I’m already sweating.) A DVD-movie intended for kids ain’t exactly a blockbuster, but could we be witnessing the end of the Grim Superhero era? READ FULL STORY

The Christopher Nolan Flowchart: What movie are you watching right now?

Christopher Nolan has directed only seven feature films, but it feels like he’s made more. That’s because all of his films– the indie thrillers Following and Memento, the moral-corrosion duet of Insomnia and The Prestige, the genre-redefining Batman films, and the WTF-tastic Inception — are all constructed to reward (if not require) repeat viewings. His films are confusing. You might forget which movie you’re watching. Perhaps you’ll even forget your name. Motifs run rampant across his filmography. Is that Michael Caine, playing a wily old mentor? Is there a character named Cobb who steals things? How many dead wives does it take to screw in a lightbulb? It’s easy to get lost in the Nolanverse without a trained guide.

Here at the National PopWatch Asylum for Cinemaniacs, we’ve constructed a rudimentary Christopher Nolan flowchart. Print out a copy and carry it with you whenever you think you may be watching a Christopher Nolan film. Think of this flowchart as your own personal tiny spinning top, keeping you grounded in reality, and check it out after the jump… (SPOILER ALERT!) READ FULL STORY

'Batman 3' production to begin April 2011

dark-knightImage Credit: Stephen VaughanHoly sequel-news, Batman! At the London premiere of Inception, star Michael Caine revealed to Digital Spy that Christopher Nolan’s as-of-yet-untitled sequel to Batman Begins, and the $1 billion-worldwide-grossing The Dark Knight, is slated to begin production in April of 2011. Although Nolan, his brother Jonathan, and David S. Goyer are still working on the script, an insider confirms that, although subject to change, Warner Bros. is indeed on track for an April start date, and Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and Gary Oldman are attached.

So far, Nolan himself has been reluctant to talk about the future of the caped crusader. Apparently he’s very much of the mindset that, until his current film, the critically-adored Inception, opens this Friday, he’s not interested in discussing details of his future projects. But Warner Bros. has also penciled in the next Batman for a July 20, 2012 release date. The studio was determined to set a definitive release date this far in advance due to the strong slate of other superhero movies to be released in the next two years.

So Bat-philes, does this news that the studio’s gears are turning get you excited for Nolan’s next comic-book opus? Or are you even more psyched about his hand in producing a Superman reboot?

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