The official The Dark Knight Rises website has released the production notes for the movie which includes details on the movie, the cast, the crew and filming the final movie of the trilogy.
Below are some of the highlights:
Christopher Nolan on filming and utilized IMAX® cameras:
“The Dark Knight Rises” will be presented on 70-millimeter film in 102 IMAX 15/70mm locations worldwide. Christopher Nolan stated, “Having shot almost half the picture with large-format IMAX film cameras, it is very important to me that we show ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ in the IMAX film format wherever possible. Audiences everywhere should be assured that every presentation of the film will be of the highest standard—having benefited from the clarity and depth IMAX cameras offer. However, these 102 screens will showcase the original IMAX film photography in its optimum form, and I hope anyone who has an opportunity to experience the film in these theatres will seek it out.”
Christopher Nolan talks about the concept of the story:
“Our story picks up eight years later, when it seems that Batman and Commissioner Gordon have succeeded—the Dark Knight is no longer needed in Gotham. In that regard, Bruce Wayne has won the battle, but he is traumatized by what happened and doesn’t know how to move on from being the figure of Batman. ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ very much deals with the consequences of his and other characters’ actions in the previous films.” With this film, the last in his Dark Knight trilogy, Nolan completes the story arc he commenced with 2005’s “Batman Begins.” He recalls, “We were all very excited to bring this tale full circle; that was our chief inspiration for returning to Gotham. We also felt a tremendous sense of responsibility to fulfill expectations based on the first two movies while giving the audience something they hadn’t seen before. It was a tricky balance.”
Christian Bale on playing Bruce Wayne and Batman for the third and final time:
“Bruce feels absolutely isolated since the tragedy of losing the woman he loved, Rachel, and the terrible turn of events with what happened to Harvey Dent. He carries a certain amount of guilt that if he had not chosen the course of becoming Batman, none of that would have happened. His belief has been rocked, and that has caught up with him, physically and emotionally. But how much longer can he allow the pain of what has happened in his life control what he does with his life? And at what point does it start to become completely self-destructive?”
How Anne Hathaway felt about playing Selina/Catwoman:
“One of the most famous female comic book characters ever.” She recounts, “I did look back at some archival comics and read a lot about Bob Kane’s inspirations for Catwoman, but the most important thing was to be Catwoman in this film and fit into Christopher Nolan’s Gotham City. I’m such a huge fan of Chris’s. With Batman, he has been able to pose some really interesting philosophical questions, while shooting these spectacular action sequences and also finding the humor. It was a thrill to work with someone whose mind is so brilliant and whose talent is so very evident.”
The design of the Batman costume:
The multi-layered Batsuit was comprised of 110 separate pieces, each of which had to be replicated dozens of times over the course of the production. The base layer was made of a polyester mesh that is utilized by the military and high-tech sports manufacturers because of its breathability and moisture-wicking properties. Individually molded pieces of flexible urethane were then attached to the mesh, forming the overall body armor plating. Adding another level of protection, light but strong carbon fiber panels were placed inside the sections on the legs, chest and abdomen. The cowl was sculpted from a cast of Bale’s face and head and then molded for a perfect fit. There were also ten different versions of the iconic cape, ranging in length and shape—from shorter ones, used in action scenes, to the glider cape that snaps into the shape of spread batwings.
The design for Bane's costume:
"In designing Bane’s costume, Hemming needed it to look “like an amalgam of all sorts of bits and pieces he cobbled together, as he passed through some very remote places. We made parts of his vest, for example, from fragments of an old military tent. His clothes are militaristic, but are not in any way a uniform.”
Obviously, Bane’s most distinctive feature is the menacing-looking mask, fastened to his face, which continually pumps pain medication into him, keeping the agony from his violent past at bay. “His life depends on it,” Nolan states. “This is somebody whose history is carried with him in a very visible way on his face, making him, in a very real sense, monstrous.”
“We designed the mask to be animalistic,” Hemming says. “It had to look completely different from Batman’s cowl…and it could not be black.”
The mask was built by the costume effects department, using a digitally mapped model of Tom Hardy’s face and skull. Costume effects supervisor Graham Churchyard explains, “To us, the Bane mask had to fit like a prosthetic; however, unlike a prosthetic, it had to look like it was engineered out of metal. We were able to take Tom’s computer cast and 3D model each rigid piece to the contours of his head so it was tight to his face, with no gaps.”
As it turned out, “tight” was an understatement. Hemming attests, “It was gripping Tom’s head like a vice. With his assistance and patience, we made it as tight as it could ever have been. There was a magnetic removal panel on the front, so everything you see has a series of magnets underneath it, and everything beneath that has a rubber seal that pressed into Tom’s skin and was held on by tension. The fact that he tolerated it, let alone acted with it, was astounding.”
The design of Catwoman's costume:
Nolan says, “It was crucial that there be a reason for the appearance of the character, not just as Selina but as Catwoman. For me, the jumping off point was figuring out how to derive a cat ear shape for her without it literally being a pair of ears. I eventually fixed on an idea of a pair of night vision goggles that would flip up onto her head and almost accidentally form that silhouette. Once I had that concept, Lindy and her team were able to realize it beautifully. The idea was that everything that contributes to the iconography of the character has a sense of logic.”
“Her Catsuit is also very practical, enabling her to disappear into the darkness and be ready for action,” Hemming adds. “When she’s not in the suit, she always dresses in black, adjusting for the occasion. She’s a classic chameleon.”
Hathaway notes, “You need to get the sense that she could leave in a hurry…that she could bring her entire identity, or rather identities, with her whenever she had to flee.”
Selina’s Catsuit was actually two pieces, but with her hip-hugging utility belt in position, it looks like one. Completing the ensemble are elbow-length gloves and thigh-high boots with spike heels that also serve a purpose. “They double as very effective weapons,” Hemming nods.
There were two layers of material used to make the Catsuit, the outer one being polyurethane coated spandex, embossed with a hexagonal pattern. “It’s very simple and streamlined,” Hemming says. “It’s emphasizing the shape of her body without being too revealing.”
You can read the complete production notes from the link here.