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Behind the scenes: The Dark Knight Rises


After a summer of Marvel superheroes, it's time for DC Comics. With the epic conclusion to Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises, just a couple weeks from hitting theaters July 19-27, the director has released a comprehensive featurette.


New footage is integrated with material released in previous trailers and is intercut with interviews with the principal cast and crew, describing the storyline and profiling the characters -- including Batman's allies and villains.


The interviews include Nolan and the producers, Oscar winner Christian Bale (The Fighter) as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Anne Hathaway (The Devil Wears Prada) as Selina Kyle/Catwoman, Tom Hardy (Inception) as Bane, and Oscar winner Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose).


Also included is the commentary of actors reprising their roles including Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon and Oscar winners Michael Caine (The Cider House Rules) playing Alfred and Morgan Freeman (Million Dollar Baby) as Lucius Fox.


The 13-minute featurette includes behind-the-scenes footage and commentary by everyone from set decorators to stuntmen, revealing clues to the action-packed drama, although there will still be surprises in the 2-hour and 24-minute film.


Set eight years after Batman vanished and took the fall for the death of the District Attorney, Bruce Wayne returns, but will he don the cape and mask as the Dark Knight to face off with Bane, who vows to destroy Gotham?


Details like shooting locations are noted, including the Wayne Manor and the Batcave, rebuilt as promised, Pittsburgh's football field, and the latest Batmobile, "The Bat," devised by Lucius Fox, is shown as part hovercraft and part jet.


Nolan was honored last weekend by having his hand and footprints cemented into the forecourt at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, CA. The ceremony was held with cast attending, various celebrities and director Michael Mann.


The Dark Knight Rises will be seen on 14,898 screens around the world, plus IMAX theaters, which is 4,000 more than The Dark Knight, which made $1 billion four years ago, according to E! online.


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