‘Dark Knight’ promo revs up

Warner Bros. releases featurette, production notes in advance of July 20 launch

Warner Bros.’ promo push for “The Dark Knight Rises” kicked into high gear over the weekend with the July 20 worldwide launch looming.

Studio released a 13-minute featurette on Sunday morning with new footage behind-the-scenes commentary from director Christopher Nolan and actors Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Gary Oldman.

The short film included Nolan’s description of set construction and action sequences along with reflections by Nolan and Bale on details about the Bruce Wayne character at the beginning of “The Dark Knight Rises.” It also includes a discussion between Caine and producer Emma Thomas about the role of Alfred serving as an emotional center of the three Nolan Batman films.

Warner Bros. also released the production notes Friday, bringing to light several details of the film’s story and setting including “The Dark Knight Rises” being set eight years after “The Dark Knight” and Gotham having become relatively safe during the interim with Batman not having been seen since.

Tom Hardy’s Bane character is described in the notes by Hardy as “a terrorist in both his mentality and his actions.”

The notes also included details about characters not in the Batman comics — Cotillard’s Miranda Tate as a philanthropist and ally of Bruce Wayne and Gordon-Levitt’s John Blake as a young, idealistic cop.

Nolan was also feted with a hand and footprint ceremony at the Chinese Theatre on Saturday attended by cast members Bale, Caine, Gordon-Levitt and Hathaway.

“This is all a bit surreal for me,” Nolan said.

“The Dark Knight Rises” will be rolling out in 17 markets day and date with the U.S., including the U.K. and Australia, and another 38 markets the following weekend.

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