ON SET REPORT BY JOE THOMAS
The hype machine is in top gear on ‘The Dark Knight Rises’, with every tiny detail regarded as news. When I arrived on the LA set, I was met by John Barton, an insider who asked not to be named, who was ironing Christopher Nolan’s favourite tweed waistcoat when I approached.
“You’re going to be blown away by this,” he said. “Tom Hardy has been working out with the personal trainer from Roadhouse. He’s even started to resemble Patrick Swayze’s character spiritually. It’s borderline emotional.”
Barton stirred Nolan’s Earl Grey 12 times clockwise and 7 times anti-clockwise – the way he likes it – before giving it to a Production Assistant to take to him.
“We’ve all sworn to secrecy, but I can tell you absolutely nothing and I’m sure you can make a blog post or article out of it. That’s the beauty of over-eager fans.”
“Anne Hathaway has been a revelation. It’s a stunt-double when she’s Catwoman – which is the majority of the film – but she’s great. She signed a picture of herself for me the other day, she’s just so lovely. She didn’t even mind that the picture was a printed screenshot of her with her baps out from Havoc. Lovely, just lovely.”
As I walk around the set, I notice that there are signs everywhere, warning people not to take photos. “Anybody Found To Be Recording Will Be Forced To Watch Sucker Punch” Such is the level of secrecy surrounding this film about a man who fights crime dressed as a bat.
The best scoop of my on-set visit is the confirmation that Tom Hardy’s Bane is wearing 8-inch heels throughout. I’ve searched the comic books and this is not referenced at all, but Nolan is known to use the comics as inspiration and not as direct reference.
“The dedication he’s showing is immense,” said another insider. “He’s got blisters on his heels but he doesn’t care. He’s that tough.”
We saw five tumblers – first seen in Batman Begins – one of them driven by somebody who looks like Marion Cotillard. I saw her drinking coffee earlier, wearing a white T-Shirt with the slogan “I Am Definitely Not Playing Talia Al Ghul” written on it in big bold black letters.
Fans who are worrying about this living up to The Dark Knight need not worry. When I was sitting in the crowd at Pittsburgh’s sports ground recently, I found Bane terrifying. The voice sounded like a drunk Aborigine trying to do a posh English accent, but I trust Christopher Nolan to deliver in July next year.
I can also confirm that 90’s Britpop band James have written a song for the film, and lead singer Tim Booth will return as an Arkham inmate for absolutely no reason.