"The Dark Knight Rises," Christopher Nolan's third and final movie in his Batman trilogy, is still more than seven months from hitting theaters. But as the hype grows around the superhero picture, so does the pressure on the people involved with it.
In separate interviews, Christian Bale, who of course plays the lead character, and Gary Oldman, who stars as police honcho James Gordon, each acknowledged how the rising noise can take its toll..
"In terms of box office, I don't feel any pressure,” Bale told 24 Frames. “I never saw Batman and Bruce Wayne as a big tent pole. It was just another character I love playing. But I do feel a creative pressure. It would be wrong if I didn’t feel that.”
Meanwhile, Oldman, whose character, promoted to police commissioner in the last film, remains one of the few who knows Batman’s secrets, said he was keeping the expectations at bay by drawing a distinction.
“It's more pressure on Chris [Nolan] than on me,” Oldman said, when asked how he was handling it. “If they feel disappointed with Gordon, that’s one thing. If they feel disappointed with the movie, that’s another."
The actor added that even though the third installments of franchises often don't live up to the first and second editions, he didn’t think fans should fret. "Chris is too classy to make a movie just for the sake of doing a third one,” he said, adding, "It’s a terrific story, and it’s going to be epic.” (Said fans will have a chance to decide for themselves when new footage is shown at some Imax screenings of “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol” beginning later this month, as our sister Hero Complex blog reports.)
Coincidentally, both Bale and Oldman will bring out new movies this month too — Bale, the China-set historical drama "The Flowers of War," and Oldman, the John le Carré espionage period piece "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" — and have been hitting the circuit to promote them.
Oldman, who has seen the marketing and fanboy culture change exponentially in the three decades since he entered the acting business, said he didn’t expect the buzz to quiet down for "Dark Knight Rises." "I think it’s already won a prize for most anticipated film or something." He repeated the thought. "It’s won a prize — and we haven’t even finished shooting the thing yet.”
Photo: Tom Hardy in "The Dark Knight Rises." Credit: Warner Bros.