Nolan tells Empire magazine that when the movie picks up the story of Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale), a good amount of time will have passed. “It’s really all about finishing Batman and Bruce Wayne’s story,” Nolan says. “We left him in a very precarious place. Perhaps surprisingly for some people, our story picks up quite a bit later, eight years after ‘The Dark Knight.’ So he’s an older Bruce Wayne; he’s not in a great state.”
The time gap gives a new context to the scene in the teaser trailer in which a bed-ridden Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) tells Bruce that “the Batman has to come back,” to which he replies, “What if he doesn’t exist anymore?” It also makes us wonder A) what Bruce has been up to in the intervening time and B) what sort of state Gotham City is in if it’s had to spend the better part of a decade without its vigilante/hero.
Batman’s prolonged sabbatical may also help explain why he looks a little uneasy when Bane (Tom Hardy) advances on him toward the end of the teaser. Then there’s this: Hardy tells Empire that his character is “brutal.”
“It’s not about fighting. It’s about carnage,” Hardy says. “The style is heavy-handed, heavy-footed, it’s nasty. Anything from small-joint manipulation to crushing skulls, crushing rib cages, stamping on shins and knees and necks and collarbones and snapping heads off and tearing his fists through chests, ripping out spinal columns.”
Yikes. “The Dark Knight Rises” and all of its skull-crushing glory is scheduled to arrive in theaters in July 2012.