This is the first Batman movie created by Christopher Nolan that did not get a Academy Award nomination, and the second Batman film (after Batman & Robin (1997)) which did not receive a single nomination.
During one of the scenes involving the kangaroo court, Bane can be seen sitting in the rear of the courtroom quietly knitting. Given the influence that Screenwriter Jonathan Nolan says Dickens' "A Tale of Two Cities" had on the story, this is presumably an allusion to Madame Defarge and her practice of knitting while watching public guillotine executions.
Tom Hardy described Bane as an absolute terrorist: "He's brutal, but also incredibly clinical in the fact that he has a result-based and oriented fighting style. The style is heavy-handed, heavy-footed... it's nasty. It's not about fighting, it's about carnage!"
Selina Kyle is never referred to as her famous alter ego "Catwoman" during the movie; rather newspaper articles and police files refer to her as "The Cat." This is in keeping with the original incarnation of Selina Kyle who was a jewel thief, and was known only as "The Cat" before becoming "The Catwoman." However, various official merchandise and marketing material refer to Selina Kyle as Catwoman when she is wearing her masked costume.
During Bane's first encounter with Batman, Bane's footsteps on the steel grating of the walkways produce loud, heavy thuds while Batman's footsteps make little sound at all. This was done by the sound effects team to further contrast Bane's "brute" style from Batman's "stealth" method of combat.
According to Tom Hardy, he based his voice for Bane on Bartley Gorman (1944 - 2002), an Irish Traveller who was the undefeated Bare-knuckle boxing champion of the United Kingdom: "The choice of the accent is actually a man called Bartley Gorman, who was a bare knuckle fighter, a Romani gypsy. So I wanted to underpin the Latin, but a Romani Latin opposed to Latino."
Christopher Nolan wanted Marion Cotillard so much for the role of Miranda Tate that he modified the filming schedule to accommodate her pregnancy. Cotillard started filming two months after giving birth. In the last months of shooting, she also filmed another movie at the same time in France, Rust and Bone (2012).
According to costume designer Lindy Hemming, she took two years to design Bane's coat; it was inspired by a Swedish army jacket and a French Revolution frock coat, to make Bane look equally dictatorial and revolutionary, "like an amalgam of all sorts of bits and pieces he cobbled together as he passed through some very remote places."
During the motorcycle chase scene, Bane is wearing a red helmet with black visor as well as a brown motorcycle jacket. This is the original costume Jason Todd took under his Red Hood persona, which is itself a callback to The Joker's original criminal identity.
According to producers, the line "That's a lovely, lovely voice" was improvised by Tom Hardy. Bruce Wayne responding "No you're not" to Catwoman saying she felt sorry for Bruce losing his fortune was also improvised by Christian Bale.
At one point it was rumored that the Penguin was to have been featured as one of the film's major villains, as would have been played by Philip Seymour Hoffman. Christopher Nolan quickly denied the rumors, saying that the character would have been difficult to adapt for his version of Batman.
On July 20, 2012 during a midnight screening for the film in Aurora, Colorado a man entered the theater and opened fire. James Holmes ended up killing twelve people and injured more than fifty-eight. He was arrested outside the theater minutes after the shooting and was charged with 24 counts of murder and 116 counts of attempted murder. After the incident several cast and crew members, including Christopher Nolan, Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Gary Oldman released statements expressing their sorrow over the attack. Their publicity appearances, including a lavish premiere in France, were canceled. Warner Brothers, the studio that released the film, decided not to release opening weekend grosses until the following Monday out of consideration for the victims. Christian Bale went and visited the surviving victims at the hospital days later.
Christopher Nolan used a heavy mask motif through out the movie; Batman, Bane, and Catwoman all wear masks, Bruce Wayne has a collection of African tribal masks in the room where he and Officer Blake first talk in Wayne manor, and Miranda Tate hosts a masquerade party.
Selina's method of escaping Wayne manor is highly reminiscent of tall tale involving one of Catwoman's inspirations, Heddy Lamarr, whom Anne Hathaway studied for the role. Lamarr claimed she escaped her possessive Austrian arms dealer husband by dressing as one of her maids, collecting all her jewelry, and jumping out a window.
During the football sequence shown in the preview a player is seen wearing a jersey with the last name of Ravenstahl on it. This is Luke R. Ravenstahl, the Mayor of Pittsburgh, where portions of the movie were shot. He was Washington & Jefferson college's starting place kicker on the football team for three years and was team captain for his senior year. He holds the school record for most consecutive extra points.
When Selina Kyle disappears from a rooftop, Batman's remark "So that's what that feels like" is lifted directly from the DC graphic novel "Kingdom Come". Even the circumstance is similar, except it was with Superman.
When referring to Bruce Wayne as a shut-in, Daggett says "we all know he's up there with 8-inch nails and mason jars full of urine." This is an obvious reference to reclusive and eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes. Christopher Nolan was at one point attached to direct a Howard Hughes biopic.
The character Barsad, Bane's right-hand-man played by Josh Stewart, is a sniper and heavy arms expert. He is always shown wearing a bulletproof vest which has large bullets on it and a red scarf. This is a take on the Batman villain DeadShot, a character which co-writer David S. Goyer had expressed interest in bringing to the big screen.
Though the fate of the Joker is never revealed in the film, the novelization does mention his whereabouts in passing: he is the lone resident of the newly-rebuilt Arkham Asylum, held in solitary confinement and thus has no one to "play with" as ultimate punishment for his crimes.
When Bruce Wayne traces the fake fingerprints that the Catwoman was wearing when she cracked his safe, the result shows a "Nikolai Ondrejko". This is the same name that was used by the Joker to author the fake obituary for the Mayor in The Dark Knight (2008).
The citizens of Gotham make several attempts, without Batman's aid, to rise up against Bane and the League of Shadows. These attempts all fail because they are caught by members of the league, indicating someone had sold them out. Miranda Tate (Marion Cotillard) appears with with rebellious citizens in each of these scenes.
To prepare for her role as Catwoman, Anne Hathaway worked out five days a week on a regime that involved vigorous exercise, stunt training and dancing. She called it her most physically demanding role to date.
While doing promotional interviews for the film Tom Hardy stated that the most difficult parts of the movie to shoot were the fight scenes. Not because of the physicality of them, but because he was such a huge Batman fan growing up that he said "it felt like I was beating up my childhood hero". However he also said that despite his worship of the character, the moment Chris Nolan yelled 'action' Hardy just started throwing punches as hard as he could.
Anne Hathaway has revealed that during her audition, she thought that she was auditioning for The Joker's on again-off again girlfriend/partner-in-crime Harley Quinn. it was only after she had a discussion with Christopher Nolan that she found out that she was auditioning for Catwoman.
According to producer Emma Thomas, the filmmakers elected to shoot the film in Pittsburgh to emphasize Gotham's immense size and scope and because "they literally shot every inch" in Chicago, where the previous two films were shot.
During the film's production in Pittsburgh, a local man was arrested for attempting to steal an unmarked police car; he claimed to authorities that he was only an actor and that his crime was actually a scene for the film. Local newspapers later ran the story with the headline, "Like Batman, car thief's story does not fly."
As with the previous two movies, Bruce Wayne's main car is a Lamborghini. (Batman Begins: Lamborghini Murciélago Roadster, The Dark Knight: Lamborghini Murciélago LP640, The Dark Knight Rises: Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4.)
Anne Hathaway, who plays Catwoman, had been cast as Black Cat (Felicia Hardy) in The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) in 2010, which at that time was under Sam Raimi's direction as "Spider-Man 4" and was going to feature the Vulture and Black Cat.
Anne Hathaway has said that she desperately coveted the role of Catwoman, and was a complete nervous wreck after her audition. The first time her agent phoned after her screen test, he said he had good news and asked if Hathaway was sitting down. Hathaway immediately screamed "I'm Catwoman!" and ran around the room in a frenzy. Unfortunately, her agent had to calm the actress down--he had called to let her know that she'd been invited to host the Academy Awards. Hathaway has said she was so shocked she went numb at the offer. Fortunately, shortly thereafter, her agent phoned again to let her know that she had been offered the part of Catwoman as well.
Tom Hardy accepted the role of Bane without reading the script. He was verbally told that he would have unprecedented access to extensive stunt training and equipment that he could enjoy knocking around.
Selina Kyle's (Anne Hathaway) relationship with her accomplice (Juno Temple) is highly reminiscent of Kyle's relationship with Holly Robinson in the comic "Batman: Year One." In that story, Kyle and Robinson had been prostitutes together and even had an implied lesbian relationship before Kyle became Catwoman.
Bruce Wayne's doctor visit in which the doctor lists off all the degenerative injuries to his body (lack of cartilage, scar tissue, etc.) and the use of a mechanical knee brace both are reminiscent of Kingdom Come, where an older Bruce Wayne requires the use of an exoskeleton to move due to years of physical wear and tear on his body.
The orphanage where Blake grew up and visits in the film is named St. Swithin's. In England, St. Swithin's day takes place on July 15th and is a tradition where whatever the weather is like on this day it will be like for the next 40 days, and it is said that if it rains that day it will rain for the next 40. The rhyme goes: "St. Swithin's day if thou dost rain, for forty days it will remain St. Swithin's day if thou be fair, for forty days 'twill rain nae mair." Water and rain are common motifs in Christopher Nolan's films.
The only movie in the trilogy where Batman utilizes an "anti-personnel batarang", and the first movie where Batman uses an EMP-like device to conceal his presence from pursuing cops and during his first confrontation with Bane in the Cistern.
Cinematographer Wally Pfister expressed interest in shooting the entirety of the film in the IMAX format, as both Pfister and Christopher Nolan expressed distaste for shooting the film in 3-D. Ultimately, the film would feature approximately 72 minutes of IMAX footage, while the rest was shot in a combination of 35mm and 70mm, as IMAX cameras proved to be too noisy for shooting the films dialogue scenes.
The Batsuit consisted of 110 separate pieces. The base layer was made of a polyester mesh, utilized by the military and high-tech sports manufacturers due to its breathability and moisture-retaining properties; molded pieces of flexible urethane were then attached to the mesh to form the overall body armor plating. Carbon fiberpanels were placed inside the sections on the legs, chest and abdomen. The cowl was sculpted from a cast of Christian Bale's face and head to become a perfect fit for Bale.
In designing the Bat, production designer Nathan Crowley approached it as if it were an actual military project, emphasizing the need for it to "fit into the same family as the Tumbler and the Batpod": he incorporated designs from military aircraft, including the Harrier Jump Jet, Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey and the Boeing AH-64 Apache.
The Pittsburgh football stadium used in the film was slated for extensive pitch resurfacing at that time of filming. Explosive squibs were placed to simulate explosion points for the field to collapse. It was executive producer Thomas Tull who gave the film crew access to use the stadium since he's the co-owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers football team.
The football stadium scene was filmed at Heinz Field, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers' team colors are black and yellow, same as the Gotham Rogues. The fans were also seen twirling yellow rally towels, a nod to the real-life "Terrible Towel" made famous by the Steelers.
The building used for the exterior of the Gotham Stock Exchange is actually the J.P. Morgan building on the corner of Broad & Wall Streets in lower Manhattan. It is directly across the street from the actual NY Stock Exchange building, which can be seen in the background in some shots.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
Christian Bale has stated that he would not play Batman if Robin appeared anywhere in the trilogy. Christopher Nolan agreed not to include Robin as it would undermine the dark tone of his series. At the end of the film, Detective John Blake's (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) legal name is revealed to be "Robin", and he quits the police force and is shown to enter the Batcave by following the instructions presumably left by Bruce Wayne in his will.
The villainous character portrayed by Liam Neeson Ra's al Ghul, who died by the end of the first movie, makes an appearance before Bruce Wayne's eyes, claiming to be immortal the whole time, only to be revealed as a hallucination. This is a reference to Ra's al Ghul's comic book counterpart in which the character IS immortal by the use of Lazarus Pits.
At the charity ball, Miranda Tate says "you must invest if you wish to restore balance to the world," hinting at her true identity as Talia. In Batman Begins (2005), Ra's al Ghul says that the mission of The League of Shadows is to restore balance to the world.
When Cillian Murphy first appears as the sentencing judge, he is wearing a heavily tattered coat that looks like it has straw coming out of the shoulders. This is a clear nod to his alter ego, Scarecrow.
When Batman is chasing after Bane for the first time after the stock exchange robbery an older policeman tells his younger partner to "sit back, you're in for a show". This is an almost direct quote from the graphic novel "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns."
During the fight between Bane and Batman in the sewers, Bane lifts Batman above his head and drops him across his knee. This is a direct parallel to the first fight between Batman and Bane from the comics where Bane broke Batman's back during the "Knightfall" story line.
At the end of the movie when Blake (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is exploring the Batcave, his black jacket has a blue stripe that dips in the middle on the back of it. This is very reminiscent to the character Nightwing, whom the first Robin eventually became.
In a final bit of foreshadowing as to her character's true nature, Miranda Tate, after Bruce apologizes for being unable to get her out of the city, tells Bruce to "do what is necessary." Her father, Ra's al Ghul, repeatedly derides Bruce for lacking "the courage to do what is necessary" in "Batman Begins."
Some viewers found ambiguous the scene at the end of the movie in which Alfred sees Bruce and Selina at a café. While some took it at face value (that Bruce survived and Alfred really saw him), others thought that Bruce was dead and saw the café scene as a non-literal fantasy nod to Alfred's stated wish from earlier in the movie that Bruce might be able to someday find peace and a normal life. In a December 2012 interview with the LA Times, actor Michael Caine (Alfred) seemed to settle the question when he said that Bruce was supposed to be unambiguously alive during the scene: "They were there....They were real. There was no imagination. They were real and he was with Anne Hathaway [who played Selina Kyle], the cat lady, and I was happy ever after for him as I told him during the picture." Furthermore, the film's shooting script also specifies that Bruce is alive during the café scene.
Bane has a triangular scar on the side of his head, most visible during the stock exchange scene. Miranda Tate has an identical scar on her back, noticeable during her love scene with Bruce, thus hinting at her membership in the League of Shadows and true identity as Talia.
In addition to the numerous elements from the "Knightfall," "The Dark Knight Returns," and "No Man's Land" storylines, the film also borrows from the "Legacy" storyline, which involves Bane becoming Ra's Al Ghul's successor and plotting with the League of Shadows to destroy Gotham City.
According to scriptwriter Jonathan Nolan, a major influence on the story is Charles Dickens's socio-political novel "A Tale of Two Cities", which dealt with revolution and class conflict. In homage to the story, two characters in the film are named Stryver and Barsad, after two similarly named characters in the book. Also when Commissioner Gordon gives a eulogy for Bruce, he uses the ending soliloquy in regards to Batman, who like the novel's hero Sydney Carton sacrificed himself to save people.
There are several moments in the film where it is hinted that the child was not Bane. Bane tells Batman he never saw light 'til he was already a man. Furthermore, the child that escapes from the pit is not scarred despite the fact we know Bane was treated within the prison.
This marks the second trilogy of movies in which Liam Neeson plays a character who is killed in the first movie, only to subsequently return incorporeally to communicate with a central character in a later movie (the other trilogy being the Star Wars prequels.)
John Blake's real name, Robin, is an allusion to the Robin sidekick character in Batman comic books, movies, and TV shows. Robin was added to the Batman comic books in 1940 to attract younger readers, and the character eventually evolved into a solo superhero, Nightwing.
The original story treatment by David S. Goyer was to have Two-Face as the principal antagonist for the film. Initially, at the end of The Dark Knight (2008), the Joker would have scarred Harvey Dent at a courtroom trial, setting up the third film. Dent's death and fall was put in at the end of the second film instead to set up the aftermath that follows.
There was much speculation in the press when Anne Hathaway was announced as Selina Kyle if the actress would actually portray Kyle's costumed alter-ego, Catwoman. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey following her stint as host of the Academy Awards, Hathaway let slip that her character indeed would don the Catwoman costume.
After The Dark Knight (2008) was released, Aaron Eckhart expressed interest in returning as Harvey "Two-Face" Dent. Christopher Nolan stated that Dent was definitely dead, and that his death would leave lasting repercussions across Gotham.
In the comics, Bane carried an apparatus that contains a steroid that amplifies his strength and fighting ability. In the film, the apparatus he carries contains an anesthetic as he is in chronic pain.
The first Batman movie not to feature Batman driving the Batmobile. He only uses the Bat-pod and the Bat (flying vehicle). While several variations of Tumblers do make an appearance they are all operated by Bane and his thugs, after they steal them from Wayne Enterprises' Applied Science Division, and these have a desert camouflage paint job, so it could be argued that the Batmobile doesn't make any appearance at all.
In all three Nolan Batman films, the spiked gauntlets on Batman's arms prove essential in defeating the main villain. They shatter Ra's al Ghul's sword in Batman Begins, knock the detonator out of the Joker's hands in The Dark Knight and damage Bane's mask in The Dark Knight Rises.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Anne Hathaway's stunt double broke one of the IMAX cameras when she crashed the Batpod into it. This marks the second time an IMAX camera has been destroyed on a Christopher Nolan Batman film - a previous camera was smashed when filming the Joker's underground truck chase in The Dark Knight (2008).
The filmmakers cite the "Batman" comics 'The Dark Knight Returns' (an aged Batman operates in a future Gotham), 'Knightfall' (Bane pushes Batman physically and mentally, causing him to burn out) and 'No Man's Land' (Gotham descends into gangland territory and are cut off from the rest of the US) as major influences on the film.
Christian Bale and Michael Caine spent several weeks filming exterior shots of Wayne Manor at Wollaton Hall, Nottingham, but the director Christopher Nolan just used one shot of Bale as Batman in silhouette on the roof and one shot of Caine at the graveside.
When the fusion reactor is first introduced in the bunker, the design is almost identical to the microwave emitter design that Ra's Al Ghul stole from Wayne Enterprises and brought into the city in Batman Begins (2005).
Though not shown in the final cut, the fight scene on Gotham City Hall steps included an explosion that cleared the steps of all the fighters still alive. When filming the actual explosion, the heat triggered a fire alarm that went directly to the authorities; which caused production to stop for more than 30 minutes while the film staff cleared everything with the police and fire marshal when they arrived.