The Dark Knight Rises, the concluding film of Christopher Nolan’s Batman Trilogy, has an India connection. The principal photography was kicked off in Jodhpur — how cool is that?

In 1989, visionary director Tim Burton presented his version of the masked vigilante. With Michael Keaton playing Batman, Jack Nicholson as the manic Joker, stunning visual design and groovy music by the Artiste Formerly Known as Prince, Batman was a sensory treat and a ginormous hit to boot. Burton directed the sequel Batman Returns (1992) and then things rapidly went south with Batman Forever (1995) and Batman and Robin (1997)

Batman Begins in 2005 was a spiffy reboot and breathed fresh life into the franchise. Christian Bale was super cool as millionaire playboy Bruce Wayne (very very hot shirtless) and Batman and the supporting cast of Michael Caine as the faithful butler Alfred, Morgan Freeman as inventive weapons specialist Lucius Fox and Gary Oldman as police commissioner Gordon gave able support. The film was the perfect origin story telling us how and why Bruce became Batman. Then came The Dark Knight (2008), which was super brilliant but completely eclipsed by the untimely death of Heath Ledger, who burnt up the screen with an incendiary portrayal of the anarchic Joker.

Nolan was supposedly reluctant to return for the sequel but finally came on board co-writing the screenplay with his brother Jonathan and David S. Goyer. The film takes place eight years after the events in The Dark Knight where Batman takes the blame for Two Face’s crimes and goes into exile. A new terror, Bane, is holding Gotham hostage and Batman has to return to set things right. Apart from Bale, Caine, Oldman and Freeman reprising their roles, The Dark Knight Rises features Tom Hardy — whom we last saw as the unfortunate Ricky Tarr in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy — as Bane and Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle aka Catwoman.

Liam Neeson — who played Ra’s Al Ghul, the leader of the League of Shadows in Batman Begins — has a cameo appearance. The trailer looks rocking and is stuffed with quotable quotes. There is Alfred saying “Don’t worry, Master Wayne. It takes a little time to get back into the swing of things” or Bane saying “Let the games begin” and Bruce Wayne saying “I’m not afraid. I’m angry.” With over an hour of footage shot in IMAX format, it comes as no surprise that quite a few dedicated fans are dashing off to Hyderabad to catch the film at Prasad’s. Batman and biryani sure make for a killer combo!

The Dark Knight Rises

Cast: Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy and Gary Oldman

Director: Christopher Nolan

Releases: May 20

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