Batfans will be excited to hear that Christopher Nolan has finally revealed some juicy news about the next Batman film. The Dark Knight Rises will be set eight years after The Dark Knight, which ended at a rather crucial time for our hero. In an effort to give the people of Gotham hope and keep the image of the White Knight alive, Batman shouldered the blame for Harvey Dent’s murders and went on the run.

It has also been announced that a prologue for The Dark Knight Rises will be shown before Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol in IMAX. Christopher Nolan has confirmed that this will basically show the first six or seven minutes of the film, including an introduction to the villain, Bane. Also, a full-length trailer will be shown before the new Sherlock Holmes film, Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows.

When the final film in the trilogy comes out on July 20th 2012, we will rejoin an older Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale), who is no longer at the top of his game. It is likely that this will leave numerous questions for viewers, such as what has Bruce Wayne been doing since we last saw him? What state will Gotham City be in and who will be the new villains that Batman will have to face?

Well, at least we can answer the latter of these questions as Tom Hardy will play Bane, who you may recognise as the huge, muscly brute that we saw in the 1997 film Batman and Robin. Hardy has said that Bane will test Batman’s physical as well as mental strength and that this will be a new kind of challenge for him.

The Dark Knight Rises will see Michael Caine return as Alfred, Liam Neeson as Ra’s Al Ghul and Cillian Murphy as the creepy scarecrow man, Dr Jonathan Crane. Gary Oldman also keeps his old character of Jim Gordon and Morgan Freeman is Lucius Fox again. New additions to the cast include Anne Hathaway who will be slipping into the skin-tight costume of Catwoman and will no-doubt do something bad-ass,  Joseph Gordon-Levitt will play Gotham cop, John Blake and Marion Cotillard will play Wayne Enterprises board member Miranda Tate.

This film is supposed to be the closing of the Batman story and with it being set eight years on, this may well work. It will be interesting to see how it all ends, as the writers are keeping the details close to their chests. Will Batman be able to defeat the villains once again? Will he even be able to fight well after eight years? And how will the new characters of Catwoman and Bane fare? We will have to wait until next year to find out the answers to some of these questions, but we will keep you posted if we hear anything. Until then, take a look at the teaser trailer to whet your appetite:

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The Dark Knight Rises - news on setting and prologue, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating