In Anticipation: "The Dark Knight Rises"

Welcome to the third installment of our In Anticipation series. This week is all about the hotly anticipated "The Dark Knight Rises", which I'm sure many of you will be attending on opening weekend.

If you are unfamiliar with this franchise, it would probably be wise to get caught up before opening weekend because you will miss out on all the excitement. Warner Bros. and director Christopher Nolan have taken our favorite cape and cowl wearing crime fighter to towering levels of respect from the film going community and critics alike. Very few superhero films have been able to carry a realistic tone matched with gritty content, and obtain critical praise lined with box office gold. This will be the third and final installment to Christopher Nolan's take on the Batman universe.

If you are a fan of the comic book icon, or are just wanting to soak up more information on this film, hit the jump for more on The Dark Knight Rises.

Directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, The Dark Knight Rises is set to blow up the box office while giving us an epic conclusion to this trilogy. Here is the official synopsis for the film:
Every hero has a journey. Every journey has an end. Christopher Nolan returns to complete the epic Gotham trilogy that launched with Batman Begins and reached the stratosphere with the billion-dollar blockbuster The Dark Knight.

Batman is now hunted by the law led by his friend Commisioner Gordon for taking the blame of Harvey Dent's murders and protecting his reputation. He must quickly deal with the arrival of new villain Bane who is bent on the destruction and chaos of Gotham City, face old wounds and get a handle on the enigmatic Selina Kyle before his city is lost for good.

Oscar Winner Christian Bale reprises his role as Bruce Wayne/Batman for the third time along with stars Michael Caine as Alfred, Gary Oldman as Commisioner Gordon and Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox. Inception stars Marion Cotillard and Joseph Gordon-Levitt join the cast as WayneEnterprise board member Miranda Tate and Gotham Cop John Blake. Rounding out the cast are Anne Hathaway as the sleek Selina Kyle and Tom Hardy as the powerful villain Bane.
Set to release on July 20, 2012, the film looks like it is going to beat Bruce Wayne down both mentaly and physically. While the Joker in The Dark Knight was a chaotic storm that ripped through Gotham City, it appears as if Bane will tear it up from the foundation. Like many others, I am completely stoked for this film. Both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight are milestones in the Super Hero genre, and this looks like it might be the most epic conclusion to any Super Hero franchise. Of course there is the potential that this might be somewhat of a disappointment. After all, how could this possibly live up to the legacy place by The Dark Knight? However, if we take a look at Christopher Nolan's filmography, there is shouldn't be any doubt about the quality. He consistently puts out  material that both entertains and gives us something to think about after the credits roll.  There has been leaked photos since early on in the production process, and the inaudible voice of Bane from one of the first teaser trailers that has been adding fuel to the negative speculation regarding this anticipated film. It was after this trailer, that I started to feel the emotional weight, and realize that it really was coming to an end.

If this doesn't give you chills, then I don't know what will. Not only are they portraying a character that had his origins sketched on pieces of paper in a realistic and emotional way, but they are putting him in scenarios that eerily parallel what our society is going through right now. Terrorism, economic uncertainty, and waning trust in the political system are problems we face right now, and are the same problems that are plaguing Gotham City. Will Batman be able to bring stability to Gotham? Or has he made things irreversibly worse? Will Nolan give us the most epic ending to a trilogy ever presented on film? These are questions that will be answered July 20. That is, if you decide to check it out.