'The Dark Knight Rises'

Slated for a July 20, 2012, release, <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="ENMV0001841" title="The Dark Knight Rises (movie)" href="/topic/entertainment/movies/the-dark-knight-rises-%28movie%29-ENMV0001841.topic">"The Dark Knight Rises"</a> <a href="http://herocomplex.latimes.com/2011/12/19/the-dark-knight-rises-trailer-offers-a-bleak-portrait-of-gotham/" target="_blank">promises an explosive end</a> to <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PECLB005288" title="Christopher Nolan" href="/topic/entertainment/christopher-nolan-PECLB005288.topic">Christopher Nolan's</a> Batman trilogy that began in 2005 with "Batman Begins." <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PECLB000324" title="Christian Bale" href="/topic/entertainment/movies/christian-bale-PECLB000324.topic">Christian Bale</a> reprises his role as Bruce Wayne and his alter ego Batman, and his allies -- Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon, Michael Caine as Alfred and Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox -- also return for the final film in the franchise. Though fans are apprehensive that Heath Ledger's acclaimed performance as the Joker in the second film, "The Dark Knight," set the bar too high for future Gotham players, images (above) of Tom Hardy as villain Bane and Anne Hathaway as Catwoman have piqued the curiosity of the Caped Crusader's fans.

( Warner Bros. )

Slated for a July 20, 2012, release, "The Dark Knight Rises" promises an explosive end to Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy that began in 2005 with "Batman Begins." Christian Bale reprises his role as Bruce Wayne and his alter ego Batman, and his allies -- Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon, Michael Caine as Alfred and Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox -- also return for the final film in the franchise. Though fans are apprehensive that Heath Ledger's acclaimed performance as the Joker in the second film, "The Dark Knight," set the bar too high for future Gotham players, images (above) of Tom Hardy as villain Bane and Anne Hathaway as Catwoman have piqued the curiosity of the Caped Crusader's fans.

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