â€śIn Batman Begins, you see the tragedy and the pain that motivates this angry young man, who feels useless and is searching for a path â€” who wants to find out who he is and what he can become,â€ť Bale explains of his charactersâ€™ tandem fates. â€śIn The Dark Knight, heâ€™s discovered that path. He is useful; he is doing what he imagines is the best thing for him to be doing in his life. [In The Dark Knight Rises], we are eight years on and he has lost the one thing that gave him a purpose â€¦ until he is forced to deal with a new threat to the city and to himself.â€ť
That threat is two-fold in The Dark Knight Rises. First, thereâ€™s the arrival of a clever cat burglar (Anne Hathaway) with an agenda shrouded in mystery. Worse is the emergence of Bane (Tom Hardy), a masked terrorist whose ruthlessness finally draws Batman out of retirement and back into the public imagination. The timing isnâ€™t particularly auspicious for Bruce. â€śThis is the first time it appears highly unlikely that Batman will come out on top in a physical altercation,â€ť Bale suggests. â€śHe has been dormant for years, so heâ€™s in a weakened condition to begin with, and Bane is not only incredibly strong but ruthless in terms of his sheer militancy and the ideology that drives him.â€ť
Itâ€™s a tough way to finish the saga, and it wasnâ€™t an easy finish for Bale, either, who had to part from this highly dramatic persona foreseeably for the last time. â€śIt was very bittersweet when I took off the cowl for last time, because itâ€™s meant so much to me personally to play this character,â€ť he says. â€śIt never stopped giving me goose bumps to stand in that suit, because I recognize the honor of having portrayed this icon. And I canâ€™t help but feel immensely proud.â€ť
The Dark Knight Rises is available on Video On Demand starting Dec. 4. Check your cable system for availability.
Photo:Â Â© 2012 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Legendary Pictures Funding LLC.