'The Dark Knight Rises' Preview: Nolan, Hardy, Hathaway Talk About the Film

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Warner Bros. Pictures

The arrival of 'The Dark Knight Rises' is just over three months away, and now director Christopher Nolan and stars Tom Hardy and Anne Hathaway have offered a little more insight into one of the year's most highly anticipated films.

The movie, Nolan's third and last film about the Caped Crusader, graces the cover of Entertainment Weekly's summer preview issue, and the magazine's website has offered up a few quotes from the filmmaker and the two actors, who play the villain Bane and the more ambivalent Selena Kyle/Catwoman respectively.

Nolan says that Bane "represents formidable physical strength, combined with absolute evil of intention,” but leaves it to Hardy to tackle the subject of Bane's controversial breathing mask, which left his lines muffled in the prologue sequence shown in front of IMAX screenings of 'Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol' last year. Here's Hardy's take:

“It’s a risk, because we could be laughed at —- or it could be very fresh and exciting. The audience mustn’t be too concerned about the mumbly voice. As the film progresses, I think you’ll be able to tune to its setting.”

As for Selena, Nolan says this is not your campy television Catwoman or the weird Goth zombie from Tim Burton's 'Batman Returns.' He says she has "a very strong way of protecting herself and those she cares about, which implies an underlying darkness," with the character described as a "survivor" and "world class criminal."

Hathaway says she read the comics and studied legendary actresses Hedy Lamarr and Jean Harlow -- said to be inspirations for the original comic book character -- to prepare for the role, in addition to training like she's never trained before:

"I had to physically transform. Chris sat me down at the beginning and said, ‘Joseph Gordon-Levitt did all of his own fighting in 'Inception.' That one zero-gravity fight? He trained for two months.’ I basically left his office and went to the gym and just came out about five minutes ago.”

Has all that training paid off? Look for yourself at the high-res image below (quick, before it disappears!) that surfaced of Hathaway earlier today. And keep watching for more about 'The Dark Knight Rises' as its July 20th release date looms closer and closer.

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