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'Dark Knight Rises' Production Notes: Batman Fans Get 50 Pages Of Anticipation

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"Dark Knight Rises" production notes: 8 things you need to know

The internet went into a tizzy late Thursday when it was revealed that Warner Bros. was offering the "Dark Knight Rises" production notes for free download on the film's website. (Production notes are often handed out to press during pre-release screenings; they contain some plot synopsis, interviews and -- obviously -- notes about the production.)

THR.com "declined to publish the content" to preserve the spoiler-free integrity of Christopher Nolan's Batman finale; Deadline.com did publish the content -- albeit by bizarrely downloading the free notes and then republishing them with a Deadline.com watermark -- but was also careful to avoid any spoilers. Here at HuffPost Entertainment, we'll avoid spoilers as well. In this paragraph. Avert your eyes, however, if you don't want to read any "Dark Knight Rises" production information before the film's release on July 20.

Still here? Ahead, the eight most interesting things revealed in the "Dark Knight Rises" production notes.

1. "The Dark Knight Rises" should be seen in IMAX.
“Having shot almost half the picture with large-format IMAX film cameras, it is very important to me that we show 'The
Dark Knight Rises' in the IMAX film format wherever possible," Nolan said. He's not kidding: Nolan and cinematographer Wally Pfister worked with IMAX to create new lenses for the massive cameras, which allowed the production to shoot in low light, an important adjustment since much of "Dark Knight Rises" takes place in Bane's sewer-based lair and the newly finished Batcave.

2. Oh yeah: The Batcave is back.
Bruce Wayne has rebuilt Wayne Manor -- and the Batcave -- "brick-by-brick," just as he promised at the end of "Batman Begins."

3. Gotham City is important in this film, which is why the production shot in New York.
Said Nolan: “Gotham has always drawn a lot from New York. It’s a heightened version of it, but that was always the inspiration, hence the name Gotham. So I felt that we should get more of New York into this film, specifically because ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ is very much about Gotham…more than the previous two films have been.” Cue an ominous thunderclap.

4. Anne Hathaway didn't ride the Bat-Pod.
Hathaway, who plays Catwoman in the film, did "almost all of her stunts herself," per the notes, but she isn't riding the cool Bat-Pod, Batman's trusty super motorcycle. That job went to Jolene Van Vugt, a professional stunt driver. “When they asked me if I thought I could ride it, I said, ‘You give me the opportunity, and I guarantee I can do it,’ she said. "The biggest hurdle was getting used to the body position because of the way you have to lean forward. It was just a matter of finding my balance and building up my comfort level, but within a few hours I was racing around, having fun."

5. The shadows belong to Bane.
At least according to this quote from the "Dark Knight Rises" villain, played by Tom Hardy: "The shadows betray you because they belong to me."

6. Joseph Gordon-Levitt's John Blake, a Gotham City police officer, is Bruce Wayne before Batman.
“Commissioner Gordon and Bruce Wayne have become somewhat jaded, so we wanted to contrast that with a younger, more idealistic individual who, in a way, represents where they’ve come from," Nolan said. "Joe really captured the strength and courage of a man who refuses to back down, regardless of the odds."

7. Because "The Dark Knight Rises" takes place eight years after the events of "The Dark Knight," Batman is out of shape.
According to the notes, Batman has to embark on a "physical arc" in "The Dark Knight Rises." Fingers crossed for a training montage set to "Gonna Fly Now"! (Just us?)

8. The crazy "Dark Knight Rises" prologue, which featured Bane attempting a mid-air kidnapping?
Nolan basically did that with minimal special effects. And you wonder why he's the best action director in the business!

For more on "The Dark Knight Rises," head over to its website. The film arrives in theaters on July 20.

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