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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

‘The Dark Knight Rises’ Thanks In Part To ‘The Boy Who Loved Batman’

Christian Bale portrays Bruce Wayne and Batman in a scene from “The Dark Knight Rises.” (AP/Warner Bros)

The final installment in director Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy opens in theatres on Friday. Early reviews are in for “The Dark Knight Rises,” with the Rolling Stone calling Christian Bale as Batman, “hypnotic and haunting.” The magazine also has praise for Anne Hathaway as cat burglar Selina Kyle, calling her “dynamite as Catwoman, bringing welcome humor to a movie about to be enveloped in darkness.”

And that darkness is what drew Michael Uslan to Batman comic books as a child. Growing up in the 50s and 60s, he was mezmerized by Batman. But when the campy TV series of the 1960s came out, he was devastated that the world was laughing at the antics of the “Dynamic Duo,” portrayed with sappy earnestness by Adam West and Burt Ward.

When Uslan grew up, he became an entertainment lawyer and then a producer, and spent ten years banging on Hollywood doors to bring a darker, more sophisticated version of Batman to the silver screen. First came Tim Burton’s Batman of the 1980’s, followed by the more recent success of Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy.

Uslan said Nolan raised the bar for all comic book-based films.

“Audiences can walk out of theatre and instead of saying, gee, this was a good comic book movie, they can at least say, this was a great film,” Uslan said.

Guest:

  • Michael Uslan, author of “The Boy Who Loved Batman”

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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