Former Cast Member Confirmed to Return for THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

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Though this news comes from the studio itself, given that The Dark Knight Rises is pretty much the biggest movie of the year, I’m keeping things spoiler-free here on the frontpage. Needless to say, a former cast member’s return to the franchise has now been doubly confirmed. For those of you averting your eyes from any and all Dark Knight Rises spoilers for the next four months (good luck with that), you may not want to click through. For the daring, hit the jump to read more.

I’ll say again, SPOILERS for The Dark Knight Rises follow after the jump. Click through at your own risk.

One last chance to turn back. SPOILERS for The Dark Knight Rises follow below.

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liam-neeson-dark-knight-risesLast summer, we learned of a possible major spoiler concerning Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises. Word was that Nolan planned on bringing the series full circle with this concluding chapter, and to help him do that Liam Neeson was spotted on set reprising his role as Ra’s Al Ghul from Batman Begins. The story has been all but confirmed, but now it’s double confirmed as Warner Bros. has mentioned Neeson’s role in their press notes for Wrath of the Titans:

Neeson next appears in Peter Berg’s actioner “Battleship,” and he also will be seen in Christopher Nolan’s much-anticipated action thriller “The Dark Knight Rises.”

You may or may not remember that Ghul died (some say was murdered) in the first film, so it’s unclear if he’ll be appearing in a flashback or as a returned Ra’s Al Ghul. Josh Pence appears in the film as a young Ra’s, so obviously the character plays some sort of major role in the film’s story overall. Neeson wasn’t on set long, so his appearance will presumably be short, but I’m excited by the fact that Nolan is connecting the story to Batman Begins to form a true trilogy. I’ll let you fine fans speculate away in the comments section to try and sort this thing out until we all find out what the hell Nolan is up to on July 20th.

dark-knight-rises-liam-neeson-christian-baleRead the full portion of the press notes for Wrath of the Titans below.

LIAM NEESON (Zeus) is an award-winning actor who has been internationally recognized for his work in both major studio blockbusters and acclaimed independent features. He has been honored for his depictions of three very different real-life figures. Neeson received Academy Award®, Golden Globe and BAFTA Award nominations for his performance as Oskar Schindler in Steven Spielberg’s 1993 Oscar®-winning Best Picture “Schindler’s List.” Three years later, he played the title role in Neil Jordan’s biopic “Michael Collins,” earning another Golden Globe nomination and winning an Evening Standard British Film Award and the 1996 Venice Film Festival’s Volpi Cup for his impassioned portrayal of the Irish Republican hero. In 2004, Neeson starred as controversial sex researcher Alfred Kinsey in Bill Condon’s “Kinsey,” for which he garnered his third Golden Globe nomination and an Independent Spirit Award nomination, and won a Los Angeles Film Critics Award.

Neeson next appears in Peter Berg’s actioner “Battleship,” and he also will be seen in Christopher Nolan’s much-anticipated action thriller “The Dark Knight Rises.” Earlier this year, he starred in Joe Carnahan’s thriller “The Grey,” which topped the box office in its opening weekend. His recent film credits also include Jaume Collet-Serra’s thriller “Unknown”; Paul Haggis’ thriller “The Next Three Days”; the actioner “The A- Team”; the mythological epic “Clash of the Titans”; and the thriller “Taken,” as well as the indie films “Chloe,” directed by Atom Egoyan, and “After.Life.”

dark-knight-rises-bane-teaser-posterNeeson is also well known to film fans for his work in two blockbuster film franchises: playing the role of Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn in “Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace,” and the enigmatic Henri Ducard in Christopher Nolan’s “Batman Begins.” In addition, Neeson lends his distinctive voice to the character of Aslan in “The Chronicles of Narnia” films: “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” “Prince Caspian” and “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.”

Born in Ireland, Neeson began acting in 1976 with the Lyric Players Theatre in Belfast, and made his professional debut in Joseph Plunkett’s “The Risen People.” After two years, he joined the famed repertory company of Dublin’s Abbey Theatre, appearing in their production of Brian Friel’s “Translations.” He later won a Best Actor award for his performance in Sean O’Casey’s “The Plough and the Stars” at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, England.

In 1980, director John Boorman spotted Neeson as Lennie in John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men,” and cast him in the Arthurian epic feature “Excalibur.” During that decade, Neeson played a wide range of characters in such films as Roger Donaldson’s “The Bounty”; Roland Joffe’s “The Mission”; “Lamb,” in the title role; Andrei Konchalovsky’s “Duet for One”; “A Prayer for the Dying”; Peter Yates’ “Suspect”; “The Good Mother”; and “High Spirits,” which marked his first collaboration with director Neil Jordan.

Neeson’s subsequent film work includes Sam Raimi’s “Darkman”; “Crossing the Line”; “Under Suspicion”; Woody Allen’s “Husbands and Wives”; John Madden’s “Ethan Frome,” playing the title role; Michael Apted’s “Nell,” with Jodie Foster and Natasha Richardson; “Rob Roy,” as the title character; Barbet Schroeder’s “Before and After,” opposite Meryl Streep; “Les Miserables”; Kathryn Bigelow’s “K-19: The Widowmaker”; Martin Scorsese’s “Gangs of New York”; Richard Curtis’ ensemble hit “Love Actually”; Ridley Scott’s “Kingdom of Heaven”; and Neil Jordan’s “Breakfast on Pluto.”

Throughout his career, Neeson has returned to the stage. He made his Broadway debut in the 1993 revival of Eugene O’Neill’s “Anna Christie,” for which he garnered a Tony Award nomination. In 1998, he played Oscar Wilde in David Hare’s play “The Judas Kiss,” which opened in London’s West End and later moved to Broadway. He returned to Broadway in 2002 to play Proctor in Sir Richard Eyre’s acclaimed production of Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible,” opposite Laura Linney, earning a second Tony Award nomination and a Drama Desk Award nomination. Neeson also starred in the 2008 Lincoln Center Festival presentation of Samuel Beckett’s “Eh Joe,” directed by Atom Egoyan and produced by Dublin’s Gate Theatre.




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  • Caleb The Awesome

    Hasn’t imbd had him listed in the cast for awhile?

    • keir

      Possibly, but that’s not official

  • Ryan George

    Well, we all know it isn’t Heath Ledger.

    • Josh

      Dark joke for a dark movie hmm ur funny but still an asshole

    • Miles Bennett Dyson

      joke never gets old, and I’m not even being sarcastic, Ryan seriously, good job.

  • Andy

    Ggggrrreat!!!!,cannot wait for this film.I predict that Hardy’s portrayal of Bane will be just as awesome/if not better than Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker!!!! “When Gotham IZZ Ashes,you’ll have my permission to die”….you’ve got to love it.

    • Iron Man

      When the movie is trash you have my permission to cry.

  • Rohan

    This was obvious right from the beginning. There were reports that Marion Cotillard’s character might be related to Ra’s Al Gul’s. Adam you made the whole article sound like The Joker is somehow coming back.

    Josh Pence according to this article and to various other articles on other sites is playing the young Ra’s and it is obvious that Nolan as a writer and director will show Liam Neeson either in flashback or not.

    I am wondering why Wrath of Titans press notes are attached to this article. Totally irrelevant.

    • excpired

      You obviously don’t read well. The press release mentions Liam Neeson’s involvement in the film, and is the confirmation that he will in-fact be reprising his role in the final film (before it was just some snap-shot of him on set, which could just be a visit).

      That is why the press release is included in the article. L2 READ.

  • tom

    i was really hoping they were gonna bring back katie holmes. then kill her. then bring her back in the lazarus pit. and kill her again. then just keep doing that for like 2.5 hours

  • tom

    i was hoping it was katie holmes…

  • chris

    This > Avengers

  • Timm

    Thanks for ruining everything with the spoiler, collider. POS website. Plot is practically given away.

    • Sean Brazell

      Are you freakin kidding me? Did you miss the TWENTY THOUSAND SPOILER Warning before the article proper?! lol!

  • read10

    I still feel like Marion Cotillard is going to be Talia al Ghul. And if Joseph Gordon Levitt doesn’t become Robin i’m going to punch someone in the face. The have done every major character, they have to do Robin. I am really excited that Liam Neeson’s going to cameo though! btw thanks for getting the mobile site up it’s awesome!!!

    • LEM

      It would be really cool if they could make Robin a badass because they really haven’t done him justice on screen at all.

      • sense 11

        agreed

    • Caboose

      Joseph Gordon Levitt will be playing as John Blake

    • Joey1014

      I am not sure anyone who doesn’t know Batman lore should be speaking. First of all, original Robin was Dick Grayson and was never a cop but a child Bruce raises.

      Robin will not come from a cop period!

      Talia Ah Ghul should appear in film its about the league of shadows. Enough of non canon female characters in the film.

  • kevin

    Christian bale already said and was serious that he would not be a part of the third film if robin or batgirl was in the movie. Sorry guys. That would be so lame anyways!

    • LEM

      I’m almost 100% sure Robin is not in the movie and forcing it in would be a mistake for sure. I think WB would be better off doing a Robin tv series instead of Green Arrow. They could make it dark and more like Arkham City style Robin.

      • kirk

        No they should do a Damian Wayne Robin show like Kickass but for TV.

  • ScottX

    I don’t understand why people want Robin in the film, less I can understand why they want a 30 years old Robin.

  • kevin

    Can’t agree with that. Robin should not be in this movie at all thank god he’s not.

  • Rohan

    Looks like my first comment is still in review. Aha!

  • gimpsuit

    What? So this is a flashback with Neeson? Or he didn’t die in the first one?
    “Flashbacks baby, that’s where it’s at. Rad, narley, super cool beans” – Nolan

  • Crimson

    He’s probably only filmed scenes for flashbacks in the DKR.

  • Northern Star

    With everything – and everyone – we know thus far is going on in TDKR, I hope it’ll be a longer film than the supposed 130-minute (minus credits) running time reported yesterday, I’m still hoping for a 160-minute (give or take) running time…

    • Northern Star

      *** UPDATE ***

      That 130-minute running time has been officially debunked as yet another website merely indulging in speculation, I’m glad it has to be said, I have my heart set on a truly EPIC ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ with a running time of at least two-and-a-half hours… everything over that is a bonus!

      • Joe

        How will they epically conclude the trilogy in 130 minutes!? LOL

        You could make it 4 hours and I’ll still watch it…with a pee break in between of course! :)

  • B rok

    I think its the worst kept secret that collitard is playing talia al guhl. This just seals it. I love it tho!

  • Joe

    I’m wondering if the Neeson appearance take place somewhere in between the prison scene in the trailer, where Wayne hears chanting and asks what is it to which the reply is ‘Rise’.

    I really hope the start of the movie picks up straight after TDK with Bats fleeing, reaching the Batcave, another fight ensuing with Bats getting injured badly…scene with “when Gotham is ashes, you have my permission to die”…fast forward 8 years.

    Drooling with anticipation!

    • Phoenix

      The Dark Knight Rises starts with Gordon giving his speech in memory of Harvey Dent and then…some thing else happens (no indication of when it occurs after the end of The Dark Knight) that has nothing to do with Batman fleeing the Gotham Police.

      I’m guessing that you didn’t see the prologue that was attached to Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol in IMAX so that’s why I didn’t mention any specifics. But I’m sure they’ll address the time gap in a way that will be completely organic to the plot.

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  • Nomis1700

    He should’ve been on set since we’ve seen the teaser trailer. His line about becoming a legend is longer than in BB. Just a few words but still. If he really physically appears in this, it has to be a flashback/nightmare.

  • Mitch McCormick

    This news is so old. I’ve read interviews with him talking about doing this film for some time.

  • SethR

    Yeah, everyone’s right Ra’s definitely died in BB. It has to be a flashback because he isn’t known for having a tool of eternal life or anything like that.

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  • Robert Ariadne

    How is this news? We’ve known about this for months.

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  • AlexHeyNa

    “I have no idea what the story is about. Nothing. Nothing. Seriously, I’m not sure if I’m still in it. It’s a cameo –- let’s put it that way –- if it still survives.”

    ^ Liam Neeson’s comment on his role in the film.

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