Film News: ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ Sees Snowballed Budget of $250 Million

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CHICAGO – While Christopher Nolan is busy preparing for the imminent “The Dark Knight Rises” shoot at St. John Street in London following filming in India, the suits back in the U.S. are butting heads over the business of the expected cash cow and who’s going to get fat from it.

The Dark Knight Rises with Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures

For 2008’s “The Dark Knight,” which grossed a staggering $1 billion in theatres on a production budget of $185 million (plus an additional 16 million DVDs sold), distributor Warner Bros. was a 50/50 partner with the production and film financing company Legendary Pictures.

This time around, which is reportedly director Christopher Nolan’s last Batman film, we learn today that “The Dark Knight Rises” is expected to get a beefed-up production budget of “at least” $250 million, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The larger budget should be spent well on using additional IMAX cameras and more on-location filming. Also, stay tuned for what’ll hopefully be another successful viral campaign. The viral marketing campaign for “The Dark Knight,” which was one of the most invasive and comprehensive in movie history, successfully drummed up epic anticipation for the film.

And with more money thrown at 2012’s summer blockbuster, tension is currently thick between Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures. While Legendary and Warner Bros. are presently in a heated debate over the terms of their partnership for “The Dark Knight Rises,” Legendary founder Thomas Tull reportedly wants a higher ownership stake than Warner Bros. might want to give up.

But Jeff Robinov, who was recently named a co-president at Warner Bros., is reportedly hesitant about again sharing 50 percent of the film’s profits. He might instead feel more comfortable with less than half, according to an unidentified source cited in the Los Angeles Times report.

Robinov is reportedly nervous about going 50/50 with Legendary this time because Warner Bros. will be ending its lucrative run this summer with its “Harry Potter” franchise films. He’s therefore banking on DC Comics superheros like Batman to keep his company’s coffers full. Tull especially wants a meaty stake in “The Dark Knight Rises” because Legendary makes its living largely on fanboy and comic book-adapted films like “300,” “Batman Begins” and “Watchmen”.

The first set photo from St. John Street in London on May 12, 2011
The first set photo from St. John Street in London on May 12, 2011. The white building pictured
above will become the Gotham City Police Station in “The Dark Knight Rises”.
Building image credit: SuperHeroHype forums

Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures have teamed up on successes such as “The Hangover” ($467 million at the box office on a budget of $35 million) and “300” ($456 million on a budget of $65 million) as well as the recent “Sucker Punch” ($89 million on a budget of $82 million) and the mega flop “Jonah Hex” (about $11 million on a budget of $47 million).

With filming now in full swing for “The Dark Knight Rises,” Warner Bros. and Legendary typically have their ducks in a row by the time a film begins filming. As their numbers game continues bobbing back and forth, we’ll keep you comprehensively updated on the “The Dark Knight Rises” as it comes alive.

“The Dark Knight Rises” will again star Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne, Gary Oldman as Jim Gordon, Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox and Michael Caine as Alfred. The film also stars Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Juno Temple, Josh Pence and Diego Klattenhoff. Nestor Carbonell and Daniel Sunjata are currently rumored to be involved.

The film, which is again directed by Christopher Nolan, is scheduled for release on July 20, 2012. “The Dark Knight Rises” is written by David S. Goyer (story), Bob Kane (characters), Christopher Nolan (screenplay), Christopher Nolan (story) and Jonathan Nolan (screenplay) with original music from Hans Zimmer and cinematography by Wally Pfister.

Stay tuned to for complete “The Dark Knight Rises” coverage.
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