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Morgan Freeman rises in Batman 3

Gail Choice | 7/18/2012, 5 p.m.

Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures "The Dark Knight Rises" is the epic conclusion to filmmaker Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy.

Leading an all-star international cast, Oscar winner Christian Bale ("The Fighter") again plays the dual role of Bruce Wayne/Batman.

"The Dark Knight Rises" also stars Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle; Tom Hardy as Bane; Oscar winner Marion Cotillard ("La Vie en Rose") as Miranda Tate; and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake.

Returning to the main cast, Oscar winner Michael Caine ("The Cider House Rules") plays Alfred; Gary Oldman is Commissioner Gordon and Oscar winner Morgan Freeman ("Million Dollar Baby") reprises the role of Lucius Fox--Wayne Enterprises' brilliant inventor. "Although Lucius works for Bruce, he has been a mentor to him," observes Freeman. "Compared to Lucius and Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce is still a relatively young man, so between the two of them, they try to keep his moral compass pointed in the right direction."

Charles Roven offers, "Lucius has always been the brains behind the tools that Bruce uses to become Batman, and he fulfills that function once again. But he has also grown to have great fondness for Bruce and, like Alfred; is trying to pull him out of the dark emotional place he's been in."

It's been eight years since Batman vanished into the night, turning, in that instant, from hero to fugitive. Assuming the blame for the death of D.A. Harvey Dent, the Dark Knight sacrificed everything for what he and Commissioner Gordon both hoped was the greater good. For a time the lie worked, as criminal activity in Gotham City was crushed under the weight of the anti-crime Dent Act.

But everything will change with the arrival of a cunning cat burglar who has a mysterious agenda.

Far more dangerous, however, is the emergence of Bane, a masked terrorist whose ruthless plans for Gotham drive Bruce out of his self-imposed exile. But even if he dons the cape and cowl again, Batman may be no match for Bane.

"The Dark Knight Rises" in theaters Friday.

Gail can be reached at gail@hollywoodbychoice.com.