(L-R) Actors Gary Oldman, Anne Hathaway, Christian Bale and Morgan Freeman attend 'The Dark Knight Rises' New York Premiere at AMC Lincoln Square Theater on July 16, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
NEW YORK (CBS) -- "The Dark Knight Rises" premiered in New York City on Monday and the stars came out to to usher in the latest Batman movie.
The red carpet was awash to celebrate the film and its director Christopher Nolan.
For the third time, actor Christian Bale takes on the role of Bruce Wayne and his alter ego Batman, but a lot has changed since the second movie.
The third film takes place eight years after "The Dark Knight," when Bruce Wayne lost his love interest Rachel Dawes and killed Harvey Dent, who turned into the villain Two-Face. Batman is held publicly accountable for the death of Dent.
Fast forward eight years and it's the beginning of the plot of "The Dark Knight Rises."
"Well, he (Batman) sort of makes decisions at the end of the "Dark Knight" which he came to regret. They work for the short term but not for the long term," Bale told Reuters Television about the beginning of the movie.
"He lied, basically. He has now become a hunted figure and he has become reclusive and more so than we have seen before. He's let himself go physically and mentally and this is a story of him recovering his purpose and getting back into action"
But Gotham's peace, achieved by the anti-crime Dent act is only short lived, and everything changes with the rise of the new super villain Bane, portrayed by Tom Hardy.
Bane, a little-known villain outside comic book circles, is the main
antagonist of the film with superior strength and intelligence. His evil plot forces Bruce Wayne to take on the identity of the caped crusader once again.
Hardy admits he had a tough act to follow in Heath Ledger's Oscar-winning turn
as the Joker.
"He (Ledger) did such an amazing work that there is a responsibility for any actor to play the next villain in a Batman franchise obviously. So yes, I thought about that personally. But then obviously at the same time I have a job to do and am just very grateful to be part of the team and the family. So
it's inspirational really that I follow after Heath and just to have the opportunity at all, just very grateful," the Inception-star said.
Also a new face in the series is Anne Hathaway, who takes on the role of Selina Kyle, or Catwoman.
Striking in a white Prabal Gurung gown, the actress said that she's always dreamt of playing the iconic femme fatale.
"In some weird alternate version of reality I think every girl, sometimes boy does but I never expected it to come true," the 29-year-old said.
"I am so proud to be, to have taken any part in this film and the fact that I have taken part in such an iconic role, I mean don't know quite what to say. It's very exciting," she added.
While the cast did not reveal much of the story, Gary Oldman, reprising his role as Commissioner Gordon, promises it is an epic ending of the trilogy.
"They say it isn't it, three is a crowd two is company. So this is a good number to go out on and it's a big, big bang," he said.
Also in the film is veteran actor Morgan Freeman as gadget guru Lucius Fox, and Marion Cotillard as wealthy philanthropist and friend of Bruce Wayne.
"The Dark Knight Rises" opens widely in theaters in the U.S. on July 20.