Lots and lots of news, chatter, rumors and speculation about many things involving the highly anticipated THE DARK KNIGHT RISES lately. Topics ranging from casting, possible characters in regards to casting, villain talk, trailer premieres, poster reveals and poster controversy; one thing’s for certain, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES is a hot topic with lots of fan interest twisting in the stirring maelstrom. This post will address everything I’ve followed to this point and my opinion/breakdown of what I know…or as you’ll see, don’t know.
Cast & Characters
I don’t even want to pretend to know if any character will or will not be a supplemental villain or catalyst of some sort, rather or not Batman will die or have some very tragic end of any kind or if the new Bane will be embarrassingly bad. I have complete faith in Nolan and as long as Bane’s character is anything more than “URRGH BANE SMASH” type dialogue as in BATMAN & ROBIN then I have no worries. I love Tom Hardy and I believe the film will be of very high quality even if it doesn’t come to surpass THE DARK KNIGHT.
I really like the teaser poster. It has shades of TDK’s poster with the Batman logo in flames on a building with Batman standing beneath and even shades of the fan posters. I have ZERO reaction to any of the claims as to if the poster copies any other poster in the movie universe, because I do not care. This is a poster for an entirely different movie, I see a Batman logo with falling debris from fractured buildings, and I don’t see morphing robots or a title card that says INCEPTION. Even if I were to admit or care about similarities it doesn’t matter because this is a THE DARK KNIGHT RISES poster and nothing more, so just like it or don’t on that merit alone.
This is the biggest piece of recent news for THE DARK KNIGHT RISES and the most surprising for me, because I never expected to see any footage for this movie a year away from the release. I realize TDK had footage well before the release, but given the success that film had going into this release I wasn’t expecting anything footage/trailer wise for quite some time.
The truths of my reaction are that the footage did not completely blow me away; I do love it though. Nothing in this trailer hits the spot in me that makes me double over in excitement that the first Joker footage gave me, but there is quite a bit here that gives me goosebumps.
The beginning of the teaser is little more than footage that looks similar to that of images from BATMAN BEGINS along with dialogue Liam Neeson gave from that film with text indicating every hero has a beginning and an end. From there we see Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) lying on a hospital bed on his side seemingly in a lot of pain basically begging who we can only assume is Bruce Wayne to bring Batman back. This begs the question that apparently Gordon now knows Bruce is Batman? Also, we assume that Bruce will hang up the suit at some point or perhaps right from the beginning and will be pushed back into action with the powerful threat of Bane now terrorizing the city.
From here Gordon says Batman must come back, followed by a blurry image of Bane and then a much clearer image of him starring into the camera, wearing what looks like a leather jacket. Then we see the teaser poster image with actual falling debris as it zooms in until the screen is completely white and the title card fades in. The final shot of the trailer is an awesome and brief glimpse of Batman backing away and getting into a weak fighting position as Bane lumbers in from the left side of the screen and then cuts to text that indicates we will see the end of the Batman legend.
I’ve watched the trailer over and over, but specifically the last shot trying to soak every inch of it in as I possibly can. I kept wishing I could see more of Bane, more of whoever that is standing in the background of the right hand side of the screen, but more importantly, just wish that I could watch more of this scene play out. I don’t have a single answer for any of the questions the trailer presents and that’s why I love it and believe it succeeds as a teaser trailer. Teasers are not supposed to provide closure or give you everything you want, they are supposed to do exactly what it’s called, a tease.
I have read lots of descriptions about the trailer before it was released, and lots of post reactions now that it’s been released and here is my take of the last shot in general. I’ve seen a lot of people say that what they interpret is Batman backing away scared or terrified that Bane is approaching him; that’s not what I see. What I see is Batman backing away completely exhausted and trying weakly to get his footing to try and fight off an impending attack and Bane walking relentlessly towards him unconcerned about Batman’s defense. The look on Batman’s face to me says “I have no clue what to do” where as the look of Bane’s walk is that of determination and no fear whatsoever of Batman. This gets me excited because if that’s the case I think we are in for some really tense stuff for the finale. I also don’t think that what we see here is the final battle between Bane and Batman. We are a year from release and to think the first footage we see would be part of the ending would be disappointing to me and unlikely. I would call this similar to when the Joker crashes Bruce’s fund-raiser looking for Harvey Dent in TDK and ends up in a tussle with Batman; so I would think this is an early tift between the two.
My last assessment of this scene is what I think the context of the scene is. There were viral videos released depicting a mass escape of Arkham Asylum and chaos with lots of chanting, which can be heard in the trailer as well. I believe this scene to be Batman going to intervene with what might be a riot at Arkham only to be overpowered by an escaped Bane and that the guy in the corner is a guard or another prisoner maybe. My problem with my own assessment is that Commissioner Gordon appears to have been injured severely by Bane and is begging Batman to come back, which wouldn’t quite fit with my thoughts and would be a conflict in the timeline of events.
Regardless, I think the teaser is great, Bane looks awesome so far and I love the integration of the teaser poster into the trailer. It’s still too early to tell how the film is taking shape, we have yet to see Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard or Joseph Gordon-Levitt to see how they fit in, let alone how the dialogue of Bane will sound. I did see some shooting notes about scenes taking place in snow, which we haven’t seen in a Batman film since BATMAN RETURNS, which coincidentally featured Catwoman, but again I have no reason to believe Catwoman will be in TDKR. I always love scenes integrating weather elements like snow just because it gives all kinds of dynamics to the scene, so seeing Batman fighting and charging through snowy streets of Gotham has me pretty stoked.
What are your thoughts about the trailer and the final shot of it?