The prologue to filmmaker Christopher Nolan's much-anticipated final Batman movie will be shown in 32 IMAX theaters across the U.S., Warner Bros. announced Friday.

The prologue will be shown in advance of select screenings of Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol starting December 16. It will debut in IMAX theaters in Canada that same day.

Starting December 21, the prologue will hit IMAX theaters in the U.K.

Portions of the prologue were shot using IMAX cameras. It is rated PG-13.

Nolan told Empire magazine that the Dark Knight Rises prologue is basically the first six, seven minutes of the film and will serve as an introduction to Bane, and a taste of the rest of the film.

For The Dark Knight Rises, Nolan is using IMAX cameras more heavily than he did in his previous Batman movie, The Dark Knight. That movie was the first major feature shot partially with IMAX cameras.

Our experience on 'The Dark Knight' shooting and projecting IMAX 15 perf 65mm/70mm film was inspiring, Nolan said in a statement. The immersive quality of the image goes beyond any other filmmaking tool available, and in revisiting Gotham, we were determined to shoot even more of the movie in this unique format.

Christian Bale stars as Bruce Wayne and Batman. Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Miranda Tate and Joseph Gordon-Levitt also star. Michael Caine, Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman return to the cast.

Nolan wrote the script from a story he wrote with David S. Goyer.

Nolan, Emma Thomas and Charles Roven are producing.

The movie is scheduled for a July 20, 2012 release.