In addition to the prologue itself, still slated to play in select IMAX theaters ahead of Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, the newest trailer for the last Batman movie has leaked early, and countless interviews with director Christopher Nolan and stars Christian Bale and Tom Hardy provide more than enough information to tide over fans who missed the prologue yesterday.
Scroll down to the end of the article to watch the newest trailer for the movie and a transcript and basic rundown of the leaked Dark Knight Rises prologue.
In the bootleg video, butler Alfred promises Bruce Wayne that he will always protect him, Catwoman finally gets some screen time as Anne Hathaway warns Wayne about an upcoming threat, and new villain Bane lets loose on Gotham City.
Want more teasers, spoilers and insight into the last Batman movie? Read through for more information on Bane's villainy versus the Joker's, why Nolan chose to skip eight years ahead, and whether or not Bale's Batman will suffer a (literally) crippling blow.
Will Bane Kill Batman?
Christopher Nolan has confirmed that The Dark Knight Rises will be the last film in his Batman trilogy, and Christian Bale told reporters that the film will be the last time he dons the Batman cowl.
As both the leaked prologue and the new trailer show a Batman mask crashing to the ground and posters for the film tout the ominous tag line, The legend ends, some fans are wondering whether the movie will take that conclusion one step further and do the unthinkable: actually killing off the caped crusader.
As the image of Bane dropping a shattered Batman mask sweeps the Internet, however, connoisseurs of the Batman franchise have another, somewhat likelier theory: that Tom Hardy's Bane, like his comic book counterpart, may deal the Dark Knight a (literally) crippling blow, leaving the way open for Bale's Batman to find a replacement.
In a recent interview, Bale hinted at a reckoning to come for Bruce Wayne and his alter-ego, saying the tensions between the man and the mask would come to a boiling-point in the last movie.
Bruce Wayne is absolutely sincere as Bruce Wayne, as Batman is utterly sincere. But Bruce Wayne, the playboy, is a pure facade, it's a lie he has, somehow, to control one side of your soul that's not really under control, Bale said. It's time for Bruce Wayne to face the pain, that has always stirred his life.
Whether or not the newest Batman villain will break the Dark Knight's spine as he does in the comics is up for debate, but if Bane's appearance and dialogue is any indication (Now's not the time for fear. That comes later!), a broken Bale could very well show up on the IMAX screen.
Bane as 'Classic Movie Monster': The Dark Knight's New Villain
The Dark Knight Rises prologue delivered many of the same themes and rhythms of The Dark Knight preview three years ago: masks and identity, a double-cross and and a villain with a talent for great exit strategies.
Those expecting a villain like Heath Ledger's Joker in the second Batman movie, however, are in for a rude awakening: Bane is a very different breed of villain, and both the IMAX-screened prologue and the trailer lay that out immediately.
Unlike the Joker, an unpredictable psychopath intent on psychological warfare, Bane is rooted in brutal, uncompromising action, and while Ledger's villain was a one-man operation double-crossing his partners at every stage, the DKR trailer hints that Hardy's character has the kind of backing to take on both Batman and government operatives in the CIA.
With Bane, the physicality is the thing, Nolan told the LA Times. This is not to say that Bane isn't a smart villain: the newest addition to Batman's rogues gallery is a criminal mastermind with an entire army at his disposal. But whereas the Joker provided the archetype of diabolical, chaotic anarchy, Bane's counterpoint to Batman comes from a more elemental, brutal place.
He's a classic movie monster in a way, with a terrific brain, Nolan said. Tom Hardy, who was hand-picked for the role, agrees.
He's brutal, brutal, Hardy told Empire Magazine. He's expedient delivery of brutality.
He's a big dude who's incredibly clinical, in the fact that he has a result-based and orientated fighting style, Hardy added. The result is clear... It's nasty... It's anything he can get away with.
Eight Years Ahead
Nolan made waves in the movie-going community (and among Batman fans) when he announced that the last film in his Dark Knight trilogy would be set eight years after the last film's action.
Coming off Batman essentially taking the blame for Harvey Dent's crimes as Two-Face, many viewers were expecting Nolan and Bale to pick up right where the last film left off, with Gary Oldman's Comm. Gordon reluctantly taking him from vigilante to outright fugitive from justice.
But Nolan assures fans that the choice to move Batman's history almost a decade forward was a very intentional one, despite not wanting to give away any spoilers about the last movie.
It's not a great mystery, it's the jumping-off point for the film, but it's hard for me to articulate, Nolan edged.
If I had to express it thematically, I think what we’re saying is that for Batman and Commissioner Gordon, there’s a big sacrifice, a big compromise, at the end of the ‘The Dark Knight’ and for that to mean something, that sacrifice has to work and Gotham has to get better in a sense, he said. Their sacrifice has to have meaning and it takes time to establish that and to show that.
For those worried that Christian Bale will have to take on prosthetics and yet more voice changes to accommodate his advanced years, Nolan laughingly reminded fans that a decade really isn't that long in the real world, even if it seems like ages in a superhero movie.
It’s a time period that is not so far ahead that we would have to do crazy makeup or anything, which I think would be distracting, Nolan said. But it gave them something to get their teeth into, particularly Christian in terms of [portraying] this guy who has been frozen in this moment in time with nowhere to go.
What about Catwoman?
In both the leaked IMAX prologue and the second trailer, The Dark Knight Rises has had its focus on Batman and Bane, as Christian Bale and Tom Hardy prepare for their ultimate face-off. For many Batman fans in the audience, however, one key figure seemed to be missing from the action, seen only in brief flashes during the teasers: Anne Hathway's Selina Kyle, known to Gotham City as Catwoman.
Hathaway and Nolan came under fire earlier this fall when a sneak peek of Catwoman's outfit caused some fans to say it looked nothing like the anti-heroine from the comics.
Firing back, Hathway pointed out that viewers say only about a tenth of what that suit can do, and credited those who liked the outfit with excellent taste. Since then, little more has been seen of Bruce Wayne's new love interest and occasional antagonist.
Christian Bale, however, heaped high praise on Hathaway's take on Catwoman in an interview with The Daily Inquirer last month, and promised fans of the alluring cat burglar that her role is one of the highlights of the final film.
When Chris [Nolan watched watched the screen test, he agreed that Anne did a wonderful job, Bale said. In many ways, she has the hardest job. There are a number of people who feel that the Catwoman role has been defined previously. So, I always saw Anne's role as being the toughest job of any of us.
The 'Dark Knight Rises' Trailer and Prologue
“It’s terrific, to have people that interested in something. It reminds you that it is a real honor to work on something that means so much to people,” Nolan has said. “I’ve been given a very precious thing to do my best with, to look after and not to let people down.
Although some early viewers have small criticisms about The Dark Knight Rises, particularly Bane's mask (which some say make his lines unintelligible), reactions to both the DKR trailers and the recent IMAX-screened prologue have been overwhelmingly positive, proving that Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale still have a winning formula in their latest and last Batman movie.
Below, follow this link to a transcript of the scene, courtesy of Blemish, and watch the latest trailer for The Dark Knight Rises, starring Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman and Anne Hathaway. The film is set for release on July 20, 2012.
UPDATE: The Dark Knight Rises leaked trailer, which is supposed to premiere sometime this week, has since been taken down. Below, see the most recent trailer for the Batman movie, and keep checking Youtube.com, as users are likely to continue trying to download the leaked footage.
Dark Knight Rises Second Trailer: