We now have 2 official teaser trailers on the web and a bootleg version of the 7 minute prologue which was attached to IMAX screening of MI:4. What can we learn about the plot and characters from these 2 trailers and what has Nolan left open-ended?
First teaser trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqF8lcKTLw0
The first half of the trailer focuses heavily on the idea of Batman as a symbol and being ‘more than just a man… a legend Mr Wayne’ (a quote by Ra’s Al Gul from Batman Begins). The main focus of BB on a thematic level was fear, for The Dark Knight it was escalation and chaos. Is this teaser hinting that the main idea for The Dark Knight Rises is what Batman can represent as a symbol for good?
We see Gordon in hospital, obviously in a great deal of pain talking to Bruce and demanding the Batman’s return because of a rising evil rises. Does Gordon now know that Bruce Wayne was/is Batman? If so, how and when did he find out? So we know from this that Gordon at some point in TDKR gets injured severely, one would assume by Bane and it’s also safe to assume that this is early on in the film because you’re not going to have a film about Batman in which he doesn’t ‘come back’ until after halfway through the film are you? Also shown is that Bruce appears to be resting his hand on a cane (0.38) so even before Gordon is in hospital Bruce (and therefore Batman) is injured. Something must have happened to him in this 8 year gap between TDK and TDKR; could his back have been broken? More on this when I talk about the first full trailer.
At 0.53 we see a mystery character, we can assume it’s Bane seeing as how Gordon says ‘now this evil rises’, rising out of a well that is not dissimilar to the one which a young Bruce Wayne falls down at the start of BB and finds his Batcave (which we know has been rebuilt). Has Bane infiltrated the Batcave or is it just a similar looking well?
At 0.59 we see another character doing push ups. The character does have hair so it’s more likely to be Bruce Wayne training to be Batman; flashback to BB? or retraining himself? Or it could be a a young Bane training to be a member of The League of Shadows much like Bruce did in BB? One idea being thrown around is that Bane was actually training at the same time as Bruce and was badly burned in the fire/explosion that Bruce caused and that is why he has to wear the mask; to cope with the chronic pain and now wants revenge. The prison also looks very similar to one shown in the full trailer that a disheveled Bruce is looking around.
We’re then given a flash of Bane’s face/mask and a shot of haggard buildings with a Bat-symbol (again, could this be the theme?) shaped gap between them. Is it hinting that Gotham is falling apart without Batman?
At 1.22 we see an exhausted looking Batman fighting a huge looking Bane and even cowering before him with a mysterious white figure in the background observing. Who is this mystery person?
2nd Teaser Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yh6SriAjdE
A lot of publicity has been about Bane’s attack on a football game and the trailer kicks off with it, well, it kicks off with a young boy singing the national anthem at a football stadium anyway, not much to learn here.
Now we get our first look at Bane climbing some steep steps with a bad-ass sheepskin jacket. It’s insinuated he’s at the football game.
We get some very interesting news from Alfred at 0.17 talking about how he ‘swore to protect him (Bruce)’ and he hasn’t. While this is being said we see a reflection of Bruce definitely walking with a cane. Alfred is definitely cut up about something that happened in the past and, again, it’s insinuated that it’s something to do with Bruce’s injury that we can guess took place sometime between TDK and TDKR. What happened to him?
At 0.32 we get news about Commissioner Gordon. Apparently the mayor’s going to dump him in the spring (meaning they’ll get a new commissioner). Matthew Modine’s character Nixon, doesn’t approve of this, saying he’s a hero. “A war hero,” the other man retorts “this is peace time.” So nothing too crazy is happening in Gotham at this part of the film and also Gordon is in good health at what looks to be a public event marking an anniversary of Harvey Dent’s death (a good way to establish the 8 year gap would be if this was the opening scene (we know it’s not the VERY first scene thanks to the 7 minute prologue) and Gordon gives a speech declaring it 8 years since his death…). So, again an assumption, this is an early-early scene because we know he gets injured and begs for Batman to come back and fight the evil which, again we can assume, injured him.
We’re back with Bruce at 0.41 with him walking (or should that be limping?) into large hall that is hosting a masked ball (always a cool cinematic device) and then BOOM: we’re introduced to Anne Hathaway’s Selina Kyle (that’s Catwoman to you and me). She warns Bruce that there’s ‘a storm coming’. We’re then shown to shots of police officers jumping from explosions and a prolonged shot of Bane again wearing his long sheepskin jacket so it’s implied that he is this storm that’s coming. So, by the time of this ball Bane hasn’t arrived on the scene (therefore it has to be before the football match). We’re shown Selina putting on a pearl necklace (very similar to the one Thomas Wayne got his wife in BB) and it appears that this is her getting ready for the ball we’ve already seen her at.
She warns Bruce that “you and your friends better baton down the hatches because when it hits you’re all gonna wonder how you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us…” This is a very similar sentiment to the Occupy Wall Street movement currently taking place. While she says this we see hordes of people ransacking posh-looking houses so maybe her motivation is in fact about money and not the crime angle… Why then is it insinuated Bane’s involved with her upcoming storm? Are they a team?
At 1.02 Bruce gives her a look almost of fearful acceptance of her point.
We’re back to Bane at 1.05 and he’s standing in front of a prison break with many prisoners chanting support for him and hoisting their guns in the air; he was responsible for this. Gotham’s most famous prison is Arkham and it featured quite heavily in BB so it would be a sign the trilogy is going full circle by featuring it again.
At 1.09 we’re back at the football match with Bane and he’s on pitch level preparing for something.
We’re then shown an almost mirroring shot of a bearded Bruce looking around a prison very like the one we saw someone ferociously working out in in the first teaser trailer. He asks him what it means (a chanting has become loud in the background and it’s implied this is what he’s asking about) the man in the background replies ‘rise’.
1.19 sees Bane detonate something and a few seconds later the entire pitch is collapsing just as a football player runs in for a touch down. He turns around in shock at the cavernous field behind him and drops the ball. This is some serious shit.
We now hear Bane for the first time and I’m not going to lie, it isn’t as clear as it might be. Still, that’s not what I’m talking about right now. He says “When Gotham is… ashes… you have my permission to die” whilst looking down on an injured Bruce. So, Bane has no desire to kill Batman, quite the opposite he wants him to see Gotham destroyed before finally killing him. We could speculate that this is Batman’s first attempt to best Bane and after being soundly beaten comes back with a second attempt?
1.36: we see a flash of Marion Cotillard who apparently plays Miranda Tate a board member of Wayne Enterprises who wants to help Wayne resume his fathers charity endeavors for Gotham. It has been rumoured that she is in fact playing daughter of the former head of The League of Shadows Talia Al Gul. In this mini scene it again appears that Wayne is resting on a cane.
1.39: Selina Kyle is walking through a narrow corridor that, on first glance to me, looks like an airport or train station. One things for certain she’s a sophisticated looking lady.
From here on out it’s only brief flashes that we don’t learn too much from:
Batman uses a gun shaped torch thing.
A camo Tumblr explodes.
4 people rappel down a shaft identical to the one Bane was climbing up in the first teaser.
Bane looks menacing
Joseph Gordon Levitt, playing John Blake, a beat cop given a special assignment by Gordon, looks worried and pushes through a door.
Batman is on the steps of some old building in what looks to be daylight and prepares to fight an approaching Bane.
A swat team run through a corridor
A camo tumblr fires shells above a group of people on the same steps
Batman fights Bane on the same steps as above
We, very very briefly, see 4 people rapel into what looks to be the same prison Bruce was looking around early in the trailer.
We then see the much photographed Batwing chasing another camo tumblr
From this studying we can guess a suspected chronology of The Dark Knight Rises:
- Bane is transferred to the C.I.A but crashes the plane and escapes with Dr Pavel with everyone thinking there were no survivors.
- Commissioner Gordon speaks at an event marking the 8 year anniversary of Harvey Dent’s death and it is revealed his support among politicians is waning because it’s ‘peace time’ in Gotham.
- Bruce Wayne attends a masked ball where he meets Selina Kyle, who warns him about Bane, and Miranda Tate.
- Bane attacks and seriously wounds Gordon causing him to go to hospital.
- Bruce Wayne visits Gordon and Gordon demands Batman’s return to fight Bane. Bruce is unsure.
- In quick succession Bane releases the prisoners and attacks the football stadium.
- Batman returns and is soundly beaten.
- Pure speculation: Batman teams up with Catwoman and at the same time John Blake’s special assignment comes to fruition so Bane is cornered and knows he can’t win but he goes down fighting and kills Batman but he dies in a public place where everyone can see the hero he really was…
Really though it’s anyone’s guess. We don’t know anything about Joseph Gordon Levitt’s character or Marion Cottilard’s. People suspect them to be Nightwing and Talia Al Gul respectively but we have near-as no evidence of either of those things so they could be exactly what Nolan says they are. Also we don’t exactly what part Catwoman plays in the story. Traditionally she’s a villain but in the second trailer she was definitely warning Bruce Wayne of a coming storm but was she warning Bruce because he’s rich and she’s supporting an Occupy-type movement or was she warning Batman because he’s Batman and Bane is gunning for him and Gotham…
I will report back once more information comes to light, please don’t hesitate to post your comments on the trailers or if you have different ideas for the plot than mine. All feedback is good feedback!