It Starts With A Bang
What we know: Batman Begins had Christian Bale darkly dreaming before battling hardened prisoners, The Dark Knight had its insane bank robbery. Like a Bond film before the credits roll, The Dark Knight Rises similarly aims to grab your attention from the off.
What we saw/heard: In an upping of antes, director Christopher Nolan kicks off the end of his trilogy with an impossible mid-air heist that excites even as it informs us about his characters.
Dent Is Undented
What we know: The opening piece of footage from the promo suggests that District Attorney Harvey Dent, who became Two Face in The Dark Knight , remains clear of the crimes he committed. Not good news for Batman who took the fall in his place.
What we saw/heard: “I knew Harvey Dent. I was his friend. And it will be a very long time before someone inspires us the way he did,” says Commissioner Gordon in a rerun of Dent's funeral eulogy.
Bane Is Reborn
What we know: In Batman & Robin Bane is nothing more than muscle for Poison Ivy and Mr Freeze. The Dark Knight Rises ' Bane adds a whole bunch of smarts, while still retaining his strength. The last time Bane was defeated on film it was by Batgirl and Robin. We don't envision such an easy takedown this time around.
What we saw/heard: “Congratulations, you got yourself caught. Now what's the next step of your masterplan?” says a CIA agent. “Crashing this plane,” replies Bane, being entirely serious.
Bane Isn't The Usual Suspect
What we know: Or is he? He's certainly got the mystery of Keyser Söze given that the intelligence agencies seem to know very little about him. He's also pretty keen to hunt down the one man who might betray him.
What we saw/heard: “If I pull that off will you die?” asks the CIA operative, suggesting not much is known even about Bane's mask. “It would be extremely painful,” Bane replies.
Fanatics Are Hard To Beat
What we know: Brains and brawn will get you a long way but when you have the fanatical support of your men you are truly dangerous.
What we saw/heard: “Have we started the fire?” asks one of Bane's henchman when he is asked to sacrifice his life. “The fire rages,” replies the crafty criminal.
Catwoman Looks Cool
What we know: If shock waves could actually travel across the Internet then that's exactly what happened when the first image of Anne Hathaway's Catwoman was released. First impressions on seeing it on the big screen suggest that was an overreaction.
What we saw/heard: OK, so Hathaway only breezes across the screen for a second in her cowl but in a superhero series that edges towards realism she looks the part. She also gets a more sombre moment with a moody, troubled stare from the back of a moving car. Dare we say it's a bit Girl With A Cat Tattoo ...
It Was Never Going To Be In 3D
What we know: Warner Bros. may have banked an enormous amount of cash thanks to Harry Potter's 3D spellcasting but Nolan says there was never going to be an extra visual dimension for his trilogy closer.
What we saw/heard: “We always wanted to be consistent with the other two films and we're very happy with what we did on The Dark Knight wth the IMAX format. So we went to the studio and said we'd really like to push that forward,” Nolan told TF.com after the screening.
Politics Wasn't An Issue
What we know: Some claimed The Dark Knight was a commentary on the George W Bush years in American politics and having a CIA agent take hooded prisoners onto a plane could be seen as a continuation of that. However, Nolan says modern culture only influences the Batman films on an unconscious level.
What we saw/heard: “We try not to sit down and write commentary on the world we live in but we do try and write from an honest place and in doing that you do naturally write about the world we live in. But I think you've got to do that unconsciously. These films are not meant to be providing specific social commentary, I think that would be alienating and I think it would take the fun out of it,” Nolan said.
What we know: There's no getting around it, 70mm IMAX is the only way to see this film. IMAX has two formats – digital and film – and Nolan wants fans to track down their 70mm IMAX film theatres to get the best from The Dark Knight Rises . Having seen the early footage fill our field of vision, we agree.
What we saw/heard: “We've shot quite a bit of the film using IMAX film cameras... to this date it's far and away the best imaging format that's ever been created and there's nothing to touch it. The best way to see that for the benefit of the action sequences is on a screen this size using one of the film projectors. It will be on around 100 screens worldwide when the film comes out in July so we want to get it out there for the fans to let them know what this experience is going to be and why it's worth them seeking it out,” Nolan said at the start of his presentation.
The Dark Knight Rises Hits Hard
What we know: Nolan's previous films delivered plenty of heart wrenching moments including character deaths and despair for the citizens of Gotham. The defining moment from this preview footage comes at the end.
What we saw/heard: Bane creates an iconic image as he drops Batman's broken mask onto the ground.