STOP! Carry on
The Fact: The very first words spoken in The Dark Knight Rises are in voiceover from Commissioner Gordon, who kicks things off by saying, “I knew Harvey Dent…”
The Glorious Implication: The story might be set eight years after The Dark Knight , but make no mistake, the two films are thoroughly connected. Watching the trilogy as a box-set is going to be the Christmas treat of 2012!
The Fact: Christian Bale famously stated that he would have refused to return for part three had the character of Robin been included anywhere in the trilogy. Come on Christian! Not even if Chris O’Donnell came back?
The Glorious Implication: We won’t have the Boy Wonder camping it up in part three. Huzzah!
The Fact: However, Nolan does like to tease his audience doesn’t he? How else to explain the specific design of the “R” seen on a sign in the football crowd?
The Glorious Implication: It does look awfully like the Robin logo, although knowing that that frame would be in the trailer, surely this is just a red herring on Nolan’s part. The extras present surely brought their own signs and Nolan just homes in on this one as an in-joke. Right?
Brains And Brawn
The Fact: Bane is first and foremost a man mountain - a vast, terrifying presence, who according to Nolan is, “a classic movie monster.” However, he’s also a keen strategist, and a man with a very well thought out plan. “He has a terrific brain,” says Nolan, describing him as a character “to test Batman mentally as well as physically.”
The Glorious Implication: We won’t be getting a repeat of Bane’s bungling henchman routine from Batman And Robin .
The Fact: The film will reunite a significant number of Inception ’s primary cast, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy and Marion Cotillard all signing on to join existing cast member Michael Caine.
The Glorious Implication: This is now looking the strongest of all of Nolan’s ensembles. What price an appearance from Cillian Murphy to complete the set?
Time Marches On
The Fact: The action takes place eight years after the events depicted in The Dark Knight .
The Glorious Implication: Bruce Wayne has had plenty of time to gradually lose his marbles as his alter ego is painted as an amoral vigilante. Not only that, but Gotham’s new dawn appears to have favoured the rich, leaving the city’s underclass seething with resentment. Eight years down the track should see Batman languishing in a very lonely place…
Go Big Or Go Home
The Fact: Christopher Nolan is about to kick the action sequences up a gear.
The Glorious Implication: We knew from the multitude of leaked Wall Street photos that The Dark Knight Rises was going to boast some epic fight scenes. What we didn’t realise until watching the trailer, was on just how grand a scale Bane’s destruction would take place. The stadium sequence… in a word: wow.
The Female Of The Species
The Fact: In her own way, Selina Kyle is every bit as intimidating as Bane
The Glorious Implication: Our favourite moment of the new trailer has to be the venom with which Anne Hathaway’s Selina Kyle reprimands Bruce Wayne, and Gotham generally, for their complacency. “You and your friends better batten down the hatches,” she purrs, “because when it hits, you and your friends are going to wonder how you ever thought you could live so large, and leave so little for the rest of us.”
The Fact: Judging by Selina’s speech, Bane’s manipulation of Gotham’s disenfranchised underclass, and the fact that one of the film’s biggest battles takes place on the city’s Wall Street counterpart, we’d say there’s a pretty clear theme of social discontent running through this one.
The Glorious Implication: Whereas The Dark Knight had post-9/11 connotations, this time Nolan mirrors credit-crunch unrest. And they say superhero movies are dumb…
The Fact: Harvey Dent’s murderous rampage has successfully been covered up by Jim Gordon, as witnessed by his glowing character reference at Dent’s eulogy.
The Glorious Implication: Batman is still in the frame for Two-Face’s murders, which would suggest that the Dark Knight will be a less than popular figure amongst the rank and file of Gotham. And given that several of the victims were cops, he should find himself with more than a few enemies in the GCPD.
To The IMAX!
The Fact: A whopping 50 minutes of the new film has been shot using IMAX cameras, around twice as much as was filmed for The Dark Knight . “It's a film format that was invented the year before I was born, but it is to this day, far and away the best format that has ever been created,” says Nolan. “There's nothing to touch it.”
The Glorious Implication: If you thought the bank heist looked spectacular on the IMAX screen, just imagine what the technology will do for The Dark Knight Rises ’ manifold set-pieces.
2D Or Not 2D
The Fact: Nolan was never going to bow to studio pressure to present the third film in 3D.
The Glorious Implication: Refreshingly, a major studio production puts the fans and the art of storytelling above the opportunity to make a few extra quid. “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,” Nolan told Total Film . “So we went to the studio and said we'd really like to push that forward.”
Crash Bang Wallop
The Fact: Some of Nolan’s more intense action sequences are costing Warner a quid or two…
The Glorious Implication: According to The Hollywood Reporter , Anne Hathaway’s stunt double destroyed one of the (extremely expensive) IMAX cameras during a scene with the Batpod. It could however be taken as a good omen: an IMAX camera was also demolished during the filming of The Dark Knight ’s truck chase!
The Fact: Tom Hardy’s Bane is going to be a total force of nature. Mind your spine, Batman…
The Glorious Implication: “He’s a smashing machine,” says Hardy. “He’s a wrecking ball. The style is heavy-handed, heavy-footed, it’s nasty. Anything from small joint manipulation to crushing skulls, crushing rib cages, stamping on shins and knees and necks and collarbones and snapping heads off and tearing his fists through chests, ripping out spinal columns.” Could this see the big-screen realisation of the comic-book arc in which Bane leaves Batman a paraplegic?
The Fact: Bruce doesn’t look in the best of shape for much of the trailer, walking with a cane in several scenes and appearing a broken man as Bane looms over him. And then of course, there’s that poster with the broken cowl…
The Glorious Implication: Is Batman up to the task? Perhaps Bane has broken Bruce’s back in the aforementioned scene and the eight year gap is how long it takes him to recover. And then there’s the question of whether Nolan could kill him off? “The Legend Ends,” after all…
The Fact: Anne Hathaway trained rigorously for her role as Selina Kyle, working out five days a week on a regime that included stunt training, intensive exercise and dancing. She described it as her most physically taxing role to date.
The Glorious Implication: Ms Kyle is going to be heavily involved in the film’s action. Whether or not she becomes an out and out antagonist remains to be seen…
Lovely Day For It
The Fact: Much of the trailer’s action takes place in broad daylight, continuing the series' journey from darkness into light.
The Glorious Implication: It looks as though the final film will deliver on Nolan’s promise to bring the Batman into the cold light of day. Whilst the Bat’s scare-tactics work best under the cover of darkness (see Batman Begins for details), Bane looks to have succeeded in bringing him out of his comfort zone.
I Believed In Harvey Dent
The Fact: Official stills show Bane brandishing an image of Harvey Dent as he rallies an army within Gotham. Presumably, Gordon’s lie is about to be exposed, and Dent’s status as Gotham’s White Knight won’t last much longer…
The Glorious Implication: If Bane is looking to tear down Gotham’s veneer of civilisation, revealing the lie upon which its reinvention has been built upon would be a good place to start…
The Fact: Having pushed his boundaries on the technically brilliant Inception , Nolan has brought some new visual techniques along with him to The Dark Knight Rises …
The Glorious Implication: Without giving too much away, if you liked Inception ’s rotating corridor sequence, you’re going to love what happens when Bane hijacks a plane…
This Charming Man
The Fact: The Joker might be Nolan’s seminal Bat-villain, but Bane looks set to enjoy some crackling dialogue as well breaking things. “When Gotham is ashes,” he growls at Bruce, “you have my permission to die.”
The Glorious Implication: Some have suggested that Tom Hardy’s delivery is a little indistinct, but we’re liking his guttural, accented tones. Sure, you might have to listen carefully, but to us, the end result sounds mesmerising.
The Fact: And speaking of Bane’s voice, that won’t be undergoing any sort of “clean-up” before the finished film is released. According to a Warner studio exec, “Chris wants the audience to catch up and participate rather than push everything at them. He doesn’t dumb things down. You’ve got to pedal faster to keep up.”
The Glorious Implication: That sinister, glottal voice is here to stay. No bad thing, in our opinion.
A League Of Their Own
The Fact: All the clues appear to be pointing to a return by the League Of Shadows. Bane is obsessed with wiping out Gotham, Liam Neeson was reportedly spotted on set, and the above image shows what looks like a squad of ninjas descending the well at Wayne Manor… or could that be the prison / dungeon we see Bruce visiting later?
The Glorious Implication: Is Bane carrying out the wishes of the late Ra’s al Ghul. And is the man himself actually dead?
Prisoner Of War
The Fact: When it was leaked that part of the film would take place in a Siberian prison camp, fans first assumed it would be Bane who was locked up. However, is the trailer’s odd, stair-filled prison home to Bruce Wayne at some point in the story?
The Glorious Implication: Perhaps Bruce has returned to prison to hone his fighting skills as he did at the beginning of Batman Begins ? One thing we know for sure though: Tom Conti delivers a hell of a good “RISE”!
Is It A Bird?
The Fact: The Batwing (or whatever Chris Nolan decides to call it) finally takes flight in The Dark Knight Rises . Looks pretty badass, doesn’t it?
The Glorious Implication: Lucius Fox has clearly been a busy boy in the last eight years. Bane might have the technology to eviscerate a football field, but Batman can now fly!
The Fact: The Dark Knight Rises will show that Bruce’s fears have never fully been conquered. “How long will [ he ] let the pain and loss define [ his ] life?” asked Christian Bale recently. “Walking around chasing bad guys is very heroic and attracts attention, but at the end it all accounts for a means to deal with the pain of a huge loss. It's time for Bruce Wayne to face the pain that has always stirred his life.”
The Glorious Implication: It was naïve to think that conquering his fear of bats would be the end of Bruce’s childhood nightmare…
The Fact: Gary Oldman recently revealed that Chris Nolan told his primary cast how the film ends in person, rather than having it written down. He didn’t want it getting leaked, you see…
The Glorious Implication: Such secrecy would suggest a fairly weighty payoff to the series. Or alternatively, it could just demonstrate Nolan’s caution at having anything leaked to a fact-hungry online audience. Either way, one thing’s for sure – we won’t know how it ends until we leave the cinema!
The Fact: Michael Caine has his own back-story worked out for Alfred. “I wanted him to be a tough butler, and I wanted him to be an ex-soldier,” says Caine. “The voice is the first Sergeant I ever had. I always imagined Alfred to be SAS — he was wounded, and didn’t want to leave the army, and went to work in the officer’s mess behind the bar. Batman’s father came in and he saw him and said, ‘Would you like to be trained as a butler?’ And he said yes, and he went with him to America and was trained as a butler and that’s his back-story.”
The Glorious Implication: Not a direct influence on the third film perhaps, but we like this interpretation so much we had to include it! Particularly as it would provides a little context for our next fact…
Pass The Kleenex
The Fact: Whatever has happened to Bruce over the last eight years has taken its toll on Alfred too. “You are as precious to me as you were to your own mother and father,” trembles the old butler. “I swore to them that I would protect you… and I haven’t.”
The Glorious Implication: If even redoubtable old Alfred is starting to crack, things truly must be grim at the Wayne household…
Lady In Red
The Fact: Marion Cotillard looks resplendent in a flowing red dress as Wayne Enterprises board member Miranda Tate. However, on-set photos taken earlier this year showed her climbing atop a camouflaged tumbler. Doesn’t seem like the sort of thing your average executive would do, does it?
The Glorious Implication: Cotillard’s character is on the board of Wayne Enterprises. The weaponry at Bane’s disposal appears to be of the calibre produced by Wayne Enterprises. How is he getting his hands on it? Could it be he has a man on the inside? Or rather a woman? And could that woman be none other than Talia al Ghul? Questions, questions…
What's The Score?
The Fact: Hans Zimmer’s score will plunge us straight back into the Gotham we know and love.
The Glorious Implication: The trailer’s visuals are mighty impressive, but the use of sound is equally involving, from the little boy’s delivery of The Star Spangled Banner , to the rhythmic chanting of Bane’s supporters. However, the masterstroke comes in the final few seconds, when Hans Zimmer’s memorable score comes booming through. Genuine goosebumps…
The Fact: That weird chant that takes a prominent role in the trailer was composed by Zimmer, who then encouraged thousands of Batman fans to record themselves singing it so he could weave their voices together for the finished article. Cool.
The Glorious Implication: It’s just a brilliant way of making the fans feel involved in a project that has held millions captivated for months on end. A really nice touch.
The Fact: According to Gary Oldman, Nolan wasn’t always certain he would return for round three. “I think Chris strikes me as someone who's too smart and he’s sort of too classy to just sort of make a third for the sake of making it,” says Oldman. “I don't think that's who he is. I remember way back saying to him, 'Is there going to be a third?' He said, 'If I can get the story right. I've got to outdo myself. I’ve got to do it better than The Dark Knight . I've just got to get it right.’”
The Glorious Implication: This isn’t a sequel – this is the concluding chapter of a trilogy. And in case there were any doubt, Nolan knows what he’s doing!
The Fact: It takes Commissioner Gordon being put in hospital before Batman returns, as demonstrated in the first teaser trailer where a bed-ridden Gordon beseeches him to rescue Gotham. In the new trailer, Gordon is clearly up and about, at least until an explosion-filled action scene…
The Glorious Implication: Bane and his minions will launch an assault on Gotham that hospitalises Gordon. From that point onwards, the Bat is persuaded to return… that’s our interpretation, anyhow!
New York, New York
The Fact: Gotham can largely be read as a mirror image of New York City, and for the first time in Nolan’s trilogy, part of the film has been shot in the Big Apple.
The Glorious Implication: Chicago has made for a more than serviceable Gotham, but it will be nice to see New York feature for the first time. Pittsburgh will also feature extensively, just so you know!
Rise Of Ra's
The Fact: Josh Pence is reportedly set to play a younger version of Ra’s al Ghul with Nolan having confirmed that the film’s narrative will jump back and forth through time to some extent.
The Glorious Implication: If Ra’s is even included in a flashback scene, surely that would imply that the League Of Shadows will be involved in some capacity?
The Fact: Commissioner Gordon is being squeezed out by Mayor Garcia, as witnessed by the exchange between Matthew Modine’s Nixon and an unknown colleague. “But he’s a hero,” protests Nixon. “A war hero,” comes the reply. “This is peace-time.”
The Glorious Implication: With Gordon, one of the city’s last remaining good guys, being forced out, Gotham’s new dawn looks increasingly like a false one.
The Fact: Bane’s back-story has been tweaked from the comics, in that the gas mask device through which he breathes supplies him with some form of painkiller rather than Venom serum. “If I pull that off, will you die,” taunts a CIA operative in the 6-minute prologue. “It would be extremely painful,” replies Bane.
The Glorious Implication: The muscle-enhancing Venom serum was always going to be a bit out there for Chris Nolan’s trilogy – this alternative explanation fits a lot more comfortably.
Lady Of The Night
The Fact: Juno Temple plays a character named Holly Robinson, known in the comics as a friend of Selina Kyle’s from her time as a prostitute.
The Glorious Implication: If Robinson is present, it would suggest we will delve into Selina’s unhappy past. In which case, Catwoman will probably be presented as an avenging vigilante, stepping into the gap vacated by Batman
Home Sweet Home
The Fact: Wayne Manor has been rebuilt following Ra’s al Ghul’s arson job, and by the looks of a leaked on-set picture, the Batcave has received a lick of paint!
The Glorious Implication: Alfred hinted at the redevelopment of Wayne Manor’s underground lair at the end of Begins , and it looks as if those plans have finally come to fruition. We can’t wait to see Nolan’s take on this…
Taking A Tumble
The Fact: The Tumbler is back in action, having been destroyed during the truck chase in The Dark Knight . However, the technology also appears to have fallen into the hands of the enemy…
The Glorious Implication: As mentioned previously, Bane appears to have access to some of Wayne Enterprises’ more “restricted” technology, with a number of camouflaged Tumblers making an appearance in the trailer. There’s even one with a massive cannon attachment…
The Fact: Bane’s terrorist attack won’t be restricted to the home ground of the Gotham Rogues – last week saw the release of new viral material listing a number of strike zones throughout the heart of the city.
The Glorious Implication: Gotham will really be put through the wringer by Bane and his followers. The theme of the film is destruction, after all…
The Fact: Bane may very well have a nuclear weapon at his disposal, if the viral material concerning nuclear physicist Dr. Leonid Pavel is anything to go by. Perhaps that’s what that big bomb we’ve seen pictured is all about…
The Glorious Implication: If Bane and/or The League Of Shadows have got their hands on a nuclear weapon, it could be precisely the sort of grandiose threat to push Batman to make the “great sacrifice” Nolan has been hinting at…
The Fact: Batman has also tooled himself up with some new weaponry, including the rather impressive-looking firearm he brandishes in the full trailer.
The Glorious Implication: We’re not sure quite what Batman’s new gadget is capable of, but it’s reassuring to see that he’s made some additions to his armoury. Adfter all this talk of a weaker, more vulnerable Batman, we still want to see him kick some arse.
Let It Snow
The Fact: From the looks of the swirling snowstorms captured by on-set photographers, it seems as though some of the film’s pivotal moments will be set during a bitter Gotham winter.
The Glorious Implication: Batman Returns was set at Christmas, and the festive backdrop only added to the Gothic eeriness of Tim Burton’s film. We’d like to see a touch of that chilly magic in Nolan’s grand farewell.
Boys In Blue
The Fact: Joseph Gordon-Levitt will play a police officer called John Blake, a non-canon creation brought in especially for this movie.
The Glorious Implication: In a movie stuffed with big-name actors, surely there is more to JGL’s casting than simply having him play one of Gotham’s finest. Could both he and Marion Cotillard be harbouring secret identities? Internet rumour-mongers have suggested his character will become a version of Robin, but we prefer the theory that he is Albert Falcone, son of Tom Wilkinson’s deposed mobster Carmine.
The Fact: The trailer shows a horde of orange jumpsuit wearing crims brandishing assault weapons as Bane looks on. Presumably, he’s just busted them out of prison to help spread his mayhem across Gotham.
The Glorious Implication: If Bane has sprung Gotham’s common or garden crims, will he also do the same for the inmates of Arkham? And is Catwoman one of the lucky few to be given her freedom, having been shown in one of said jumpsuits at the end of the IMAX prologue?
Nothing To Lose
The Fact: Bane will go to any lengths to achieve his agenda, including deliberately crashing a plane in order to escape custody. Check out the six-minute prologue for further details…
The Glorious Implication: Like the Joker before him, Bane cannot be manipulated by threats to his personal safety. As a wise man once said, some men just want to watch the world burn.
The Fact: Part of the project was filmed in the Indian city of Jodhpur, with local photographers snapping an image of a large trench filled with a green-screen background…
The Glorious Implication: Could this be the Lazarus Pit, the mystical bathing pool through which Ra’s al Ghul is able to regenerate? Surely not in Nolan’s hyper-realistic universe? But if not that, then what is it? Gaah, next July really can’t come soon enough!
Pearls Of Wisdom
The Fact: Less a fact than an observation, but indulge us because this is interesting: is the pearl necklace Selina is shown trying on not the very same as the one given by Bruce’s father to his mother in Batman Begins ?
The Glorious Implication: We may be in for a spot of romance between Bruce and Selina after all. Why else would she be wearing his mother’s necklace?
Goodbye And Farewell
The Fact: Nolan is adamant that The Dark Knight Rises will be his final Batman film. “It’s been quite a journey,” says the director. “It was pretty emotional as we would finish these characters and say goodbye to Alfred for the last time and say goodbye to Commissioner Gordon and eventually, with Christian, fairly close to the end, saying goodbye to Batman … it was a big deal.”
The Glorious Implication: Nothing glorious about this one. This really is the end! But what a way to go…