CinemaCon: Warner Bros. Unveils New Dark Knight Rises Footage

There was a lot of anticipation for today’s Warner Bros. presentation, because every year, they really seem to bring their A-game, and coming off the enormous hit of last year’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, they got to do their presentation earlier in the week as part of the Opening Day Ceremony. Much of the excitement came from the knowledge that director Christopher Nolan would be bringing something for The Dark Knight Rises to the presentation, since he’s always had a lot of respect for exhibitors and theater owners. Also, the buzz broke out earlier in the week that Peter Jackson would show ten minutes of his upcoming The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in 3D at a higher frame rate of 48 frames per second, nearly double what’s considered the standard.

We’ll jump right ahead to the movie everyone was looking forward to, The Dark Knight Rises, although Nolan chose instead of showing the trailer or any sort of long clips with dialogue, to just show a series of hand-picked images that he had cut together with music, with some footage we’d seen before either in previous trailers or stills but also some new bits. It was still quite powerful, even if there wasn’t enough dialogue to really have any sort of context.

It opened with pretty much the same airplane hijacking scene that was showcased in the six-minute IMAX preview last December, although you could clearly understand everything Bane was saying in this case. We see Bruce Wayne back in Wayne Manor in a bathrobe and cane, clearly a broken man eight years after the events of The Dark Knight. We see Selina Kyle sneaking out of Wayne Manor, having been in disguise as a maid. In fact, the footage included quite a bit of the fetching Anne Hathaway both in street clothes as Selina and prowling the night as Catwoman, as well as a bit more footage of Bane walking onto the football field and setting off explosives in the middle of the play as the quarterback dodges them. We saw quite a bit of Joseph Gordon-Levitt as young rookie cop John Blake caught up in the war being waged by Bane, including a scene where he shows his shield to Selina, possibly trying to arrest her? We see lots of shots of the destruction of Gotham by Bane, as well as brief glimpses of the Batmobile, the Batpod and the new flying vehicle known as “The Bat,” throughout the carnage. There were quite a few shots of Selina and Bruce together, but we also see Bruce kissing Marion Cotillard’s character in another shot, leaving us to try to figure out what’s going on there.

Throughout the whole thing, there was only the tiniest bit of dialogue amidst all the images and that was Catwoman saying to Batman, “You’ve given them everything” and him responding, “Not everything, not yet.” Then, it closes with Michael Cain’s Alfred saying, “Don’t worry Master Wayne. It takes a little time to get back into the swing of things.”

Not sure if we got too much more out of the footage than we have with what’s come before, although it’s clearly not a trailer that would work for audiences looking for some idea what the story might be. But it really was quite a brilliant way to set the tone of the movie, having it driven by the music, presumably from regular composer Hans Zimmer, doing something more like what he did with Inception, really driving and sounding more electronic.

You can read our full write-up on the presentation, with more on “The Hobbit,” Rock of Ages, The Campaign, and The Great Gatsby, by clicking here!