This past week saw a Dark Knight Rises publicity blitz from the marketing bods at Warner Bros who were clearly waiting for the dust to settle from the seismic box-office impact of The Avengers. In all two new TV Spots, 8 new posters, 8 new banner ads (see above), and four new images (exclusive to Empire Magazine) were released within a five day promotional splurge. So let’s take a look at Warner Bros’ sack’o treats.
TV Spots 1 & 2
The two new TV Spots are actually rather good and surprisingly lighter in tone than both previously seen trailers. There were even jokes to be found (yes jokes! As in lols, but not mega-lols). TV Spot 1 features a new sound-bite from Tom Hardy’s Bane who declares (in his wacky bull-horn voice) “Gotham! This is your liberation“. Nothing new there but it seems like Hardy’s voice is going to be a real joy to behold. We’re also finally treated to Morgan Freeman’s Lucius Fox who’s clearly on hand to get Bruce back “in the game” with the addition new flying toys (Batman’s new plane features heavily). The clear aim of TV Spot 1 is to show us that Bruce has been out of action and he’s a little rusty to take on Bane in 15 rounds of Queensbury Rules. There’s even room for a Michael Caine one-liner “Takes a little time to get back in the swing of things” – oh how this most serious of superhero franchises has benefited from his cockney zingers.
TV Spot 2 is all together a Catwoman affair. Catwoman is the real point of intrigue among the main characters (not including the much speculated plot twists). How is she going to be realised and can Anne Hathaway deliver to the trilogy’s ever rising standards? So the job of TV Spot 2 is to try and sell us that Catwoman is feisty, smart, and brazen. Interestingly Bruce clearly knows that Selina is Catwomen – “That’s a brazen costume for a cat- burglar” – clearly the argument that Hathaway’s mask isn’t a good identity concealer is now a moot point; It appears she doesn’t give a shit! Selina and Bruce obviously have some kind of relationship too, seen in the standout moment where she makes off with one Bruce’s Lamborghini’s leaving the poor valet to explain “You’re wife said you were taking a cab home“. The big question then is this; does Selina know who Bruce Wayne really is? There’s also a little revelation from Alfred that Bane “was born and raised in Hell on earth” (how would he know that?) and oh yes, that’s a brief glimpse of the new and improved Bat-cave Alfred’s walking through.
Highly conspicuous by his absence from almost all of the trailers and TV Spots thus far is Gary Oldman’s Commissioner Gordon. Read into that what you will!
Posters, Posters, Posters
The posters mainly focus on, as you’d expect, the film’s three main characters; Batman, Bane, and Catwoman. There’s not much to garner from these except for the fact that they are pushing the rain/sleet/snow aesthetic heavily as well as the constant reminder of destruction (be it through flames, cracks, or debris). These are themes that Nolan wants us to know heading into the theatre. One point of interest if you’re a super keeno is that Catwoman’s belt changes colour from black to gold in one of poster sets (aligning her costume very visually with Batman by the way).., narrative clue or intern Photoshop blunder? The final poster to be released (left) gives us a closeup of Catwoman’s ever so sexy bladed stiletto heels (good old Nolan, everything for a reason) which you’d imagine will leave quite the nasty scar if she connects with a taekwondo kick to the mush. Hathaway for the record is in incredible shape, in a costume that is absolutely vacuum formed to her body.
Exclusive Empire Photos
Interestingly the picture (above right) of Batman and Catwoman seems to fit into a scene from trailer 2 where Batman faces off against Bane. What is she doing there and whose side is she on? It appears that she’s watching this showdown rather than helping in any way. Perhaps of even greater interest is our first officially released still of Marian Cotillard’s Miranda Tate talking with Bruce in what appears to be the infamous Wayne Enterprises’ R&D department. I wonder if all of us have been led a merry dance by Nolan and Co when it comes to Miranda Tate (we think we know who she really is but I think we may be wrong)?
So there we have it; not a whole load of new information but some interesting questions to throw into the non-spoiler mix: Why is Commissioner Gordon’s role (which won’t be small) being kept so secret? Does Selina know Bruce is Batman.., he sure as shit knows she’s Catwoman (and does she care?)? Are bladed heels really a useful combat tool? Has Nolan pulled a double Kansas City Shuffle when it comes to Marion Cotillard’s role? And let’s not underestimate the considerably lighter tone of the new TV Spots. WB are aware of the fun nature of The Avengers and the goodwill that has generated amongst audiences and critics alike and they’re keen to let us know that The Dark knight Rises, whilst emotionally heavy, isn’t all unabated gloom.