The Dark Knight Rises Teaser” width=”560″/>
With the deafening buzz swirling around the first teaser trailer for The Dark Knight Rises, it’s easy to forget that it was attached to the final Harry Potter movie. (Which, ironically, bested The Dark Knight‘s opening weekend record.) Now that we’ve seen a brief, oblique snippet of next summer’s sure-to-be-blockbuster, fans are poring over the 90-second tease for clues. In keeping with past promotion for Christopher Nolan’s films, the first teaser offers more questions than it does concrete answers. (Thus, response to the teaser has been mixed.) Keep in mind that much of what’s below is speculation, as scant plot details have been released. Let’s take look at some questions raised by the first look at The Dark Knight Rises.
Will Liam Neeson return?
The teaser starts with a familiar voice: Liam Neeson as Ra’s al Ghul delivering a line from Batman Begins. (“If you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself to an ideal, then you become something else entirely. A legend, Mr Wayne. A legend.”) Amid shots of a young Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins, the onscreen text tells us that “every hero has a journey” and “every hero has an end.” As fans have speculated, it appears that The Dark Knight Rises will bring things full circle from Batman Begins. While Neeson is rumored to appear, we don’t get any new footage of Ra’s al Ghul. Though having Ra’s as the teaser voiceover indicates that some link will be made to the first bad guy Batman tangled with in Nolan’s franchise.
What the heck happened to Commissioner Gordon?
last we left Commissioner Gordon, he was waxing poetic to his son about
what The Dark Knight means to Gotham. Based on the clip of Gordon in The Dark Knight Rises,
things are going to get really rough for Gotham’s top cop. Hospitalized
and breathing through a mask, Gordon looks to have been severely
wounded. Who put Gordon in the hospital? Bane? John Blake, the unknown
character played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt? Ineffectual Gotham Mayor
Anthony Garcia? (Probably not him.) Fans are speculating that Bane
hurting Gordon is what will inspire Batman to return to crime-fighting.
Also, is it a coincidence that Gordon’s breathing apparatus looks
similar to the creepy mask worn by Bane?
How much time has passed since The Dark Knight?
The Dark Knight ends
on something of a cliffhanger, with Batman now a fugitive on the run
after taking the blame for Two-Face’s murders. Fans have assumed that The Dark Knight Rises would pick up immediately after the events of The Dark Knight,
with Gordon leading a manhunt to catch Batman. But based on what Gordon
says in the trailer, and his physical state, it seems that some time
has passed since we were last in Gotham. Will The Dark Knight Rises start with Batman on the lam, or jump forward to a Gotham in serious need of The Caped Crusader’s help?
Will Batman hang up the cape?
Gordon’s dialogue in
the teaser (“We were in this together. Then you were gone. Now there is
evil rising. The Batman must come back…”) suggest that Batman’s
status as a fugitive may have caused Bruce to hang up the cape and cowl.
(Bruce’s answer: “What if he doesn’t exist anymore?”) Will The Dark Knight Rises follow the narrative of Spider-Man 2 (and Superman II,
for that matter), where our hero quits the cape-and-tights? Is the
hospital scene in the teaser the moment when Gordon convinces Batman to
return (er, I mean rise…he already returned in 1992) to save his city?
So far, all signs point to a Batman-less Gotham for at least part of
the movie’s running time.
Does Commissioner Gordon know Batman’s secret identity?
Fans are speculating that Gordon may finally discover Bruce Wayne’s secret in The Dark Knight Rises.
While we don’t know if Gordon is speaking to Bruce or Batman in the
hospital, Bruce seems to be using his normal voice, as opposed to the
gravelly, in-need-of-a-lozenge tone he adopts when in costume. So is
Gordon telling Bruce that he needs to come back as Batman? Or does
Gordon know Batman’s secret, prompting him to drop his gruff facade?
After Alfred and Lucius Fox, Gordon is easily the closest person in
Gotham to Batman. And since Rachel Dawes is dead (and we know Robin
won’t be showing up), The Dark Knight Rises could be largely
about Gordon and Batman’s relationship. Will Gordon discover the secret
that has eluded him in the comics for decades?
Is Bane the main villain?
on what we’ve seen so far, the smart money is on Bane to be the Joker
or Ra’s al Ghul of this film. First off, only a brawler like Bane could
do that kind of damage to Commissioner Gordon. (Chances are it wasn’t
Catwoman’s claws that put him in the hospital.) Next, we get a quick
flash of Bane’s frightening mug, the only villain glimpsed in the
teaser. And finally, there’s the brief, chills-inducing shot of Batman
facing off against Bane in what could be a climactic battle. For once,
Batman appears to be backing away from a villain. Has The Dark Knight
finally met his physical match?
Does Bane destroy Gotham?
Recently the first poster for The Dark Knight Rises leaked,
showing the shape of the Bat symbol created from crumbling skyscrapers.
(Christopher Nolan sure loves blowing up fancy buildings.) This image
is also visible in the teaser, leading to speculation that Bane wreaks
havoc on Gotham during Batman’s absence. Will Nolan follow the
“Knightfall” comic book storyline, which finds Bane freeing Batman’s
rogues gallery of criminals from Arkham Asylum and leading them on a
rampage through the city? One thing is for sure: now is a bad time to
own property in Gotham.
What will the Batmobile look like?
we don’t get to see the Bat Tumbler in action in the trailer, photos of
Batman’s ride have leaked on the Web. (You might recall it was
destroyed in The Dark Knight.) And, not surprisingly, it looks
pretty similar to the vehicle Batman drove in the previous two
installments. (If it ain’t broke, Lucius Fox probably isn’t going to fix
it.) Though it’s safe to assume there will be some new additions, a la
the Batpod cycle from The Dark Knight. After all, toys need to be sold.
Where are Alfred and Lucius Fox?
Alfred and Lucius are nowhere to be found in the teaser. (Sorry fans of
Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman — you’ll have to wait for the full
trailer for a glimpse of the extended Bat-family.) But don’t worry–
both characters have been confirmed for The Dark Knight Rises. So
how will they factor into the story? What new gadgets will Lucius
devise to help Batman defeat Bane? And, devil’s advocate, would the
teaser have been more effective if Alfred was the one in the hospital
bed? Everyone loves Alfred.
How does Selina Kyle/Catwoman fit into all this?
hoping for a glimpse of Anne Hathaway in a slinky cat suit will be
sorely disappointed by the teaser. Hathaway, as either Catwoman or her
alter ego Selina Kyle, was nowhere to be found. In fact, there is zero
indication that Kyle will even become Catwoman in the film. (Though
rumor has it, she will be donning black leather.) All we know is that Hathaway is playing a character named Selina Kyle. (Footage
of a rainy scene featuring Bruce and Selina was recently leaked.) Will
she be a new love interest for Bruce? A partner to Bane? A cat burglar
who takes advantage of the chaos created by Bane to snag the Hope
Diamond from the Gotham museum? That’s what Eartha Kitt’s Catwoman would