Amidst all this Avengers hype, I almost forgot there was a new Batman movie coming out this summer. Well, it’s like Chris Nolan (or WB or whoever makes these decisions) read my mind (DUUN!) and put out a new trailer for The Dark Knight Rises, the third, and final, installment of Nolan’s Batman trilogy, to remind me that this summer won’t only be MARVELous, but also…I don’t know, Definitely Cool? Decidedly Charismatic? Decently Cooth? District of Columbia?
Anyway, back to the trailer – walk with me.
Similar to that of The Dark Knight, the tone of the trailer is instantly and consistently foreboding throughout, building like a crescendo as Bane (played by Tom Hardy) marches ever closer toward Gotham. The story thus far is that Bruce Wayne is getting old and hasn’t been Batman for some time (the goatee, among other things, seems evidence of that) and he is forced or urged to come back (or rise again, nudge nudge) and kick-A when Bane shows up and throws Gotham into lawless chaos, physically cut-off (exploding bridges) from the world. Speaking of Bane (no pun intended) the trailer gives the first listen of the improved voice of Bane (at least with one of the lines he delivers) that was altered (or de-Vin Dieseled), despite Nolan’s initial reservations, after people complained about not being able to understand Hardy beneath his mask.
Besides that, Bane actually took a back seat to Catwoman (played by Anne Hathaway) who, based on the trailer, seems more ally than enemy to a weary Bruce Wayne, although I’ve always found that the most fascinating thing about Catwoman is her murky morals and ambiguous ambitions (alliterative comic book epithets, I can’t help it).
Aside: And for all you Hathaway haters (I swear that was unintentional), I’d argue that her unlikeliness at playing Catwoman is precisely what makes her a good choice. I couldn’t have been more incredulous when I found out Heath Ledger would be The Joker, but that turned out just fine.
Yet the most curious presence is that of Joseph Gordon Levitt, who plays a Gotham City cop named John Blake. Speculation has run rampant over whether or not Levitt is playing some sort of Batman-heir character (like a certain someone who I seriously doubt we’ll see despite my best wishes), since it’d be odd to have a fairly big name actor play such a seemingly minor role. Also, Marion Cotillard’s character, listed as Miranda Tate – pah, is seen for a split second kissing Bruce, further solidifying her as Talia al Ghul (I believe this has been all but officially confirmed), especially since Liam Neeson is reprising his role as Ras al Ghul.
Aside #2: Gonna nerd out for a sec. It’d really chafe my taint if they decide to include Damian Wayne, son of Bruce and Talia (see Batman: Son of the Demon or anything from the last six years of Grant Morrison’s run), and not Robin, who’s not only been a major part of Batman cannon for over seventy years, but also crucial to the very idea of – *exhale* it’s just comics.
In short, you’re going to see this movie because this movie is going to be great. Nolan’s last two were homeruns and there’s been nothing to make me think this won’t be another.