“The Dark Knight Rises” is director Christopher Nolan’s conclusion to his Batman trilogy. The film will not be released until July 20, 2012, but has already attracted endless buzz within the film community. “The Dark Knight” was arguably the Y generation’s own “Star Wars,” as the entire country was consumed by the sophisticated blockbuster for months. The strength of “Knight” makes “Rises” one of the most anticipated films in history.
To kick off its major marketing stretch, Warner Brothers is pairing the opening six to seven minutes of “The Dark Knight Rises” with the IMAX release of “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol.” This is a similar ploy used by Warner for “The Dark Knight,” as the opening prologue of “Knight” was attached with the IMAX release of “I Am Legend.” The one catch is the “Rises” prologue will be screened in IMAX theaters with 70 millimeter screens only. Most theaters are 35 mm only, which hints at the large scale imagery that will be showcased in this opening sequence.
The opening prologue for “The Dark Knight” served as an introduction to the Joker, the film’s main antagonist. Additionally, Nolan and Warner Brothers wished for audiences to have an idea of the mood and style of the film prior to its release. The opening minutes to “The Dark Knight Rises” will introduce the new villain, Bane (played by “Inception’s” Tom Hardy). Bane is a physically dominating figure who is also incredibly intelligent. The character was previously seen in the disastrous “Batman and Robin,” but was nothing more than a mindless henchmen. In “Rises,” Bane will receive his first true on-screen appearance and will make his presence known to the casual fan. Nolan has stated that this prologue will also serve as “a taste of the rest of the film,” just like “The Dark Knight” prologue.
A chance to see the opening of “The Dark Knight Rises” is an exciting prospect that will act as a band-aid in lowering the anticipation of the film. It will temporarily satisfy the fan base, and will introduce many to Bane, who is not as iconic as most Batman villains. This experience should not undermine the excitement in seeing the actual feature presentation. The new “Mission: Impossible” film is director Brad Bird’s live action debut, as his earlier work came from animated hits like “The Incredibles” and “Ratatouille.” Bird clearly knows how to tell a strong story based on these films, and his contribution coupled with returning producer J.J. Abrams (“Mission: Impossible III”, “Star Trek”) should lead to a successful fourth “Mission: Impossible” film. This would be a fun trip over winter break, as IMAX theaters truly add to the movie-going experience for any film, let alone a movie with an excellent cast and crew and an epic prologue thrown on top.
Kevin Romani can be reached at [email protected] Follow Kevin on Twitter @KevinRomani.