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Gotham's Reckoning: Deconstructing The New Trailer For 'The Dark Knight Rises'

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist May 1, 2012 at 11:39AM

Nothing is guaranteed to make the internet light up quite the same way as a new trailer for "The Dark Knight Rises," the third and final Batman film from Christopher Nolan, following "Batman Begins" and "The Dark Knight." No one, bar perhaps J.J. Abrams, has proved quite as expert at teasing audiences with promos without giving the game away, and the latest, curiously elegaic trailer for the film has followed the same path, making people ever more excited about the movie while still leaving them with plenty of questions about what's to come.
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Dark Knight Rises Ben Mendelsohn
"What Are You?"
Given that seemingly every third-spear-carrier-from-the-left in the cast seemed to get their own announcement in Variety, it's impressive that Christopher Nolan has been able to keep some secrets with his casting. First it was "The Wire"/"Game Of Thrones" star Aidan Gillen, who surprisingly popped up in the IMAX prologue in December. And if you keep your eyes peeled, you'll see Aussie actor Ben Mendelsohn, another previously unannounced actor, appearing early on, seemingly about to meet a sticky end at the hands of Bane. If you recognize him, it's likely from his scene-stealing breakthrough role in "Animal Kingdom," but he's going to be nearly inescapable this year, with roles in Andrew Dominik's "Killing Them Softly" and Derek Cianfrance's "The Place Beyond The Pines." We doubt his part is massive -- think William Fichtner in "The Dark Knight" -- but it's good to see him among the cast anyway.

Dark Knight Rises Stock Exchange
"I'm Gotham's Reckoning"
We've seen hints of this all along, but it's clearer than ever that Nolan's got his finger on the zeitgeist with this picture. The corrupt, rotten heart of Gotham City has been a recurring theme of the films so far, and it seems that Bane and his crew (whether aligned with the League of Shadows or not) are out to make it answer for its sins. A particular target seems to be the rich, with a stock exchange and a posh party (Wayne Manor?) once again targeted. We're not sure that Bane will exactly be a class warrior, but this does seem to be the first blockbuster of the Occupy Wall Street era.  

Dark Knight Rises Miranda Tate
"Not Everything. Not Yet"
One major cast member gets short shrift here: Marion Cotillard, who's playing Miranda Tate, seemingly a member of the Wayne Enterprises board. It's clear that she's a love interest for Bruce Wayne of some kind -- her one shot displays a rather passionate kiss. But given the recurring rumors that she'll actually be playing Talia Al Ghul, and will possibly be even more fearsome than Bane, it's unsurprising that her role is downplayed, and the clearest demonstration of exactly how much is still being kept under wraps. Also nowhere to be seen is Juno Temple, whose character is still top-secret. Don't take that to mean she's playing Harley Quinn though, she won't be.

Dark Knight Rises Cops
"You Don't Owe These People Any More. You've Given Them Everything"
The scope of "The Dark Knight," which looked at politics from the police to the criminals, was one of its most impressive additions to the comic book genre, and it looks like it's coming home to roost here, given the scenes of the city's cops (led by Matthew Modine's Nixon, who doesn't seem to be the villain he was originally announced as) fighting Bane's gang. Despite Batman being a wanted fugitive as the film starts (as we were reminded by the viral yesterday), it clearly doesn't take long for the boys in blue to get behind the vigilante and fight with him against a greater threat. But what does this mean for the memory of Harvey Dent?

Dark Knight Rises Flying Car
"This Isn't A Car"
The trailer's last, fun money shot involves the introduction of something that previous trailers have displayed -- some kind of flying equivalent of the Batmobile. Presumably another invention of Morgan Freeman's Lucius Fox, it's pretty slick, and Batman and Catwoman are seen taking it for a spin in the final moments of the promo. Perhaps most intriguing is that the final shot of it flying over the city sees it dodging missiles hot on its tail. Has Bane fired them? Someone else? Are we going to see a full on aerial-combat set piece in the film? Also worth noting is that the craft is later taking on the camoflage-tinged Tumblers, suggesting that Bane (or perhaps Miranda Tate...) have got their hands on Wayne Enterprises technology for their own needs.

This article is related to: The Dark Knight Rises, Christopher Nolan, Film Trailers


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