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'The Dark Knight Rises' Viral Gives Fans Chance To See 6 Minute Prologue For Free, Film Features 50 Mins. Of IMAX Footage

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist December 9, 2011 at 1:28PM

'The Dark Knight Rises' Viral Gives Fans Chance To See 6 Minute Prologue For Free, Film Features 50 Mins. Of IMAX Footage
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Update: New Poster Also Arrives

Dark Knight Rises Poster 2

It's all about "The Dark Knight Rises" today; last night saw the much anticipated six-minute prologue which will debut in front of certain IMAX screenings of "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol" screened to LA press types by Christopher Nolan (preceded by Nolan screening it to a who's who of A-list filmmaker buddies like Edgar Wright, Jon Favreau and Michael Bay). We'll get into that, and some of the subsequent revelations, momentarily, but firstly, that viral that emerged yesterday, leading to website operationearlybird.com, paid off today when the site launched, revealing... 

A map, enabling you to register for free preview tickets to screenings of the prologue at IMAX theaters across the US and Canada (as well as two screens in the UK). So go! Go! Get tickets for the six minutes that will rewire your brain! Or something.

As for the screening, the studio asked those who saw it to keep things under wraps, but the reaction's been fairly ecstatic from fanboys, and it seems like fair game, as most have gone this far, to say that it's an aerial heist scene that sees the first glimpse of Tom Hardy as the principle villain of the piece, Bane. Nolan praised the actor to USA Today as "an incredible talent" saying that "In this he is so so limited in his movement with the mask, but he brings something to every gesture," while adding of the clip "We're trying to begin in a surprising place. It's a good chance of letting people know where this is all going to go."

Furthermore, Nolan told Entertainment Weekly that roughly 50 minutes of the film (which we imagine will run at least the 150 that "The Dark Knight" came in at) were shot in IMAX; the director told the magazine "Obviously, I haven’t cut [the rest] yet, so I don’t know the exact running time, but I think we’ll be in the 45 to 50 minute range. Basically all the action sequences, and some of the more large-scale other bits of the film that aren’t necessarily action. We even shot some dialogue scenes and some quite intimate dramatic scenes, which we haven’t done before. And so some of that will make its way into the film."

Preview screenings will take place next week, and the prologue will be attached to "Mission Impossible; Ghost Protocol" in IMAX theaters from December 16th, while the film itself hits on July 20th.

Update: Not to be outdone by a new poster for "The Amazing Spider-Man" coming late Friday night, Warner Bros. unveiled the latest one-sheet for "The Dark Knight Rises" on their official site overnight (via Empire). It's a pretty arresting image, one that suggests that if the hero does indeed rise, he's got a lot of falling to do first, principally at the hands of Bane. Have a look below.

This article is related to: The Dark Knight Rises, Tom Hardy, Christopher Nolan


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