With surprisingly little fanfare, director Christopher Nolan stepped into an audience of about 100 journalists at New York City's Lincoln Square IMAX theater last night, to introduce the six-minute opening prologue of his upcoming film "The Dark Knight Rises." Dressed in a dark overcoat, grey vest and scarf, Nolan was casual and relaxed as he addressed the crowd, thanking them for attending and extolling his love for the IMAX format.
Nolan spoke of 2008's "Dark Knight" as the first time IMAX was used in a feature film context, telling us he "got a kick out of it" and "loved the format." He went on to say that he believes IMAX is "the best way for fans to see ["Dark Knight Rises]," calling the format a "large canvas" and saying he's "trying to recapture something from when I was a kid" in regard to losing oneself in the "immersive" nature of a story. The director explained that the six-minute sequence is an introduction to the film's antagonist (Tom Hardy's Bane, as we well know), and that the footage will be released in select IMAX theaters so that fans have time to absorb the idea that this is how they'll see the film. Then, as the lights dimmed, he took a seat to watch along with the group.
CBR reported on the details of the sequence after last week's unveiling of the prologue in LA, and as we discovered in New York, it is truly awe-inspiring - an introduction to Bane on a scale fans haven't yet seen in one of Nolan's Batman films, taking place during a kidnapping-turned-heist in a mid-air plane. But it does raise one very important issue: Bane's dialogue is borderline incomprehensible. The mystery of the scene, its players and the motives would sit much better if the lines came across as clearly as the action.
Despite that, fans will be happy to know that there's a teaser-style, rapid-fire sequence of shots after the prologue ends, lending some interesting insight into key scenes and characters (yes, you'll catch two glimpses of Anne Hathaway -- once in Catwoman garb, and once in what looks like an orange prison jumpsuit). And, lest we forget, the iconic Hans Zimmer score throbs beneath it all.
"The Dark Knight Rises" prologue will hit select IMAX theaters starting December 16, and "The Dark Knight Rises" will release on July 20, 2012.