After a weekend featuring numerous leaked copies of the "The Dark Knight Rises" trailer, Warner Bros. has officially released the long-anticipated first extended look at director Christopher Nolan's final installment in his three-part Batman epic. The full-length trailer is the latest and most fan-satisfying "Dark Knight Rises" news this month after a new poster debuted, Christopher Nolan's IMAX opening prologue was first previewed in Los Angeles before being shown once more during another Q&A session for journalists in New York.
The trailer opens with a boy singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" in a crowded football stadium as Alfred (Michael Caine) relates how he has failed to protect Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale). The line sets the tone for the rest of the trailer, which teases Commissioner Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) standing before images of Harvey Dent, Bane (Tom Hardy) coordinating some kind of plot at the stadium and the introduction of Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway), who dances with Bruce Wayne at a party, masked as a cat. "There's a storm coming, Mister Wayne," she says. "You and your friends better batten down the hatches, because when it hits, you're all going to wonder how you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us."
The trailer also spells doom for organized sports in Gotham, courtesy of Bane, showing the football field from the beginning of the trailer as it sinks into the ground from a controlled explosion while a Gotham player runs the ball in for a touchdown. The player, portrayed by a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers who "Dark Knight" executive producer Thomas Tull has part-ownership of, looks back after crossing into the end zone, only to see a massive cavern of nothingness. "When Gotham is ashes, you have my permission to die," says Bane to Batman, as many quick cuts showcase weapons, explosions, a flying Batmobile and the much discussed cast members Marion Cotillard and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The trailer, of course, creates more questions than it answers, and fans can only guess at what Nolan's final Batman film will bring next summer.
"The Dark Knight Rises" can be seen in theaters and IMAX July 20, 2012