Trailer Analysis: The Dark Knight Rises

With comic book buzz around the corner and starting with a bang tommorow when The Avengers hits theaters at midnight, of course Christopher Nolan wouldn't allow his film to be forgotten about. The Dark Knight Rises final trailer has been released and will be attached to the Avengers. This new trailer is quite surprising in tone, and leads to viewers questioning whether or not The Dark Knight will make it through the entire film. It's something I have questioned since the beginning of development, as I still firmly believe he will die. Now with the inclusion of Joseph Gordon Levitt into the project and his character "John Blake" being quite possibly an orphan, how could you not believe the Bat is in danger. I'll get to that reasoning later though. The happiest moment for me and I am sure other fans was that you could actually understand Bane now. Tom Hardy is a terrific actor but sometimes with his voice it can be hard to understand him Thankfully Christopher Nolan was not going to allow that to effect his final Batman film and Bane's voice is menacing and clear now.

I'm Robin? Azrael? Nightwing? Nope just Blake...*wink*wink*
I'm Robin? Azrael? Nightwing? Nope just Blake...*wink*wink*

The trailer has plenty of interesting shots, but I am going to focus on this one first. In this shot we have John Blake (Joseph Gordon Levitt) stunned to see something happening in front of him. Judging by the shot after this of bridges being destroyed and by the background of this shot, it seems as if he was trying to get people across only to see first hand how bad things have gotten. I mentioned before in a previous article I wrote how I think this film with follow the "Knightfall" and "No Man's Land" story lines of the Batman universe. In "No Man's Land", the U.S. government officially evacuate Gotham City and then end up abandoning them when things get bad. To ensure everyone else safety, they isolated Gotham by destroying the bridges so no one can enter or leave. Doing something along those lines would give the film the sense of hopelessness that the trailer seems to be going for. The other interesting aspect of this shot of John Blake is the school bus behind him. If you have a keen eye. the writing on the side says "Home for Kids". In a later shot you also see two children looking out of the bus presumably at the destruction of the bridges. Blake is then again seen talking to one of those children later in the trailer. This leads me to believe that Blake has taken it upon himself at a point in the film to personally watch over these children. Now this next part may be a stretch, but I would not be surprised by any means if there is some truth in it. For all we know Blake may be an orphan himself and may not actually know his real birth name which is why he would take it upon himself to watch over these orphaned children on the bus. Now, if he doesn't remember his own birth name that leaves plenty of possibilities as to who he could be. Following the "Knightfall" story line he could be Jean-Paul Valley who took over for the Batman as the vigilante named Azrael when Bane broke his back. The other possibilities are that of Dick Grayson and even Jason Todd. I personally have a hard time seeing him be Jean-Paul Valley because if he does become Azrael then the film could become cluttered, which I doubt Nolan would do. Instead, Nolan could be combining elements of all three of the characters into Blake to create a character that best fits his Bat universe.

No Man's Land
No Man's Land
Broke the Bat
Broke the Bat

This shot of Bane walking away with the broken cowl of Batman is a signature shot. For crying out loud it is even on the poster for the film. The idea of Batman being absent, or heaven forbid dead is alluded to frequently in the trailer and when we see a confident Bane walking toward the camera with the broken cowl. The idea really sets in then. Even more so when we see Blake and Selina Kyle talking, Blake asks "Did they kill him?". That clip is then followed by a scene between a beaten and caged Bruce Wayne with Bane towering over him. Bane tells him he didn't kill him because his punishment needs to be more severe. That could be interpreted in different ways, as it is unsure whether he directs it towards Bruce Wayne the man or Batman the symbol. We all see scenes where Bruce is climbing out of a hole similarly to Batman Begins. We know this film will have flashbacks, so it is likely that those flashbacks will have something to do with Ra's al Ghul and Bruce Wayne. Later in the trailer we even see "Miranda Tate", and honestly I don't think anyone really believes that's her name. I think we all believe that she is in fact Ra's al Ghul's daughter and true love of Bruce, Talia al Ghul. In the mansion we are treated to a quick shot of the two of them embracing each other and kissing. The other aspect of the trailer that harkens back to Batman Begins is when Selina Kyle says to Batman "You don't owe this people anymore, you've given them everything." To which of course the brooding Bat says "Not everything, not yet." This of course can be interpreted to his speech upon coming back to Gotham when he said as a man he can be corrupted but as a symbol he can be everlasting. What better way to become a legend then to die protecting the city he loves?

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Comments 14 comments

Nightmarephantom profile image

Nightmarephantom 4 years ago from Columbia, MD

Fantastic review! Can't wait for the movie, this trailer just added a load of gas to the fire for me.


DS Duby profile image

DS Duby 4 years ago from United States, Illinois

Your thoughts on the newest Batman movie are awesome, you really have me anxious to see it, thanks. Great article.


Nickalooch profile image

Nickalooch 4 years ago from Columbia, MD Author

Don't stay to close to the fire nightmare lol.

Sorry to make you more anxious for the film Duby. If I could i'd write a new article every day on TDKR just because I'm that excited about it. Thanks for the follow to.


Dominique L profile image

Dominique L 4 years ago from Oregon

Wow, I hadn't thought about the No Man's Land connection, but yeah, it looks like you're right there. And, yeah, I can't see John Blake, whoever he ends up being, as being Azrael or a Robin. Neither of those characters fit the world Nolan has created (though I would plotz if he ended up being Azrael. John Paul Valley lives!). But I think the big unanswered question is why Bane is doing any of this. Exactly how like Knightfall will this be?


Nickalooch profile image

Nickalooch 4 years ago from Columbia, MD Author

I can't see them doing the whole Bane breaking Batman's back. It's a bit to cartoonish. I do think Bane will do something horrible to Gordon however considering the first trailer where he could hardly speak. The only part, while again it could be a stretch, the shot of "Batman" brooding watching over Gotham with the sunset off to the left I don't think is Bruce Wayne. It's a gut feeling I've mine. I've never followed a movie so closely as I have with this and quite honestly I do think I am right on a lot of the movie. Then again, I know Nolan will have a curveball or two to completely throw things off. He is great at showing just enough in the trailers, but ultimately they for the most part amount to nothing. For instance, Ra's al Ghul is completely absent from the trailers. Theres some references to him in the 2nd trailer, and I do believe the Lazarus Pit is in the the film. I don't know if Liam Neeson will be back playing a revived Ra's as it is far more likely that he will be back in flashbacks. In those flashbacks he probably introduces Bruce to his daughter setting up the whole Bruce-Talia romance. Sorry for the minor rant, I just love Nolan and what he has done with this trilogy. I feel honored to be able to enjoy it.


poet83 profile image

poet83 4 years ago from Windsor, Va.

Nice hub. Looking forward to the film very much!


Nickalooch profile image

Nickalooch 4 years ago from Columbia, MD Author

Thanks for the comment, it is definitely the most anticipated movie of the summer, and probably the year.


Lamar Johns profile image

Lamar Johns 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

I'm really anticipating this movie even more. I definitely can see Bane "breaking" Batman. By breaking I mean mentally pushing poor Bats to his limits where he no longer is the same man needed to protect Gotham. That is at least my interpretation from the trailor and the interview of Tom Hardy(Bane).

Why Bane works so well as a villain is that he has the brute strength and the intellect to back it up. I Love how you cover all the possibilities with this film. As we all know Nolan can definitely surprise us.

If you really think about it, for me anyway, Batman Begins totally surprised me with the general direction it took with its characters and plot. I'd like to think it all has been building up to this point where after Gotham ran Batman out of town(city), the threats he was preparing for took over Gotham.

Great Hub!Sorry for the excited rant.


Nickalooch profile image

Nickalooch 4 years ago from Columbia, MD Author

No the rant is fine. I'd hope for a debate. I'm sure everyone has different viewpoints on the trailers but this trailer and previous ones before really does look like a mixture of "Knightfall" and "No Man's Land". The thing that still intrigues me the most is how it was reported a while back that the final 10 minutes of the film is all CGI. That's when I initially thought of No Man's Land, with the government leveling the city. At the same time I have a hard time seeing Nolan do that. I think he will end it ambiguously like he did with Inception. Something along the lines of you don't know if Bruce is dead, or if he is even Batman anymore.


Dominique L profile image

Dominique L 4 years ago from Oregon

Okay, if we want to consider Bruce dying in the movie, than breaking him literally has to be part of the bargain. Even if it's just right before he dies. Though it is cartoonish, Bane breaking the Bat was literal AND symbolic, and Nolan doesn't miss an opportunity like that. Inception based pretty much everything on that.

I actually can't see a lazarus put being used, as close as Nolan tries to stick to reality, and there really isn't any real justification for a lazarus pit actually existing.

On the note of Marion Cotillard's character, I think making her Talia would make the story as clunky, if not clunkier, than Blake being Azrael/Robin. Honestly, either of those possibilities seem a little more like pandering to the fans than Nolan normally does. If we have Bane, Catwoman, Talia and Ra's running around, in addition to building up a replacement, that might be over reaching on the plot. Who's to say that Miranda Tate isn't just some woman Bane hired to seduce Bruce and exploit his weaknesses? If Bane knows Bruce Wayne is Batman, he probably knew something about the relationship between Bruce and Rachel Dawes. 8 years on the rebound with his main coping mechanism (i.e. being Batman) taken away. He's vulnerable. And Bane is smart enough to use that against him.


Nickalooch profile image

Nickalooch 4 years ago from Columbia, MD Author

I said it once before in a previous article I wrote on the movie. My honest opinion on Talia al Ghul was that she was sent to recruit Bane to the League of Shadows as they deemed him as a possible leader, but only second fiddle to Bruce. Which is why Ra's went to recruit Bruce personally. Bane is angered to hear he was second fiddle to anyone, and continues Ra's plan to let loose every criminal from Arkham (which you see in the trailers) and his personal mission (to destroy Batman/Bruce Wayne.) For me the most intriguing aspect is how will Ra's al Ghul be in the film. It is almost certain to me he will be in flashbacks, which has been stated I believe. As Josh Pence is playing the part as a younger Ra's and Liam Neeson playing the older version. If that is the case, then that sets up a scene where we have Ra's speaking to Bruce, and possibly Bane separately.


Dominique L profile image

Dominique L 4 years ago from Oregon

Maybe I'm not being very open minded about this, but that seems almost an insulting treatment of Bane. Bane is going to kill Bruce and destroy the entire city because Bruce is better than him? He doesn't need to. With the death of Ra's, the League has no leader, he takes over, he's the best, problem solved. No reason to go to Gotham.

But taking your theory and tweaking it a little, what if Bane was already a member of the League, and he already was second in command, just out doing the stuff Ra's needed to set up the potential destruction of Gotham while Ra's was training Bruce. So not only did Bruce insult him and everyone else by turning his back on the League, Bruce betrayed their master, whom Bane could potentially have had a deep bond with, foiled the League's plans, and killed Ra's. It's possible, before he died, Ra's told Bane to make sure whatever happened in Gotham finished at any cost, and Bane is moving to finish it now. At which point, I would tweak your No Man's Land theory a little too, to say that the government isn't cutting Gotham off from the world, Bane is in hopes of keeping interference out (though he may be using the government to do it). That also would explain how Bane would have the resources necessary to do the things we see him do in the trailers.


Crazzykylex profile image

Crazzykylex 4 years ago from Incredible India!

Anxiously waiting for this movie!

By the way, please have a look at your first para as the movie Avengers has already hit the theatres.


Nickalooch profile image

Nickalooch 4 years ago from Columbia, MD Author

I wrote this over a week ago when The Avengers hadn't been released yet.

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