The Dark Knight Rises – Teaser Trailer [Updated]

When news broke almost a week ago that the new trailer of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ might be attached to the final installment of the Harry Potter franchise (Warner Bros. other major franchise), some fans of the caped crusader reluctantly purchased tickets to see the boy-wizard play with his wand for the very last time in the hope that the Batman trailer may be attached.

For many, it was not, and they had to endure Potter prating around for a few hours.

But, for a fortunate few, the first glimpse of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ was broadcast in their theatres and, much like the initial poster mentioned here, it teases us mercilessly. Watch the embedded version of the official HD version below:

The wobbly-camera versions have been repeatedly taken down from YouTube at the request of Warner Brothers over the past few days but, in the last 5 minutes, the trailer has been officially released via the films main website:

Visiting the site gave viewers the option of viewing the trailer or downloading the teaser poster. When clicking the first option, the user is redirected to the official film page for ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ on Facebook – undoubtedly where a lot of the marketing materials will be made public over the next year or so. You can visit the page and ‘like’ it here:

Subscribe to this blog as I will be keeping track of future developments of the advertising and marketing campaign for ‘The Dark Knight Rises’.

Here is a brief look at what happens in the trailer:

[Blue fire from The Dark Knight shows the logos of Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures]

TITLE CARD: ‘Every hero has a journey’

Footage from the beginning of Batman Begins showing Bruce Wayne walking over the mountains to show a snowy landscape.

TITLE CARD: ‘Every journey has an end’

Footage from Batman Begins depicting the moment when Bruce is surrounded by hundreds of bats flying around him as he slowly rises upwards.

TITLE CARD: ‘From Christopher Nolan’

The final few seconds of film from ‘The Dark Knight’ of Batman riding up through the streets of Gotham and disappearing into burst of streetlight.

During the aforementioned footage, the following voice over can be heard:

Ra’s Al Ghul (Line from Batman Begins]: “If you make yourself more than just a man. If you devote your self to an ideal. Then you become something else entirely. A legend Master Wayne , a legend.”

This cuts almost immediately to a low-lit hospital bedside where Commissioner Gordon lays in pain, pulling his oxygen mask away from his mouth so he can talk to the unknown interlocutor out of shot (although, through sound clips we know this is Bruce Wayne either as himself or as Batman).

Gordon’s words rasp and crumble from his mouth as he tries to speak:

Gordon: “We were in this together, and then you were gone. Now this evil rises. The Batman, has to come back.”

Bruce Wayne/Batman: “What if he doesn’t exist anymore?”

Gordon: “He must. He must”.

We are then sent hurtling towards the peaks of crumbling skyscrapers which etch the Batman logo into the sky. Debris flakes and flies down as the camera shuttles upwards towards the sky – rising from the darkness and mimicking the teaser poster shown here.

The title is shown on a bleached, white background before a very short clip of Batman preparing to fight Bane is flashed before our eyes. After the obligatory inclusion of the credit sheets, there is a final tile which fills the screen saying ‘In Theatres and IMAX’ which makes a lovely change from the depressing sight of knowing that the film will be in 3D but, also, assures that this final part of the Nolan trilogy will be epic.

Please feel free to browse through and download any of the screen-captures I’ve taken of the trailer below:

This teaser trailer was first broadcast in cinemas on Wednesday 13th July 2011 with Warner Bros. holding back the official HD release until Monday 18th 2011. As with the previous two Batman films Nolan has made, the trailers were released online the Monday after they were first broadcast in cinemas; it’s nice to see that this final film in the trilogy is maintaining that tradition.

From a marketing perspective, however, it is also quite intriguing. I have been updating the trailer above numerous times everyday since Wednesday 13th July as each bootleg version is taken down due to a copyright claim by Warner Bros. Many other blog sites have commented on the trailer only to have their articles asked to be removed or doctored by the editors due to the trailer being pulled from the original hosting site. Because of this, fans and inquisitors have begun to scour the web in search of the new trailer which builds even more hype around the picture a year before it is even released. Moreover, watching a bootleg trailer online also connotes the idea that the movie is special or important enough to warrant audience members paying the price of admission to sneak in a camera purely for the purpose of recording one single 90 second piece of footage before the main film even starts.

I remember watching the grainy, purple-tinted bootleg trailer for ‘The Dark Knight’ in the summer of 2007. The poor lighting, focusing and image quality meant that, whilst I was able to get the gist of what was going on, the tinnier details and nuances in the trailer were obscured from view. Needless to say: I was still unbelievably excited. I downloaded the trailer before it got pulled off of YouTube and watched and re-watched and re-watched it over again. This made the want for the official version so much greater and, when it was finally released, it made the experience even more special. Perhaps by letting the trailer run in theatres and making those who don’t attend screenings wait a few days before it is released online, Warner Bros. might be hoping to increase the already excessive fan hype. Only selected cinemas are screening the trailer in front of the final Harry Potter picture – arguably the biggest film of the year.

As you can see from the image below (via SlashFilm), some projectionists received the trailer but it was encrypted meaning they couldn’t play it until Thursday 14th July at 6:00pm. Security around this final Dark Knight instalment is extremely tight but, with interest so high in this particular film, will Warner Bros. and Christopher Nolan be able to keep the plot details a secret until the film is released on July 20th next year? I for one am hopeful that we are only exposed to the promotional material put out for the film and nothing more. Subscribe to this blog at the top of the page to keep up to date with advertising and marketing campaign for ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ over the coming year.

UPDATE: Because Warner Bros. made the tactical marketing decision to release the official version of the trailer via the films Facebook page, the number of ‘Likes’ has rocketed since its debut and, in under an hour has shot up from around 15,000 fans to in excess of 44,000. The current page refreshes are revealing that roughly 10 users are ‘Liking’ the page every single second. By generating a high number of Facebook fans a year in advance of the films release (which is currently 1 year and 2 days away), Warner Bros. will have a captive audience to advertise this highly anticipated product to.

Already tonight, ‘Bane’ has become a trending topic on Twitter showing that the Warner Bros. hype-campaign is working extremely well.

Subscribe to this blog to keep up to date with the advertising and marketing developments of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ campaign over the next year. As always, please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.


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