Batman trilogy filmmaker Christopher Nolan made his mark on the 70mm IMAX screen in London on Wednesday with studio Warner Bros showing the first six minutes of the new Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises, out in July 2012.
Next year’s highly anticipated epic conclusion to The Caped Crusader saga sees terrorist leader Bane (Tom Hardy) arriving in Gotham City, set to push its hero Batman (Christian Bale) to breaking point and cause mayhem in the process.
Producer Emma Thomas was on hand to introduce the clip, saying Nolan’s vision was to make the latest experience as “immersive an experience” as possible, harking back to the days of the filmmaker’s childhood memories of large-screen epics.
True to Nolan’s style of introducing some of his films with a flashback and reference to Batman’s previous escapade, the six-minute clip opens with embattled law man Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) speaking at a fallen city hero’s memorial. Nolan adopts his hard cut method to instantly project us to a far away, war-torn land to be confronted by a trio of captured hooded men – presumably mercenaries – bundled by special forces onto a military plane. It’s clear that one of this faceless cargo is top priority, but what happens next is straight out of any daring action film, with some courageous aerial acrobatics and mid-flight toppling of power that use the 70mm IMAX screen to its best ability.
Uncovering the mask, we get to meet Batman’s main arch nemesis in this film, Bane, a psychotic, muzzled beefcake of madman hell-bent on grabbing glory and power in Gotham. Bane’s prominent face-piece looks menacingly like something out of Predator. The trouble is if these first few minutes are anything to go by, understanding Hardy’s muffled, gravely tones as Bane are going to prove pretty tricky. Still, with a pedigree of playing psychopaths, from his Cape Wrath TV days to Bronson, steely-looking Hardy’s actions speak louder than his garbled words.
These first few minutes flew by, but Nolan certainly sets the scene for some jaw-dropping stunts in the 2012 instalment, combined with each of his tormented characters’ determination to seek their own form of justice or some sort of vengeance over a death. July 2012 never seemed so far away…