The Dark Knight Rises arrives in theaters on July 20, 2012. It is the conclusion of the film trilogy that began with Batman Begins in 2005 and The Dark Knight in 2008. The teaser poster for The Dark Knight Rises has been released. The following article speculates on the possible themes that the poster conveys.
My initial reaction to The Dark Knight Rises teaser poster: “Inceptioney, but where’s Batman?” I first viewed the poster at 692 x 1092 pixels and it took a few seconds before I realized that the buildings in the poster formed the outline of the Bat Signal. I was positively giddy at the cleverness of the Magic 3D poster-esque teaser.
In the first film of the trilogy, Batman Begins, the League of Shadows headed by the Ra’s al Gul was set on wiping Gotham City off the map once and for all. The League’s plans were thwarted by the Caped Crusader a.k.a. Batman, but not before they burned down Wayne Manor, which had been in Bruce Wayne’s family for centuries. Bruce vowed to rebuild Wayne Manor “brick by brick” with some improvements to the Southeast corner, of course.
The image of crumbling buildings in Gotham is reminiscent of the pre-Batman state of Gotham, a city riddled with rampant crime, economic depression and mob activity. Now that former D.A. Harvey “The White Knight” Dent is dead and Batman is on the lam, will Gotham revert to its previous state of anarchy? Will Gotham crumble literally or figuratively in The Dark Knight Rises?
The poster has a grayish color scheme and the buildings in it clearly look charred. Batman Begins and The Dark Knight both had a scene where Bruce/Batman is standing in the ashes following a devastating fire. Will The Dark Knight Rises contain the most devastating fire of all?
Knowing that the viral marketing campaign for The Dark Knight Rises began with the enigmatic twitter account @thefirerises that introduced the first photo of Batman’s new arch-nemesis Bane, does the phrase “the fire rises” indicate Bane’s intent to destroy Gotham in the vein of the League of Shadows? Or does he, in the words of Batman’s loyal servant Alfred, “just want to watch the world burn” like the notorious Joker?
The Bat Signal
In the Batman Begins teaser poster you see Batman standing on the ledge of building, ready to fight crime and defend the upstanding citizens of Gotham as the sun goes down. The setting of The Dark Knight teaser poster appears to be at night. By the conclusion of The Dark Knight, Batman had taken the fall for the murders Two-Face committed and still held on to the guilt that he was responsible for the death of the only woman he ever loved.
In The Dark Knight Rises teaser poster, the bat symbol is a literal light up and out of the darkness. Can it be inferred that some major events will go down in The Dark Night Rises during daylight or that Batman’s redemption will happen at dawn? As Harvey Dent told the people of Gotham in The Dark Knight, “the night is darkest just before the dawn. And I promise you, the dawn is coming.” We’ll see on July 20, 2012. Cheers!
Sources: Batman Begins, 2005; The Dark Knight, 2008; TheDarkKnightRises.com