An analysis of the new posters for The Dark Knight Rises
|NEWS - NEWS ANALYSIS|
Bat-ten down the hatches...at this rate, there'll be 200 more posters before the film comes out...
Update: To clarify, the posters discussed are those in the Playlist link below, rather than those pictured.
As with Batman himself returning from exile after the events of The Dark Knight, the Bat-marketing machine for The Dark Knight Rises is revving up again after The Avengers' box office dominance. (Though the latest theatrical trailer for The Dark Knight Rises was attached to at least some performances of The Avengers, showing that DC and Marvel can be friends, or work together at least; just like the individual members of the Avengers.)
One shows Tom Hardy's Bane standing atop the Tumbler, presumably staring at Christian Bale's Batman, who's standing on a police car in one of the other posters. Why they're doing that, who knows. Maybe that's how psychological battles (not involving the Joker) are waged in Gotham City. "When in Gotham, do as the Gothamians do", or something.
Another shows Bane throwing his arms open wide, addressing the oncoming, ever-brooding Batman, and presumably saying something like "Can't we all just get along?" And the background's filled with mist or smoke or something, with a crowd of slightly gloomy people looking on. It could almost be set in a post-apocalyptic world. In fact, this poster's slightly reminiscent of the end of the underrated Kevin Costner post-apocalyptic epic The Postman.
Another poster, which is also the most dynamic, features Anne Hathaway's Selina Kyle/Catwoman riding the Batpod away from an explosion, firing the Batpod's guns as bullet casings fall off stylishly to the side.
There seems to be a lot of vehicle-swapping going on in The Dark Knight Rises. Maybe it's some kind of metaphor for...considering the perspectives of others, say; or the unforeseen consequences of the redistribution of wealth, or something. Or maybe it's just a thing. Like, "Hey, I know we're, like, nemeses and stuff, but can I maybe borrow your Batpod for the day? I mean, you're just going to be standing there brooding and stuff anyway..."; "Yeah, why not...?"
In addition to these four character banners that were initially released, another two have been added, as well as a new hidden Catwoman poster from the official website.
One shows Batman and Bane engaged in some kind of bizarre arm-wrestling/staring match crossover.
The other, and arguably the coolest of the lot, shows Batman swooshing his burning cape, in a concerned but otherwise stylishly unflustered way. Maybe Edna Mode from The Incredibles was right: maybe capes are a bad idea for superheroes...
(Speaking of which, writer-directors Brad Bird (who's also the voice of Edna Mode) and Christopher Nolan have in common a high regard for story, hence Brad Bird holding off on making a much-demanded Incredibles sequel until such a time as he can find a story that needs to be told, and Christopher Nolan leaving the Batman franchise for good once he's wrapped up his Dark Knight trilogy.
Of course, Warner Brothers will then reboot the Batman franchise regardless, whereas Pixar would never do that to Brad Bird. Though it's not an exactly comparable situation. The Incredibles was Brad Bird's original idea (and also PIxar are very much in the business of keeping on making original stories, with Toy Story 2, Toy Story 3, Cars 2, and the in-development Monsters University and Toy Story 4 being their only feature film sequels/prequels, despite the financial success of all of their films). And Batman is an iconic character who lends himself to multiple takes and multiple stories, as his enduringly popular comic book history has proved.)
The new Catwoman poster shows Catwoman's stiletto heel (which is literally a blade) slicing the metal Bat-symbol in two. This could symbolise her breaking his heart, or tearing apart his dual identities of Batman and Bruce Wayne, or simply the inner conflict that she might cause in him. (Or maybe it's something more mortal: cats may have nine lives, but bats don't...) It's set at night, in stylish rain, because bold, dramatic poses like this in posters often are, especially for third acts of a trilogy.
But it also gives the poster a distinct sense of being frozen in time, as with each of the character banners. So either there's an unexpectedly sci-fi twist where Bane gets a Freeze Ray, Dr. Horrible-style ("Stops time. Tell your friends."), or it's a cool stylistic device to emphasise the dramatic weight of the climactic events of Nolan's gritty, thematically heavy trilogy. And meta-textually (after all, Christopher Nolan did make Inception, which, among other things, functions as one big metaphor for filmmaking), this virtual slow-motion effect could represent Nolan's desire to make a timeless trilogy; perhaps even the definitive cinematic Batman story.
In each of the character posters, the Bat-symbol is fraying, perhaps symbolising the city of Gotham crumbling (or burning to ashes), in a visual reference to the poster where the buildings forming the Bat-symbol are crumbling down. Alternatively, the uneven edges could be licks of flame, in reference to the similar most recent poster (the Bat with the flaming ears), where the symbol is on fire. Or maybe the bat just stuck its wings in a light socket.
The posters all have an overall moody look to them, like the poster for The Avengers, which was perhaps a little too blue-tinged, especially considering the general lightness of tone. However, with The Dark Knight Rises, no doubt the film itself will be more in keeping with the tone of the posters. Whether you think that's a good or a bad thing will depend on your subjective tastes; how dark you like your superhero movies. Of course, it's not like you have to choose one or the other. ("Yes, you must!", cry partisan internet fanboys. "And how dare you disagree with the half of us that you didn't side with?!") It's perfectly possible to watch and enjoy both The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises in their own distinct ways. It's not like you have to watch them *at the same time*. That would be kind of a weird experience.
The Dark Knight Rises stars Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, and Gary Oldman, and is released on July 20, 2012.
The Dark Knight Rises poster online
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The Amazing Spider-Man trailer online
EXCELSIOR! Why the Future of Movies is Marvel
The Dark Knight Rises: Will incomprehensible mumbling prove its Bane?
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