As you almost definitely know by now, the first full-length trailer for The Dark Knight Rises went online yesterday, to the kind of fanfare that really only happens when you're the sequel to the second-highest-grossing movie of all time. We've already pointed out a potential Easter Egg and pored over high-res screenshots for clues, but in all the fervor over the trailer, it's hard not to recognize a simple fact: we still know almost nothing about the plot. Thanks to Nolan's reveals we know the story is set 8 years after The Dark Knight, and obviously Bane is causing some serious damage to the football field and beyond, but what else has this trailer really told us?
Well, not a lot.. explicitly. But there are some hints and suggestions in there that seem to give at least an idea of where the action will kick off and where our characters will go from here. Below are 5 things I think we now know for sure from The Dark Knight Rises.
Bruce Wayne is injured. We see very, very little of the Bat in this trailer, and though he's in full suit mode in one shot of that much-photographed fight scene, in this trailer he's mostly listening to other people talk, be it Alfred, Catwoman, Bane, or the mysterious Marion Cotillard. But in the shot you see above, it's clearly Bruce Wayne limping along in that reflection. Has he been injured some time on the lam before the movie happens? Or is this him recovering from an encounter with Bane-- an encounter that the teaser poster strongly hinted might kill him? I'm leaning toward it being an earlier injury before the movie starts, but I want to hear your thoughts.
Commissioner Gordon is getting ditched. Very few summer blockbusters would get into the complicated idea that Commissioner Gordon could be beloved after helping the city survive a siege from The Joker, but would be forced out of power 8 years later, as a "war hero" no longer relevant in peacetime. Obviously peacetime in Gotham isn't going to last long, so we don't know if Commissioner Gordon will actually get the boot, and maybe have to team up with Batman to fight outside the law. But Gordon was only promoted as commissioner halfway through The Dark Knight, and while it seems he's had a long reign of power since then, Nolan apparently doesn't want us to think of him as the establishment. It's an interesting and unexpected development, but how is it going to pay off?
Catwoman represents the 99%... somehow. Remember when rumor had it that The Dark Knight Rises would be shooting at Occupy Wall Street? The shoot didn't pan out, but Catwoman's threat that Bruce Wayne and his friends "are going to wonder how you thought you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us." Though it still doesn't exclude Catwoman from teaming up with the Bat, this also gives her a motivation for villainy beyond a desire for mere mayhem, like The Joker and Bane. It's also going to result in a lot of insufferable political tie-in pieces next summer, so get ready for that.
The Arkham Asylum breakout definitely happened. One of the earliest viral sites for the film, up and running while the movie was just starting to film over the summer, featured some audio clips that hinted at a full-scale Arkham Asylum breakout. As we can tell in the shot above, that's clearly happened. What will it mean for Bane's power, or even for the possible return of some other Batman universe villains-- there are already rumors that Cillian Murphy might return as Scarecrow-- is unclear. But if you missed all the Arkham scenes from Batman Begins, you'll get plenty of that in Rises, it seems.
Somebody else is driving the Batmobile. This is a simple one-- if Batman is driving the hovering Batwing, who is driving the camouflaged Batmobile? Batman canon says it could be anyone from Catwoman to Robin to Alfred, but the possibilities truly seem endless-- Nolan has always been far less interested in what Batman canon allows than it what makes narrative sense. A lot of people want to assume this means Catwoman will team up with the Bat, or that Robin will somehow be introduced, but doesn't logic suggest that Commissioner Gordon could easily be the guy behind the wheel?