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(UPDATE) 6 minutes of The Dark Knight Rises rumored to play before (70mm) IMAX showings of Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol

UPDATE: The Dark Knight Rises prologue will only be shown on 70mm IMAX screens, not the more widespread digital IMAX. Therefore, only a handful of major cities will show the preview, and the rest of us will have to wait for an official release or rely on a cheap bootleg copy.

Similar to the unparalleled marketing campaign for The Dark Knight (2008), Warner Brothers will release roughly six minutes of footage from the upcoming “epic conclusion” of the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy The Dark Knight Rises (2012) seven months before the film’s release.  The Dark Knight premiered its six-minute opening bank heist before many IMAX showings of I Am Legend (2007), and now The Dark Knight Rises will show its “prologue” before IMAX showings of Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, which will be released December 21, 2011 (I originally thought a full trailer or new footage would be shown before WB’s other major tent-pole movie Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows on Dec. 16, but I’m wrong).  So if you didn’t have enough incentive to see the fourth installment in the Mission: Impossible series, then you definitely do now.

What this footage may include is anyone’s guess at the moment.  Considering the rumors have mentioned it as another kind of prologue, one may suspect it involves Bane or Selina Kyle/Catwoman, since The Dark Knight’s prologue introduced Heath Ledger’s iconic Joker.  Then again, it could reveal what has happened to Bruce Wayne/Batman since his “murder” of Harvey Dent at the end of the previous film.

Or the early footage may include some new tie-ins to the Batman Begins (2005) and Ra’s Al Gul, as cast members have noted how well Nolan has completed his Batman trilogy and ties every film together.  Besides, Liam Neeson was rumored to have been filming some scenes on set, probably in some sort of flashbacks (though his character cannot die in the comic books but this is Nolan’s “realistic” world so that is unlikely).  Furthermore, according to IMDB and other rumors, this film has a couple actors portraying a young Ra’s Al Gul and his daughter young Talia Al Gul.  Nolan certainly seems to be tying his series together, so the prologue could reveal more about Ra’s family and the League of Shadows, whom certain villains in the film may be a part of.

Whatever the case, Nolan is a master filmmaker who knows how to entice viewers (i.e. Joker card at end of Batman Begins, The Dark Knight Joker heist footage, Inception’s final shot), so whatever will be shown before Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol should be fairly amazing.  Sure the teaser trailer did not quite live up to the gargantuan hype, but it didn’t have a lot to show and what new footage was seen was pretty incredible (particularly the final shot of Bane).  Hopefully it is as awesome as The Dark Knight’s prologue, and it better be considering it is my number 1 Most Anticipated Film, as it is likely many others as well.

See MI4 in IMAX if you can to view The Dark Knight Rises prologue how it is meant to be seen and not on a small laptop or computer monitor in some bootlegged version.  Besides the latest M.I. installment is highly anticipated as well, featuring an all-star cast including newcomer Jeremy Renner and directed by Pixar’s Brad Bird in his live-action debut.  So there should be no reason to miss the new The Dark Knight Rises footage in theaters, unless of course you’re nowhere near an IMAX theater…if so, try to hold out until an official, HD version is released and avoid spoilers!

The Dark Knight Rises – starring Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Matthew Modine, Brett Cullen, Josh Pence, Nestor Carbonell, Juno Temple, and a host of others – flies into theaters on July 20, 2012.







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