Last night in Los Angeles, Warner Bros. and director Christopher Nolan unveiled for a small audience the first seven minutes of "The Dark Knight Rises," presented in epic IMAX visuals.
Needless to say, from published reports, no matter how many photos snapped on the film's set you may have seen, nothing can prepare you for the action Nolan is bringing this time around.
The footage, called the prologue, is largely an aerial action sequence that marries insane effects with the introduction of maniacal villain Bane, who is being played by Tom Hardy. And if you've seen "Bronson," you know Hardy can bring the maniacal.
The scene was reminiscent of 2008's "The Dark Knight" opener, which saw Heath Ledger's Joker stage a massive bank heist. Just imagine that pumped up tenfold, just like Bane's massive, hulking frame.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Nolan reflected on why he often beings his films with action sequences.
"You know, I probably haven’t thought it through intellectually, if you like. My feeling, particularly on an action film, is you want to be thrown into a situation that somehow takes your breath away early in the film," he said. "I think rhythmically — you know, I view these films as pieces of music — if you start with a bit of a bang, it buys you more time to then calmly move into the story and the characters. We have a lot of characters in this film, a lot of people to introduce, a lot of catching up to do with the audience. So I think it was important to really throw something big on screen and then take our time."
Indeed, there are plenty of characters; along with the returning Christian Bale as Batman and Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon, the film adds Anne Hathaway as Catwoman and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake of the NYPD.
As for Bane, Hardy confirmed the madness behind his character in a recent interview with Empire Magazine.
"It's not about fighting. It's about carnage," Hardy said. "The style is heavy-handed, heavy-footed, it's nasty. Anything from small-joint manipulation to crushing skulls, crushing rib cages, stamping on shins and knees and necks and collarbones and snapping heads off and tearing his fists through chests, ripping out spinal columns. He is a terrorist in mentality as well as brutal action."
Nolan told the crowd in attendance that he hadn't cut much of the rest of the film, which will take place eight years after "The Dark Knight."