A number of fans have complained that the majority of Warner Bros.’ marketing for The Dark Knight Rises has failed to get them excited for Christopher Nolan’s final Batman movie (advance ticket sales say otherwise, but moving on…). It appears the studio has really just been holding back on revealing too much from the film until “the last minute,” as several rip-roaring trailers and TV spots for TDKR have been released over the past month (forcing the naysayers to back off).

Last week, Nolan’s trusted Oscar-winning, director of photography, Wally Pfister, spoke about The Dark Knight Rises (and the art of visual storytelling, in general) at this year’s Campus MovieFest. Based on what he had to offer: the Batman trilogy finale will pretty much own the term “epic,” by the time the film’s end credits roll.

Pfister offered several juicy tidbits about both TDKR and filmmaking in general, which members of the audience were quick to share online via Twitter (hat tip to CBM). Here are some highlights from the cinematographer’s talk:

  • The Dark Knight Rises features an hour’s worth of action sequences and set pieces shot in IMAX.
  • In total, the film includes some 100 minutes of close-quarter combat scenes, chase sequences, aerial battles, street warfare, and more.
  • As much fun as spectacle is, “The STORY should be your focus, first and foremost. Then, interpret it visually. Not the other way around… You must be willing to honestly critique your own work. Until you can say, ‘This is effin good’, keep going.”

Dark Knight Rises‘ official running time is listed as 2 hours and 45 minutes (with credits); that leaves around an hour for pure plot and character development in Nolan’s film. There’s reason to expect that the action in TDKR further fleshes out the film’s various players (as is true with all great superhero movies). The characters’ personal qualities and ethical stances – be they self-serving or willing to sacrifice for the greater good – will be best illustrated when all hell breaks loose (see: the last 45 minutes of The Avengers).

For more TDKR marketing material that alludes to an impressive climactic chapter in Nolan’s Batman saga, check out this photo of the film’s promotional billboard (via Keith Calder):

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Moreover, Pfister’s revelation really drives home the idea that Dark Knight Rises brings everything full circle in Nolan’s Batman trilogy (both literally and figuratively).

Batman Begins dealt with the origins of Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) as the Caped Crusader, whose emergence symbolized the beginning of a new age for Gotham City. The Dark Knight expanded upon that foundation, as Batman’s defeat of The Joker ushered in an era of peace for his troubled city, founded on the falsehood that is Harvey Dent’s legacy. In TDKR, of course, that lie comes back to haunt all the residents of Gotham – as its people must step up and join forces with their shadowy guardian, in order to defeat Bane (Tom Hardy), and truly bring peace to their city.

You surely have you own interpretation of the thematic arc in Nolan’s Batman trilogy – so feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.

The Dark Knight Rises in theaters on July 20th, 2012.

Source: Wally Pfister [via CBM]