Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight saga has come to a close now that The Dark Knight Rises has put Batman’s house in order. For some, that’s cause for reflection and appreciation. For others, it means counting the days until the inevitable ‘Dark Knight Trilogy’ deluxe-chromed-collector’s edition will be priced and dated. While we know that TDKR will arrive on Blu-Ray this December 4, Warner Bros. has remained quiet about the special edition(s) being planned.

Now new images have surfaced of not just the UK DVD and Blu-ray artwork, but additional ‘Dark Knight Trilogy’ box sets and a Dark Knight Rises ‘Broken Cowl Edition’ featuring a replica of Batman’s shattered mask. While completely unofficial, the proposed styling and combination of artwork from the franchise’s history is somewhat of a mixed bag.

The release of a TDKR special edition has always been inevitable, despite confirmations that an eventual ‘Director’s Cut’ of Nolan’s last Batman film for fans to look forward to was just a pipe dream. Leave well enough alone, we suppose, but the new images apparently gracing the covers of both the DVD and Blu-ray fall somewhat short of Rise‘s tone and marketing. For starters, the Blu-ray cover is nothing more than the fiery poster for the film, foregrounding Batman against the burning symbol amidst crumbling buildings. The DVD cover features the same posing hero, now quite awkwardly and disproportionally placed over a backdrop of Gotham police cars. The combination of existing publicity assets is odd to say the least, but things get even more suspicious with the special editions and bundled trilogy.

The ‘Broken Cowl Edition’ lives up to its name, placing the movie disc within a base mounted replica of Batman’s Bane-shattered cowl. It’s worth pointing out (for the die-hard continuity fans) that the broken cowl is a recreation of the version seen in the above poster, not the film itself. No information on which format, or how many discs are included.

Rumored Dark Knight Trilogy artwork (CLICK FOR IMAGES)

In the case of the ‘Dark Knight Trilogy’ box set, the overall concept appears to have been designed with more attention to detail and past films. The combination of Batman Begins‘ logo formed from bats, The Dark Knight‘s exploded-building treatment, and TDKR‘s white-and-black aesthetic into a single logo is a strong idea. But it was also a strong idea that surfaced months ago through numerous fan sites. Not saying that fan art can’t be particularly inspired, but it isn’t very often that a major studio adopts a single concept into their packaging.

Both interiors follow the same layout, but the mixing and matching of each film’s various logo styles is a similarly odd choice, with TDKR‘s particularly inventive, not to mention unnerving cracking-ice-logo completely absent. Add the fact that the images claim a copy of The Art and Making of The Dark Knight Trilogy is included – a book much too large to fit into the case proposed – and it’s even clearer that these details should be taken with a grain of salt. It’s best to await official announcements from WB before pre-ordering.

There’s every possibility that these images do reflect the retail versions of the film, but with the release still months away, it’s just as likely that these are mock-ups. After all, even massive Blu-ray collector sets can end up being pulled.

The Dark Knight Rises will hit DVD/Blu-ray on December 4, 2012.

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Source: CBM, MessenjahMatt.com