Thanks to 20th Century Fox's brilliant official and viral promotional campaign for Prometheus - plus Marvel over-saturating the market with Avengers material - all combined with Warner Bros.' virtually non-existent marketing for The Dark Knight Rises in recent months - and Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy finale has been left in the dust, prompting a number of film geeks to drop it from atop their Most Anticipated Lists for 2012.
That will surely change once Avengers arrives in (U.S.) theaters next week, with a third Dark Knight Rises trailer attached. In the meantime, early reactions both official and unconfirmed - coupled with new reports that the film will include over an hour of IMAX footage - are sure to stir things up, as far as talk around the movie blogosphere goes.
First, here is a confirmed early reaction to Dark Knight Rises from WB executive vice president of domestic distribution, Jeff Goldstein (via The Wrap):
“This is what a summer popcorn movie is all about. I don’t want to oversell it, but this has elements that are ground-breaking and are really a thrill ride.”
Next, we have an unconfirmed early reaction from what Cosmic Book News describes as "a reliable source" (head over to CBN for the full reaction, which includes a possible MILD SPOILER):
It is one of those films that leaves you on the edge of your seat much like 'The Dark Knight' did, in that it feels like a rollercoaster, like you have no idea where the story will go. I have been told a summary of the movie, and I definitely don't want to spoil it, but if you think you know where it is heading, think again! It will leave you thinking "how do did they come up with that; it's genius."
Catwoman is more in line with the comics than people think despite her not having a whip or cowl. It's more character driven and less about looks. Bane is so frickin' ruthless it's bad, like Joker is crazy and does his crimes on a whim in any style; Bane is like a freight train and has the city bricking it.
So, to summarize: we have a vague, encouraging statement from a studio executive and an anonymous claim from someone who (for all we know) simply pieced together previously-released information about Dark Knight Rises' plot - or tidbits from Tom Hardy's interview, wherein he compares/contrasts Bane and Joker - so as to make their reaction seem legit.
Yeah, suffice it to say, you shouldn't get over-excited by any of this. Still, positive buzz is positive buzz, no matter the source. Besides, we won't have to wait long to see some additional footage from the film - and then, we can decide for ourselves whether or not Nolan's last Caped Crusader flick is his best.
Dark Knight Rises to Feature An Hour of IMAX Footage
Speaking of how Dark Knight Rises will look: the Wall Street Journal has confirmed that Nolan shot more than 60 minutes of the film using the 65 mm lens and IMAX camera technology. To put it in perspective, that's well beyond the previous estimates of 40-50 minutes - and more than double that in either The Dark Knight or last winter's IMAX hit, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol.
[SIDENOTE: The WSJ report incorrectly states that Dark Knight features some 40 minutes of IMAX footage. Whether or not that reflects on the accuracy of the claim about Dark Knight Rises' IMAX footage, has yet to be determined.]
Here is a statement from Nolan, on his decision to shoot so much of Dark Knight Rises in IMAX:
"There was a huge irony that we were told it would be too difficult to shoot a Hollywood movie on IMAX when we had this gigantic camera department, grips, electric, hundreds of people working for us. These were cameras that had been to the top of Mount Everest, to the bottom of the ocean and into outer space, but people thought we couldn't make a feature film. It was absurd."
Nolan has made no secret of the fact that he considers IMAX "the best film format that was ever invented" and he - along with his trusted director of photography, Wally Pfister - even gave thought to shooting all of Dark Knight Rises using IMAX technology, at one point. As anyone who remembers watching the bank robbery/prologue from The Dark Knight - or the Hong Kong sequence - on a 70 mm IMAX screen can attest, Nolan truly knows how to utilize that format for its optimal potential.
Count us all the more excited to see the filmmaker step up his IMAX game to the next level with Dark Knight Rises.
The Dark Knight Rises in theaters around the U.S. on July 20th, 2012.