Let's face it: awareness for The Dark Knight Rises is widespread enough that Warner Bros. does not need to match Marvel's marketing frenzy for The Avengers - or Sony's ongoing public and viral campaign for Amazing Spider-Man.
Most moviegoers have already made up their minds as to whether or not they want (or, rather, intend) to see writer/director Christopher Nolan's conclusion to his cinematic Batman trilogy; they just need to know the "when."
That established pool of demand has allowed Warner Bros. to ease back on the furious "underground" (re: viral) marketing blitz it employed while cranking up the anticipation factor for The Dark Knight. Conversely, it has also allowed for a more unconventional approach to how the film's trailers are designed, within the context of what has become standard for most blockbusters nowadays. Hence, we have been treated to previews that vary in style from a vague announcement trailer - to a final theatrical promo, structured as a cinematic crescendo.
Obviously, the effectiveness of said theatrical promos have varied - with the initial Dark Knight Rises teaser being the weakest, the final trailer best capturing the gravity and magnitude of Nolan's film (while still being elusive about its content). The same could be said for the movie's posters, including the latest one-sheet, which can be viewed below:
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Although the latest Dark Knight Rises poster is decent, the second one-sheet teasing Bane's triumph over the Caped Crusader remains the best (in this writer's opinion, of course). That poster juxtaposed the image of a "broken" hero, as represented by his shattered mask, against a dark, gloomy rainy backdrop. In contrast, the third poster takes an opposite approach, teasing the subsequent rebirth of Batman (Bruce Wayne) - like a phoenix from the flames - even as the city of Gotham begins to burn and crumble around him.
Or maybe the artist behind this new one-sheet figured the original Dark Knight Rises teaser poster would look cooler with some fire and a giant Batman thrown in (your call).
The Dark Knight Rises stars Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Marion Cotillard. It is of course directed by Christopher Nolan, working from a script he co-wrote with Jonathan Nolan (based on a screen story co-conceived by David S. Goyer).
Look for The Dark Knight Rises to arrive in regular and IMAX theaters around the U.S. on July 20th, 2012.