[UPDATE: The Dark Knight Rises preview WILL be attached to Mission: Impossible 4 IMAX. Details below.]
Remember how Warner Bros. screened the opening sequence of The Dark Knight in front of I Am Legend, way back in Winter 2007? Well, rumor has it that the studio may employ a similar strategy with The Dark Knight Rises.
I Am Legend was both a Warner Bros. production and one of the highest-profile releases of the 2007 holiday season. However, even though the studio has its own tentpole pic due to hit theaters in December 2011 (see: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows),
eight six minutes worth of Dark Knight Rises footage will reportedly be attached to another distributor's film.
A "trusted theater (read: exhibitor) source" for /Film has informed the site that the Dark Knight Rises opening sequence/prologue will be attached to IMAX prints of Paramount's Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol. From a purely technical perspective, that actually makes sense - seeing how both director Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy finale and filmmaker Brad Bird's Mission: Impossible flick were partially shot using IMAX cameras. So the two stand to benefit greatly from being screened in the format.
This also reads as a mutually-beneficial collaboration between Warner Bros. and Paramount, for several reasons:
- Ghost Protocol is positioned to become one of the highest-grossing releases during the upcoming holiday season - which means lots of exposure for The Dark Knight Rises.
- More people would be inclined to check out the new Mission: Impossible in IMAX - if only for an early chance to glance Dark Knight Rises' opening, which cinematographer Wally Pfister has promised "will blow your mind" - and thus increase revenue for Paramount.
- Dark Knight Rises and Ghost Protocol will very much appeal to the same lucrative, blockbuster-action-loving demographic of moviegoers. Thus, anticipation for Nolan's last Caped Crusader flick would only be heightened by this move... because there's not enough interest in the film already, right? ;-)
/Film has already contacted Warner Bros. about this RUMOR, but the studio declined to comment. Bear in mind that their reluctance to speak doesn't guarantee this story is true. However, if it is in fact false, then Warner executives are gambling that there won't be any significant backlash from excited moviegoers who get ultra-pumped and plan to see Ghost Protocol on the IMAX screen - only to find out (at some point) that they've been misled.
UPDATE: AMC Theaters has confirmed that 6-minutes of The Dark Knight Rises will be screened before IMAX prints of Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol. HOWEVER: the preview will only be attached to 70mm IMAX screens, and not digital screens.
Feel free to share your thoughts about what the Dark Knight Rises prologue will encompass (ex. Bane orchestrating a mass prison breakout, a la "Knightfall"?) in the comments section of this article.
The Dark Knight Rises Teaser Trailer
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol opens in IMAX theaters around the U.S. on December 16th. It will then hit regular theaters five days later on the 21st.
The Dark Knight Rises in U.S. theaters on July 20th, 2012.