'Dark Knight Rises' Poster: First Look!

Debris rains down what appear to be crumbling Gotham City buildings in first poster from Christopher Nolan's Batman threequel.

In December 2009, a teaser poster for Christopher Nolan's "Inception" hit the Web. It featured a row of skyscrapers looming above disastrous floodwaters and the promise that the sci-fi flick was the brainchild of "the director of 'The Dark Knight.' "

That image, it seems, became something of an inspiration for the brand-new teaser poster for Nolan's third "Batman" film, "The Dark Knight Rises." The new poster focuses on another collection of buildings, presumably in Bruce Wayne's hometown, Gotham City. And once again, there is an ominous air of destruction in the urban environment: The buildings appear to be crumbling, debris raining downward — a stark visual contrast to the film title's single tweak since the previous installment: the addition of the word "rises."

None of this is to suggest the "Dark Knight Rises" poster is some "Inception" knock-off; Nolan's beloved "Batman" films hardly need to draft off his Oscar-nominated 2010 dream-heist flick. There are, of course, as many differences as there are similarities between the two. First and foremost, in the "Dark Knight Rises" poster, the tops of the buildings outline the unmistakable form of Batman's symbol. And whereas Leonardo DiCaprio is front and center in the "Inception" poster (and up to his knees in flood waters), Christian Bale as Batman or Bruce Wayne is nowhere to be seen in the new poster.

For now, the only person we've officially seen in character is Tom Hardy as Bane. In May, a photo of Bane — shot from behind, a menacing mask over his head — popped up online after Warner Bros. launched a viral marketing campaign.

The poster debut comes just days before we're reportedly set to get our first glimpse of the "Dark Knight Rises" teaser trailer, which is supposed to debut in front of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2," when it opens on Friday. With a reported running time of one minute and 33 seconds, hopefully, there will be peeks not only at Bane in motion, but Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle (and possibly in full Catwoman gear). But who knows? Production only kicked off in May, so it's anybody's guess how much footage Nolan will deliver in the trailer. If the first "Inception" trailer is any indication, we'll peep a lot of footage, but likely remain clueless as to what the whole freaking thing is about. And that's just how we like it.

Check out everything we've got on "The Dark Knight Rises."

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