‘Dark Knight Rises’ Trailer Of My Nightmares

Clichés Warner Bros. needs to avoid in trailer, which premieres December 16, in this edition of The Weekly Rising.

A great trailer is a challenge to pull off. It needs to strike a delicate balance between not showing enough and giving everything away. A trailer establishes the tone and look of a film without getting too deep into the story to ruin the actual movie.

The pressure is now on for “The Dark Knight Rises” and its theatrical trailer, which will premiere in front of “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” on December 16. With so many looking forward to the conclusion of Christopher Nolan‘s Batman trilogy, the first full-length trailer needs to make the appropriate impact.
Unfortunately, a great trailer doesn’t always get made. Studio execs can tinker with it into oblivion in the hopes of hitting all four quadrants.

Here’s an outline for the “Dark Knight” trailer I don’t want to see.

Vrooommmm, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick.

Fade into the Warner Bros. logo surrounded by falling building debris, just like the teaser trailer.

Vrooommmm, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick.

Fade into the Legendary Pictures logo surrounded by falling building debris, just like the teaser trailer.

Vrooommmm, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick.

Suddenly, an “Inception”-esque Bwooonnng! rings outs to remind everyone of how much we all liked that movie. That’s always a good way to get people’s attention. Every other vaguely sci-fi action movie since last summer has used it in their trailer. Why shouldn’t we?

We pan over the Gotham cityscape. Pay no attention to the fact that it doesn’t look like Chicago anymore. This is just a different part of the city, the Little Pittsburgh district.
From that, we take a closer look at the city. It’s seven years later and things aren’t great. The homeless riddle the streets. Someone smashes a window with a brick. A street vendor feeds his kids the falafel he sells from his cart.

“Gotham!” yells the muffled voice of Tom Hardy, as the villainous Bane, in a voice-over, sounding kind of like an elderly British woman. “Take back your city!” While the voice speaks, we cut to a slightly older Commissioner Gordon staring at the broken Bat signal, then John Blake slamming some handcuffed punk against the hood of a car. Finally, there’s a slow fade onto Bruce Wayne. He’s staring at his Batsuit, stored behind a thick pane of glass in the fully restored Batcave.

Transition to soft piano music. Tell Hans to string together four or five chords. Play them each 10 seconds apart. This will let them know there’s some really heavy stuff going on here.
“Master Wayne?” Alfred calls from the top of the stairs. He’s in his bathroom, and it’s clearly late. Bruce turns to look at his loyal butler.

“Are you all right?” Alfred asks, with sadness in his face.
We’re back with Bruce. He turns to face the encased suit and studies it for a moment. “I’m fine.”

Now tell Hans to start up that cool chanting he had all those nerds do online. The one they yelled into their parents’ computer.

Deshy! Deshy!

Bah-Sah-Rah! Bah-Sah-Rah!

The citizens are gathering, and it’s not for “The Taste of Gotham” — that’s next week. They’re revolting. There are riots in the streets. Things are on fire. People are jaywalking all over the place. It’s chaos! Everyone in Gotham is heading in one direction, toward something that looks like courthouse steps.

Toward Bane! He’s there in his new fur-lined coat from the Burlington Coat Factory. He watches as people approach him and the mercenaries flank him on each side. The picture of Harvey Dent is in his hand. The mercenaries drag forward a hostage. He looks like a businessman, clearly some government type. Let Nolan figure it out. Bane is going to kill him.

We’re back in the Batcave. Bruce watches on a set of monitors everything that’s taking place. When he sees the hostage, he bolts for his suit. Finally decked out as Batman, he heads for the Batpod, but someone is already there. It’s Catwoman! She kicks the bike to life and takes off out of the cave.
“Perfect,” Batman says.

From there, just cut together a few seconds of each awesome set piece, and let the audience know about everything cool that’s going to happen.

Bane and Batman fight. Batman leads the police against Bane and his army of ticked-off citizens. Hint at the origin of Bane.
We finish at a party. Alfred brings Bruce over to a most delightful young lady he just met. He’s hoping to get his master over the whole “Rachel blew up” thing. We approach a raven-haired beauty from behind.

“Master Bruce, I have to introduce you to the most delightful young lady. Miss, you were saying your name was?”
She turns. “Selina Kyle.”

Everyone’s minds explode. That’s how you make a trailer.
If Warner Bros. wants to make the fans happy with the first theatrical trailer, they should focus on tone and not the story. We’re fast-forwarding seven or eight years, so a lot has changed. There’s more than enough to catch up on just within the city of Gotham to fill a trailer. What kind of shape is Bruce Wayne in? Has he been gone all these years? The detail about the chronological jump forward is just the right note to whet appetites and keep people hooked until July.

Be sure to check out all of our updates from over the weekend on our Splash Page.

What do you want to see in the trailer? Let me know on Twitter via @KPSull, and we’ll discuss next week. Also, be sure to check out our new weekly discussion show, “Talk Nerdy to Me.”

Check out everything we’ve got on “The Dark Knight Rises.”

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Writer/editor for MTV. If it involves cowboys, spies, or hitmen, I'm there. All three would be ideal.
@KPSull