The massive amount of buzz that preceded the release of "The Dark Knight" in large part came out of the film's intricate viral marketing campaign. For the third and final film of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, Warner Bros. has mostly opted out of a big viral effort, favoring sparse but mostly traditional material releases.
But with the arrival of the final "Dark Knight Rises" trailer, dedicated fans will find that a virtual hunt for the anonymous vigilante known as "The Batman" is on, and a new viral campaign is in full swing.
The journey begins at the website for the film. There you will find a full dossier on John Doe (a.k.a. The Batman) and the charges he is accused of: six counts of first degree murder, three counts of kidnapping, and 15 counts of aggravated assault of a peace officer; the list goes on.
The premise of the campaign is that in preparation for the upcoming Harvey Dent Day, the mayor of Gotham City has ordered a "redoubling" of efforts to catch Batman and anyone supporting his return. It's important to remember that in the world of "The Dark Knight Rises," this is all happening seven years after Batman took the fall for Harvey Dent's crimes and death.
The site also includes an extensive list of real-world locations where "graffiti related to movement in support of the vigilante's return" is supposedly located. The spots appear around the globe and include dozens of locations in the U.S. alone.
Loyal fans have already been tweeting and emailing from the locations listed on the site, and each location marked off the list has revealed a single frame of film from the upcoming trailer. The stills have been appearing one-by-one over at TDKR07202012.com, so if you scroll fast enough, maybe you can make yourself a handy flipbook.
As with the previous viral campaigns for the series, it's likely that we'll have to wait until most or all of the frames have been restored to the online film strip.
Be sure to check back here throughout the next few days, as we keep an eye on the campaign and bring you the first sign of the final "Dark Knight Rises" trailer.
Check out everything we've got on "The Dark Knight Rises."