A lot has happened since we joined the rest of the internet in goggling over the mysterious CIA documents related to Dr. Leonid Pavel, a nuclear physicists who looked a lot like one of the actors in The Dark Knight Rises. Operation Early Bird, a military extraction of Dr. Pavel, gave us a website (it just redirects to the official site now) with a 24 hour countdown. Sure enough the marketing was a success and the website crashed from bandwidth overload for a good hour before finally calming down.
This part of the campaign came in two parts. First, there was the Operation Early Bird website which presented us with a map of the world and several points on that map (only in the US and UK) that corresponded with major IMAX theaters. Second, the official website was retooled to include nothing but an audio file that played a strange series of numbers. The file itself was quite long with coordinates for every theater on the map. Upon entering coordinates into the Early Bird map, you were granted the chance to reserve tickets to special 10:00pm Tuesday night screenings of the six-minute prologue. Needless to say most of the special screenings sold out (tickets were free, so… “reserved-out”).
I would say this was a pretty cool step in a viral campaign many have wondered whether it would exist at all. The Dark Knight had already released several photos by this point but Rises has been quiet beyond official images at Bane, Selina Kyle, and Empire‘s recent feature on the film. Putting a countdown on a website is a great way to get people to check back, and based on the website’s crash people certainly did. The special prologue screenings were actually ran in more IMAX theaters then it is being attached to Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, so it was a cool chance for people to see it when otherwise they might not have been able to. Unfortunately, I was still not able to. If you are interested in reading EXTREMELY SPOILING screen pages of the first six minutes, they’re linked here. Keep in mind I found this on the internet, and while it jives with most accounts I’ve read it’s also very weird these pages would be leaked, so take them with a grain of salt should you choose to click through.
With the prologue as well as the new theatrical trailer attached to Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows now being seen by millions worldwide, reports are rampant across the internet. Christopher Nolan hosted a special press screening of the prologue last week in L.A., where it was met with wild applause. We’ll keep spoilers thin, but it prologue revolves around the Dr. Pavel extraction teased in the recent marketing and includes some pretty heavy hitting action from Bane. One curious note: pretty much everyone has been unanimous about Bane’s voice being hard to make up because of it’s muffled by the mask and the noisiness of the setting (an airplane), so hopefully Nolan fixes that during sound mixing.
Christopher Nolan, just getting into the depths of editing, has also been making some press rounds recently to slip a few tidbits of interesting information about the film. Check out one article here where it talks more about why his trilogy finale jumps eight years into the future as well as why he chose Bane as the villain and how he is approaching the character as compared to Ledger’s Joker. Interesting read and, of course, makes us all the more excited for the film.
Finally, select media outlets received a package Wednesday containing a t-shirt featuring Bane’s face with the slogan “Fire Rises” as well as a strange cylindrical container featuring a map of Gotham with five “strike points” circled. Presumedly, this relates to some sort of map Bane uses in the film to plan his Gotham attack, and the t-shirt is just cool. Nothing else has developed on this, though, so for now we’ll have to wait and see.
In the meantime, scenes from The Dark Knight Rises are out there! Once again, the six-minute prologue is attached to Mission Impossible, but only in select 70mm IMAX screens. Everyone has the chance to watch the new theatrical trailer attached to Holmes, however, and it seems the internet is loving both of them. Today (Monday) Warner Bros released the trailer officially online at Apple Trailers, so now you can watch it over and over again in glorious 1080p HD, not that that should stop you from checking out the IMAX version in theaters. Nonetheless, here’s the link to check it out.
Stay tuned, and keep getting excited! We’ll have reviews for Holmes and MI4 shortly!