A Systematic and Deductive Breakdown of TDKR: Trailer 3

by Stephen Doria
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Scene from The Dark Knight Rises: Trailer 3

(Please Note: The following article is an opinion piece from our writer Stephen Doria. While we fully support our writers views, it does not represent the views of everyone at the site)

So, by now everyone knows that the third trailer for The Dark Knight Rises has arrived.  And honestly, I have to eat crow on it, because I had said to my peers and in a comment that the viral to the trailer’s release would take so long that it would be in theaters attached to The Avengers before people pieced the viral together.  The viral released on Monday and was completed on Monday, rather than, as I had predicted, on Friday.  In this case, I love to be wrong.  I got to watch the trailer a full 4 days sooner than I had imagined I would be able to!

With trailer-mania comes trailer-talk-mania.  Already! DarkKnightNews.com has released an opinion piece of Highs & Lows of trailer 3 by my co-writer JoeyQ & as I type this we are recording a special Podcast regarding trailer 3.  However, I am going to try to take another step to continue trailer-mania for the site.  In this article, I am going to go scene by scene, second by second, and note my observations I witness in the trailer.  At the same time, I am going to attempt, keyword being attempt, to put the trailer together, in what I can see may be the sequence of events that may happen in the movie, and throughout these two simultanious steps, I am going to be writing a bit of insight that I may have into this film and what I can deduce from my observations and sequencing.

Before I started writing this post I was talking on the phone with my co-writer, Matt, about the Podcast and the trailer, sharing thoughts and reflections towards it.  He had a lot of great thoughts on the trailer, and I just wanted to say, if you like this article (& even if you do not like this article), check out the Podcast too!

So, without further delay, let’s get started!…

0:00 – We open up with the standard Warner Bros, Legendary, DC Comics, & Syncopy logos, which I am sure that there were many people throughout the world cheering at their computers when they saw these logos flash across their monitors.  Some cheer in anticipation, while others cheered because it was not a ruse, but a real legit movie trailer that they have waited so long to view.  And view earlier than expected at that!

0:10 – The trailer itself opens up with a skyshot of Gotham City

0:13 – A new look to Bruce Wayne, 8 years later, he now is sporting a goatee & mustache.  With age, many men begin to look more dignified and grow into their looks, such as Johnny Depp or George Clooney.  Bruce Wayne is not one of those men.  The years seem to have taken quite a toll on his body and mind.  He looks beaten down, broken even.  If you look very closely you can even see that he is leaning to one side.  I would say that here he is using that cane we have seen him holding, probably because Bane has already got to him and broken his mask (like we have seen in the other trailers and posters).  Finally, there is no dialogue in these few seconds, but because of  the expression on his face, I would say that he is being scolded about the “burying enough Wayne’s” speech Alfred later says in this trailer…

0:15 – The next scene is from the prologue of the film.  There is a large aircraft flying over the countryside, (which is actually the Scottish Highlands) the trailer does not show who is in the jet, but from watching the prologue we know that it is actually Dr. Pavel being escorted by CIA agents, and 3 terrorists thought to be apart of Bane’s terrorist organization.

As far as dialogue for this scene goes, the actual dialogue from the movie is dubbed over by Selina Kyle’s voice.  In trailer 2 she whispers in Bruce Wayne’s ear as a masquerade ball that “there is a storm coming.”  This trailer does the same as well, but it feels like she is saying it in a more depressed and saddened tone, as compared to the arrogant and teasing tone from the first trailer.

0:16 – 0:19 – We see quick shots of Alfred walking through Wayne Manor with something in his hands, probably a silver tray, and Selina Kyle walking off of an aircraft.  I can only imagine those who edited this trailer were attempting to allude that the aircraft previously seen was hers, but those who know the prologue know better…

0:20 – Back to the aircraft, but now there is a smaller, darker gray aircraft flying above it.  Cut to the revealing of Bane for the first time in the movie, as one of the escorted terrorists turns out to be the man himself.

0:23 – We go back to trailer 2 at the masquerade ball.  Selina Kyle and Bruce Wayne are dancing together.  Kyle seems to have on the same pearl necklace that Martha Wayne had on when she was killed in Batman Begins and a pair of cat ears.  Bruce responds back to Selina’s previous statement “You sound like you are looking forward to it,” implying that Selina is on the wrong side of the fight and is looking forward to the impending storm coming to Gotham.

0:24 – Back to the two airplanes.  A small group of men parachute out of the higher airplane and now the one plane is not currently having as good of a time as the other.  Cables are attached to the two planes with the higher plane acting as a tow-truck to the other.  The larger plane is now vertical in the air with its wings broken off and falling to the ground!

0:27 – Selina states “I’m adaptable” in response to Bruce’s previous words.  I can only assume that this means she is a mercenary of sorts.  She goes to whichever side she feels will win in order to survive.

0:29 – The tail of the airplane is now blown away and we are given a menacing shot of Bane, letting himself fall through the seats of the torn up aircraft.  It is quite a spectacular shot, showing off his size and how intimidating of a man he can be.

0:31 – Now is when things start to get good.  You see Bruce Wayne, dressed in the same attire as he was at the masquerade ball with Selina, now beaten down.  The back of his head is being held up by a triumphant Bane, while Bruce is on his knees.  He looks up at the victor and asks with a whisper “What are you?”  It has to mean that the fight he just endured was one that he had no chance in.  Bane must have easily conquered him and now Bruce is stunned into wondering who has come to take on the king of the hill.  With a cynical tone, Bane responds “I am Gotham’s reckoning.”

Update: This scene did not have Bruce Wayne in it.  It was actually just a Gotham socialite that Bane was holding up, so please disregard anywhere else in this post that I mention a beaten Bruce Wayne being held up by Bane.

0:35 – You see Bane hit the button to blow up the football field again, and the Mayor of Gotham wince back at glass being shatter in his face… yup, he is surely dead now.

0:37 – Police and SWAT are in what seem to be Subway tunnels, fighting other men.  Next quick shot is of the ceiling of the falling on top of the police and SWAT.  Immediately after, the football field is shown falling to pieces.  Between these two scenes, because of the way the football fields falls in on itself, I would suspect that both of these scenes are connected in some way.  The ceiling of what appear to be tunnels falls down while a football field falls downward may not be connected, but the surely appear that way.

0:40 – You see a group of mercenaries storming a building, firing their guns into the ceiling to scare all that are around.  There is a flood light on the left hand side of the screen which seems to be out of place, maybe the building is under construction yet?

0:41 – The building is exposed to be a stock exchange of some sorts.  There is a fire in the trashcan and everyone is on the floor subdued.  The camera cuts back to a shot from trailer two where you see a man pulled out from underneath a dresser.  I thought that this was in a hotel before, but now I think it is apart of that stock exchange.

I just want to mention that throughout the trailer so far is this ominous music.  It is extremely depressing and is suppose to not only give off a certain tension, but also give a feeling of hopelessness.  I think Hans Zimmer has done it again!!!

0:43 – The first shot of John Blake!  Women everywhere start fawning!  Unfortunately, he is standing on a bridge next to a school bus.  You would not think much of this any other time, but the next second will be very tale tell…

0:45 – In TDK the Joker gives an empty threat of a surprise for those who want to escape the city via the tunnels and bridges.  In TDKR, Bane does nothing of the sort.  You see there bridges for the city blown up.  The third is very hard to see, but if you look closely it is indeed in the very background of the shot, just look at the structures of each bridge to be able to tell that there is a third bridge in the shot.  After you find that structure you can track back to seeing a third bridge explosion.  I am sure that John Blake is OK though ladies!  Children in a school bus look out of the windows with a sense of innocent while there is destruction all around them.

0:55 – This is probably the most cryptic scene of the trailer.  Randomly, there is a set of dirty feet being dragged across a sharp rocky road.  Two men’s legs are scene in all black bringing the feet over the road.  My best guess is that this is a beaten Bruce Wayne, either passed out or barely conscious, being taken to that prison that we see in the second trailer.

0:56 – John Blake again.  This time he is out of uniform and looks much like Arthur from Inception.  He asks, who we are lead to believe is Selina Kyle, “Did they kill him?”  A few seconds later we then see Selina Kyle sitting in a chair, looking extremely guilty, afraid, and regretful responding “I am not sure.”  This is interesting because they must be talking about either Bruce Wayne or Batman.  It also gives that implication that Selina Kyle was working for Bane or the mercenaries in some form and also gives the implication, from her expressions, that it is because of her that he is in this predicament.

Now is where things start to get even more interesting.  We had earlier seen Selina Kyle getting off a plane and then her and Bruce Wayne dancing together at the ball.  Then we go to a shot of Bane holding a beaten Mr. Wayne by the back of his head to keep him up, wearing the same clothing.  Finally, we see that set of feet being dragged across the sharp rocks.  When we finally see Selina saying I am not sure” as the response, she is still wearing a black dress.  There is just a black blazer overtop of it.

I would go so far as to say this: Selina Kyle is brought to Gotham City with the sole purpose of bringing Bruce Wayne into a vulnerable position.  He is attacked and captured and it was not until after she saw the repercussions of her actions that she repents and goes to the police, John Blake.  The trailer is also hinting, because of what seems to be the attack at the stock exchange, and the man being dragged from under the dresser, that the rich and wealthy are being targeted by the mercenaries, and since Bruce Wayne is the wealthiest in Gotham City, he was their main target.

0:57- 0:58 – You see a captured Bruce Wayne attempting to escape his prison by climbing up a rock lined hole.  It seems most people think the hole looks like a well of some sort, but it is much too large to be a well of any type.

1:00 – Bruce Wayne awakens to a fuzzy face.  That face clears up to be that of Bane and Wayne asks “Why didn’t you just kill me?”  This also makes me think that he was a target during the ball earlier.  Bane responds to him that “his punishment must be more severe.”  I am sure that he is alluring to having everything taken away from Bruce before he dies.  It is again the tone of voice that Bane uses to talk to Bruce that he is scariest thing.  He again employs this arrogant tone, his diction and dialect is that of an extremely intelligent person as well.  Which is amazing since the Joel S. film in the 90’s was a slap in the face of the character.

The music begins to get louder…

1:10 – We see a crude chalk outline of a bat drawn on cement.  A kid asks John Blake if he thinks that Batman is coming back.  Later, John just replies that he does not know.  Obviously his city needs him and wishes he was there.  I do not know though if this scene is at the beginning of the movie or if it is well into the movie.  It could go either way.  My prediction is that the scene is probably at the start of the movie.  Much like TDK built up Aaron Eckhart’s character Harvey Dent, I believe that TDKR will build up John Blake’s character too.

1:11 – Here is the scene!  The one that got many, MANY fanboys excited in the past.  Bane is holding Batman’s mask in his hand and tosses it aside.  He doesn’t even keep a souvenir!

1:15 – Selina Kyle is dressed in her full gear and is looking at someone holding onto bars behind a cell.  The look on her face is one of astonishment and fear.  She seems to be extremely emotional of a character in this movie and I think that will eventually be the giant x-factor for her character’s moral decisions.

1:16 – A snowy Gotham City is patrolled by one of the camouflaged Tumblers.  It would appear that the owners of these vehicles now own Gotham as well…

1:18 – You seen Bane push John Blake off the side of something.  The location again seems to be underground in a series of tunnels.  John was absolutely no challenge for Bane, he flies backwards after being pushed with just one hand.

There is roughly one minute left in the trailer now, so the montage will soon happen, the music will become tenser, and the actions scenes are going to pour!

1:20 – Back to the stock exchange.  Armed gunmen shoot at some monitors.  There is a dialogue exchange between Selina Kyle and John Blake.  The latter asks the former why she ran and her response to him is that she was afraid of .  Cut scene to Selina Kyle riding the Batpod or at least a clone of the Batpod.  My best guess to this is that she either steals the Batpod from Batman at some point early in the movie or that the Batpod is used from one of the destroyed cameo Tumblers.  Personally, I would think that she steals the Batpod from Batman because it gives a need for the Bat later in the movie and because it is her nature.

1:21 – John Blake running through water.  It seems that he is running from something/ someone instead of running after something/ someone.

1:22 – Another menacing shot of Bane!!!  This time he is looking down, in full attire, bending over, probably to get his victim.

1:26 – Two cameo Tumblers fire upon a building that a fight has broken out between the police and Bane’s army.  Cut shot to two SWAT officers holding automatic weapons in the tunnels again peeking around a corner.  They are attacked by Batman.  Since this is again a tunnel scene, I would say that it is the same location that Bane breaks Batman’s mask.  Which would be right after Bane blows up the football field and brings the ceilings down on other police officers!  Jesus!  This movie is going to be insane if I am even half correct on my timing!

1:27 – The camera is looking through a locked grate.  Batman is standing at the grate and in the background is Bane.  Ready to fight!  We are about to witness a beatdown.  Earlier in the trailer you see Selina Kyle looking through what I thought was a cell, but after seeing this scene, I would say that fearful face she had on was because she saw that Batman is trapped, with nowhere to run, with Bane.  His hands are holding the top of his vest as he superciliously walks towards Batman.  Since he does have that cocky feel to him, I would say that he has already put Batman on his ass in the movie.

Earlier, I had stated about Selina Kyle possibly having set up Bruce Wayne at the masquerade ball, and I still stand by that assumption.  But, I am also going to stand beside the assumption that if that was wrong, HERE is where we see Bruce Wayne beaten to a pulp and captured by Bane.  However, I would lean towards my first assumption because of the arrogance she had originally at the masquerade and here she has a look of terror in her eyes.  It is almost as if she wishes she could help Batman escape or at least help him fight.

In the background you hear Alfred’s ominously discourse about having already buried too many Wayne’s and that he does not wish to bury another.  I spoke about this early on in this post when you had that shot of Bruce Wayne with the goatee and mustache.

1:32 – Our first real shot of Jim Gordon.  He is just reacting to what seems to be a flare’s flame and smoke.  Four seconds later you see Batman there as well.

This is when Zimmer’s score kicks itself into high gear and becomes very Wagner-esk.

1:37 – A beautifully stunning shot of Batman standing on top of a building in Gotham.  His cape is flapping in the wind while he watches over the city.  I would have to say that this scene is very near the end of the trilogy.

1:38 – Selina Kyle has a look of disgust on her face.  She is confused as to why Batman still fights for his city by exclaiming “You do not owe these people anymore.”  Do you think that Batman just had ANOTHER revolt concerning him?

1:39 – This trailer is just full of these menacing shots of Bane!!!  This one is of him walking with his head turned over his left shoulder.  He is either searching or has just found his victim.  In the background is the police and the enemy fighting on the steps that we earlier had seen one of the two Tumblers firing at the building.  As to when this shot is in the movie, I would have to say that this is probably the first real battle that Batman and Bane have, and because of spy footage, I would say that this is also when Selina Kyle steals Batman’s Batpod.

1:41 – John Blake in one of his least glorious moments.  He is standing with his arms in the air and his eyes close.  I would say that his attacker either has a gun pointed on him and could maybe execute him or that he just ran into Bane and is saying his prayers.

1:44 – Luscious Fox is on a computer, but he is not in formal wear.  It seems that he was rushed to that computer for some reason and that it is not during a dull moment of a normal business day.

1:45 “Not everything” Bruce Wayne or Batman say back to Selina.  I put the name Bruce Wayne in there because it is not said in his normal growling voice.  Is she now a friend?  Is he just dressed as Bruce Wayne?  Or does she know his secret identity?

1:45 – Batman is fighting Bane in the tunnels.  It is a snapshot we had during the first trailer.  In the background there is a person dressed mainly in white watching the battle unfold.  They have an automatic rifle in their hands, but the way the fight is going, if this person is with Bane, they would not need it.

To attach this moment to everything else… It is again a scene of the tunnel fight, so this would maybe be after Selina Kyle seems Batman through the grate?  This also seems to align itself with the moment that Batman has his mask broken from his face.  The person in the background is standing in an observational position, so you are lead to believe that this person may be Bane’s boss, if he has one.  However, I do not see that this person as Bane’s boss.

There is massive speculation, and I am on this boat as well, that Talia al Ghul is in this film.  I think that the trailer attempts to make you focus on the person in the background and not the battle in the foreground to fuel this fire.  However, I do not think that Talia al Ghul is that person in the background but rather just a mercenary to collect Batman after the battle.  Of course that could only be if this is the moment where Batman/ Bruce Wayne is captured.  If it is not, then I just think that they will leave after the fight.  Maybe kicking a beaten Batman in the ribs for good measure, much like Starscream did to Megatron in the original 1986 Transformers: The Animated Movie.

1:47 – Jim Gordon, with his gun drawn, hides from an explosion, that engulfed some police officers, down tunnel.

1:48 – 1:50 – Shots of Batman riding the Batpod and Jim Gordon standing outside a snowy Gotham City backing away from something.

1:51 – Selina Kyle is captured and in jail!  But, like the Joker, was this on purpose?  She is in an male jail for one thing, which is very strange because genders are usually housed completely separate, if not in an entirely different jail.  Anyway, it looks like she is either being attacked by a giant male inmate or he is trying to shake her hand.  But if you look closely, he is really handing her a phone.  To be able to accept this gift, she grabs his hands and does an extremely acrobatic flip.  I have NO CLUE as to when this could be in the film, but if I was to venture a guess, it would be a set up to the Blackgate Prison break.

1:52 – Close-up of the Gotham City Police officers.  They are standing in the street like a mob, coincidently there is an armed mobbed in the street as well.  Both parties storm towards each other to fight.  A couple of cameo Tumblers sit in the middle of the action.

1:54 – We just jump back to a shot of Batman vs. Bane outside of the building that is attacked by the Tumbler.

1:54 – Miranda Tate!  The most cryptic person in this entire movie!!!  Both her and Bruce Wayne are very wet and very passionate.  They share a kiss!  Can we say love triangle?

When Tate’s character biography was released it stated:  “Wayne Enterprises board member eager to help a still-grieving Bruce Wayne resume his father’s philanthropic endeavors for Gotham.”  Well, it certainly seems like she is eager to help Bruce Wayne!  Also, you see a flirty shot of Tate removing HER mask during the ball in the first trailer and between these two shots, that is all you see of her in all three trailers.  You never actually hear her speak.  Could there be a reason why?  Who knows?  Coughcoughtaliaalghulcough.  But seriously, if she is not Talia al Ghul, like Nolan and company keep saying, I am willing to bet she will be some type of clone of Talia al Ghul.

When I wrote for DarkKnightRisesRumors.com I wrote an article titled: Who is Miranda Tate? Which, of course, to me, gives a great insight on who she really is in this movie.  There has to be a reason why Nolan and company have decided not to really show her at all in the trailers and not to let her speak at all in the trailers.  My guess is that she is the true X-factor in this movie, and not John Blake (not to say that he is not a type of x-factor, but I think she is more of an x-factor), and that she is Bane’s “boss.”

When you watch Batman Begins, you have the big reveal in the end that Liam Neeson’s Henry Ducard was really Ra’s al Ghul.  When you watch The Dark Knight, you have the big reveal that Aaron Eckhart’s Harvey Dent turns into Two-Face.  And I would go so far to say that when we watch The Dark Knight Rises, there will be the big reveal that Marion Cotillard’s Miranda Tate is really some form of Talia al Ghul, or at least a revenge seeking daughter, of some type, of Ducard.  Of course, when I say “big reveal” I am talking about your average run-of-the-mill movie go-er.  Not someone like us, who constantly monitor Batman blogs and read Batman articles to get the newest insight on the movie.

1:56 – The chase scene!  The HEMTT, that spy shots have captured both Miranda Tate & Bane riding in, is being shot at.  I think it is general knowledge that the HEMTT is being shot at by the Bat, although it cannot be scene in this clip.  Directly following this clip is another clip of the HEMTT being shot up from another angle again.  I do not know if it is apart of the same scene, but I would venture a guess that it is not, since the angles are reversed, and that the HEMTT, like Bane, is one tough cookie.

1:57 – Selina Kyle and Batman are kicking ass on a rooftop against some armed men.  Police?  Mercenaries?  I do not know.

But here is where my biggest concern with Selina Kyle comes into play.  Throughout this trailer you see her emotions evolve.  Which I feel is an amazing thing to do in just a trailer, considering everything else that is going on in this trailer.  She starts off fairly cold with “a storm is coming,” then she starts to be concerned with John Blake, then she seems emotional that she cannot help Batman with Bane in the tunnels, and finally, she is shown partnering with Batman.  That is all well and dear, but Selina Kyle’s general nature is that of an optimist, a thief, and only when it suits her, she is aligned with Batman.  The feel of her in this trailer is one of general partnership, and I know that Nolan said that there will be absolutely no Robin in his movies, but in the end, are we seeing Robin?  Just in the form of Selina Kyle?  That is something that I discussed with Matt earlier tonight (which I asked him to bring up in the Podcast), and I truly hope, for the movies sake, that she does not devolve into a sidekick for Batman.

1:59 – Three people riding recklessly motorcycles through the streets of Gotham.  From spy footage before, we know that this is directly after an attack.  I want to say that Bane is apart of the group, but I honestly cannot remember, so I cannot confirm this.  Cut scene, Bane is waving his arms in a “come on!” motion.  Probably to bring his army or tumblers to attack the building

2:00 – Another tunnel explosion.  There are A LOT of explosions in this movie.  But it seems like they are done in good taste and not in a Michael Bay fashion.

2:01 – We see the Bat chasing the Tumblers and the HEMTT.

2:02 – Batman draws HIS gun.  Of course, it is not an actual gun.  To me, it seems like the REC, an electrical charge gun, devise that we see in the Arkham videogame series.  He is standing beside his Batpod for this scene, so I guess it is near the beginning of the film.

2:03 – Got em!  A Tumbler is blown up and is flipped over while driving alongside the HEMTT.

2:09 – Selina Kyle being sassy inside the Bat.  She is taking a ride in it with Batman.  Her dialogue again gives me concern of that sidekick disease I hope she does not catch.  But, for her to have to ride along in the Bat, I wonder what happened to the Batpod?

2:14 – The Bat does an awesome flip overtop of a building before swooping down and is being followed by two missiles.  This brings up my other major concern in the film.  The Tumbler, in Batman Begins, is said to be a “bridging” vehicle by Luscious Fox and the Batpod in The Dark Knight is just an extension of the Tumbler so both vehicles are very realistic in Nolan’s Batman universe and even in the real world.  But the Bat is a bit more of a stretch.  It is a type of hovercraft on steroids, but we do not really have those types of hovercrafts, although we were promised them in the 1980’s! (disappointment)  I just am sitting here with my fingers crossed that Nolan did not take that Michael Bay approach to the Bat, by this I mean that bigger is always better.  I hope he did not think that he had to one-up himself and create a type of Batwing for this movie.  I hope that in this movie there is a true purpose to the Bat in the real world and that it was not specifically created for Batman to do a certain type of scene, like, let’s say, taking down three Tumblers and a HEMTT.  I REALLY hope that it all makes sense.  But, in Nolan I shall trust…  P.S. I wonder if the missiles do catch up to the Bat?  Something tells me they are evaded though.

Here is a quick thought that we have not seen any of the trailers… where is Juno Temple?  Does she actually play such a small role, like Liam Neeson, Josh Pence, Matthew Modine, or Alon Abutbul, that she is not necessary for any of the trailers?  Or is she another x-factor in this movie?

Overall, I really enjoyed this trailer.  I feel this is going to be a terrific, and a GIANT, war movie and a fitting end to Nolan’s Batman trilogy.  I love the hopeless and depressing feel that most of the trailer gives the viewer and I love how they took so much time and put some much work into making something as short as a trailer into an evolving piece of artwork.  The Dark Knight’s final trailer won an award for being so good and I feel that if you really look between the lines of this trailer, as I now have, that you will see many many things that I even missed.  I also feel that you will see the quality that Nolan has put into his conclusion, and come to respect how hard it is for him to not repeat himself, and write a story about a character, for the third time, and still make it this great.  How many other trilogies were comprised of three amazing movies?  Not many.


Quotes: Courtesy of Warner Bro’s and DC Comics: The Dark Knight Rises: Trailer 3

Sources: Who is Miranda Tate courtesy of Darkknightrisesrumors.com & information from the trailer courtesy of Warner Bro’s and DC Comics: The Dark Knight Rises: Trailer 3


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