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NYCC: TDK Trailer!

04.21.2008

THE DARK KNIGHT

Featured Guest: Paul Levitz (President, DC Comics)

There was a lot to expect at this year's New York Comic Con - and that included surprises. Every Con like this one is filled with unexpected guests, or previews, and the mother of them all this year was, of course, the first showing EVER of the new trailer for THE DARK KNIGHT not set to hit theaters or the net for a few weeks (if I had to guess, it'll likely be attached to IRON MAN, which hits May 2). This was occasion for the crowd to give perhaps its most jubilant applause, as DC Comics president Paul Levitz gave us this gift from Warner Bros. and Christopher Nolan. Oh Hell Yeah!

Unfortunately, I can't lay out you every single image that flashed before my eyes (early Alzheimer's and all that) but I'll tell you what really stuck out for me:

- A really terrific bird's-eye shot of Batman standing atop a very tall building and jumping straight off... Later in the trailer we see him literally flying with outstretched wings (could be from the same sequence).

- Lots of Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart). DENT, mind you, NOT Two-Face. It would appear there's major love triangle action involving Dent, Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal) and Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale). Seemed kind've like your typical romance-subplot stuff... HOWEVER, one of the trailer's most compelling shots - one that had the crowd collectively gasp with pleasure for approx. 3 seconds - showed Dent with his head pressed against the ground as a liquid (gasoline? acid?) seemed to spill toward him. Is this the origin of ol' Two-Face?

- Heath Ledger, as we surmised, appears to be giving a truly remarkable performance. While this trailer replays some of the same things we've seen in the teaser, the new snippets of The Joker's dialogue and mannerisms produced a seriously giddy effect for anyone excited about this potentially amazing performance. My favorite moment is when he approaches Rachel after he and his gang bust in on a fancy dinner party (this can be seen briefly in the first teaser) - he does a funny little gesture where he brushes back his hair, mock-grooming himself. Don't know why, but it just looked great, and another indication that Ledger has totally disappeared into this psychotic character... Another nice scene had him giving a speech to a roomful of mobsters/bad guys about killing Batman. He ends it by pulling out a joker, saying "Here's my card" with that weirdly-pitched voice of his. He also really seems to like his knives...

- The last line of the trailer before the DARK KNIGHT logo fades in is Dent's: "You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” No prizes for whoever guesses which way Harvey's gonna go... But the real last line belongs to Alfred, after the title card has faded out. He makes a crack about Bruce driving a Lamborghini, saying it's "much more subtle" than "the other car." It was actually a strange way to end this otherwise intense trailer, but I'm pretty sure the BATMAN BEGINS trailer ended similarly.

Honestly, the rest is a blur: There are some big-time explosions (an entire building destroyed), a nifty shot of a truck flipping over entirely, a glimpse of what's surely an epic showdown between The Joker and Batman on an empty street (again, also briefly seen in the first teaser), a shot of Dent ducking as something explodes near him... Not much Jim Gordon, only scant peeks at Lucius Fox and Alfred, no Eric Roberts or Anthony Michael Hall, no Cillian Murphy as "Scarecrow"...

It's also worth noting that the movie seems to be brilliantly photographed, and another Oscar nomination for cinematographer Wally Pfister looks possible (not blowin' smoke either, it's gorgeously sinister).

Overall, perhaps the best "screening" of the entire weekend.

Keep checking back for more from this year's New York Comic Con!

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