You may be asking yourself, where is this bootleg The Dark Knight Rises trailer I've been hearing so much about, and what is the deal with the cobbled-together version that has flooded YouTube in its absence?
Reports began earlier this week in the wake of the overseas premier of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 about a teaser trailer for the highly-anticipated (The Guardian goes so far as to hazard that this is the most anxiously awaited film since the first public motion picture screening in nineteenth century Paris) third and final chapter of Christopher Nolan's Batman saga, The Dark Knight Rises. Original reports describe the trailer opening with Liam Neeson's Ra's Al Ghul speaking with Bruce Wayne and then cutting to a hospital where Commissioner Gordon is on the mend and is pleading with Bruce Wayne to don the cowl once again. Several news sites originally had links to a bootleg recording of the trailer, warning that the recording was indeed amateur in quality, but now many of those links are dead ends. Even the YouTube username reported to have originally leaked the trailer is gone without a trace.
If you've been keeping an eye open to TDKR developments, you'll have noticed another trailer popping up on the web, one that is not of a bootleg quality and features Robin Williams, purportedly playing Hugo Strange. This is not the case. The Robin Williams scenes here are unmistakeably cut from another Chris Nolan gem, Insomnia, in which Robin portrays a murderous crime novelist on the run from a police officer, played by Al Pacino. Williams has not been cast in the film, though he was interested in playing a role several months ago. The scenes with Bane? Cobbled together from teaser images released by WB, scenes from Tom Hardy's performance in Bronson, and what looks to be a cut-scene from the Army of Two video game. As for Anne Hathaway's Selina Kyle? I can't put my finger on it, but I'm sure these scenes have all come from other forms of media. Specifically, there is a very brief scene of a CGI Catwoman swinging from a flagpole. Now, Nolan, ever the purist, isn't one to opt for CGI effects if there is any other way shooting those effects. This is either from a video game, like Arkham City, or perhaps even a scene from a Spider-Man film that's been altered to look like Catwoman is swinging around Gotham instead of ol' web-head swinging around NYC. The bulk of the trailer though is reused bits from Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. If this is the trailer you're watching on YouTube and getting all excited over, then I'm sorry to break this to you, it's cleverly done, but it's a decoy.
Where did this ruse come from, and what happened to the original? One can only assume that Warner Bros. coerced YouTube into keeping the actual teaser from hitting the web and taking down whatever bootlegs had already been posted, and maybe they'd even released this chicanery to throw us off the original's trail. It seems like quite a bit of work, seeing as how the trailer was seen by a dizzying number of people who will certainly find a way to put it on the web, not to mention it will most likely be released online by WB themselves sometime within the next 48 hours. So keep your eyes peeled. If you haven't seen the real trailer yet, you can expect to very shortly.