Final theatrical ‘Dark Knight Rises’ trailer revealed online in viral campaign

It’s such a tricky balancing act for a studio, deciding how many trailers to release for a big blockbuster movie and what to show, and I’m sure they feel nitpicked to death no matter what they do.

For example, I think the latest international trailer for “Prometheus” is very striking, filled with memorable images and lines, and I wish I’d never seen it.  Holy cow, does that thing feel like they’re on the verge of giving away the whole movie.  They’re not, and there are still some big surprises built in, but they’ve gone about as far as they can go at this point.

The folks over at Warner Bros. are walking a similarly fine line with “The Dark Knight Rises,” the last film in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy.  All day today, fans have been playing along with a viral campaign that has required some real-world legwork if people want to unlock the trailer.  They’ve been hunting bat symbols painted all over the place, and once enough of them are found, the trailer goes live.

So what do we learn from this final trailer?  Or at least, I assume this is final.  They can’t cut many more, can they?

Matthew Modine’s character was part of this viral campaign, the police commander who issues the arrest warrant for Batman, and I love that Modine’s shown up on Twitter recently and that he’s playing along there.  As far as the trailer itself, let’s take a look:

First thought?  I love the quiet.  I think that takes real nerve in a marketplace like we have today.  So often, I feel like I’m hammered into submission by trailers, but in this case, Nolan keeps it quite almost all the way through, and even when he does crescendo, it’s not the sort of full-on sensory assault we’re used to.

Classy, and it looks like a really great way of using Bane to test everyone’s beliefs in the film, and Batman’s actual nerve.  I hope this film allows Nolan to walk away from the series triumphant.  I’d love to see him stick the landing, and this trailer, without giving everything away, makes the case that this could well be the perfect way to close out his time in Gotham City.

“This isn’t a car.”  Can’t wait.

“The Dark Knight Rises” opens in theaters July 20.