It's been a big week for 'Dark Knight Rises' news, with the first basic plot details revealed, the film wrapping up production, the release of the first official images and rumblings of when we'll see the first full trailer. Phew.
First up, Christopher Nolan has confirmed to film mag Empire that the new film will be set eight years after 'The Dark Knight' and that Batman/Bruce Wayne will not be "in a great state". We assume he doesn't just mean hungover.
This month's issue of the magazine also has Christian Bale's Batman and Tom Hardy's Bane on the cover. They're technically the first official pics from the film (we think), but seeing as we've seen so many leaked photos from the set, they're not a huge surprise.
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One point of intrigue however is the mysterious object Batman is pointing towards camera. What could it be?
We reckon it might be a bat-gadget, similar to one introduced in this year's massive Batman video game 'Arkham City', which fired short bursts of electro-magnetic energy. A kind of bat-taser perhaps.
Tom Hardy also spoke about lead-villain Bane to the mag, saying: "He's a big dude who's incredibly clinical, in the fact that he has a result-based and oriented fighting style. It's not about fighting. It's about carnage. The style is heavy-handed, heavy-footed, it's nasty."
"Anything from small-joint manipulation to crushing skulls, crushing rib cages, stamping on shins and knees and necks and collarbones and snapping heads off and tearing his fists through chests, ripping out spinal columns. He is a terrorist in mentality as well as brutal action."
Official Batman news has been scarce since the teaser trailer in July, but the covers (as with the reveal of Heath Ledger's Joker four years ago) represents the start of a huge publicity push for the film's July 2012 release.
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The first proper trailer is rumoured to be attached to Warner Bros. big Christmas film, 'Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows', which is set for release in the UK on 16 December.
The date is also when 'Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol' opens in the US, with six minutes of footage from the opening of 'Dark Knight Rises' set to debut before IMAX showings of the film.
In 2007 'The Dark Knight' footage was attached to Will Smith's 'I am Legend' and it was around that time (December again) that we also got the first theatrical trailer, so it's a safe bet we'll see Batman in action again by the end of the year.
'The Dark Knight Rises' is set for release in the UK on July 20th next year.