New Dark Knight Rises trailer breakdown

The third trailer for the conclusion to Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, 'The Dark Knight Rises', has finally hit the web. The Avengers are SO last week!

With the better part of three months until the film is released Nolan has stomped his authority early, hoping to reclaim the title of the most anticipated film of the year from Marvel's current super-success.

Here's the trailer, and what stood out to us.

New characters take centre stage
The trailer is most notable for how much we see of Anne Hathaway's Catwoman/Selina Kyle and Joseph Gordon Levitt's police officer John Blake, compared to how relatively little we saw of the Dark Knight himself.

[Related story: New Dark Knight Rises pics + Nolan and Hardy speak]

As Blake, a character of Nolan's creation, the '500 Days of Summer' star clearly has a major part to play in the film. Just how he fits in however is still a mystery.

He does have some affinity with Selina Kyle though, which is a fresh revelation. "Did they kill him?" he asks her for reasons that aren't entirely clear. "I'm not sure," she replies. The implication being that they're talking about Batman.

Another new character, Marion Cotillard's Miranda Tate, has had nothing to do in the promotional material so far save for a quick word with Bruce Wayne in the last trailer and kissing him here. Tate is a board member at Wayne Enterprises, but we don't think things are that simple.

Is Catwoman the main character?
The trailer starts with moody views of Gotham as Kyle announces: "There's a storm coming". She also says that she's "adaptable", alluding to the moral grey area her alter ego prowls.

No she's not the main character, but she was in this trailer. We reckon she initially sides with Bane, only to change her mind when the villain's methods get messy. Later in the trailer she is seen fighting alongside the Bat.

Bane's sore throat has gone!
"Who are you?" asks a terrified extra as Bane looms over him. "I'm Gotham's reckoning," replies the destructive force, with all the menace of before but with the added bonus of being understandable!

Take a look at our comparison video and see what you think.

Bane's aim is to bring Gotham City and its top vigilante, to their knees by lighting a (metaphorical) fire under the criminals and impoverished within Gotham's borders.

Later in the trailer a bloodied and battered Bruce asks Bane: "Why didn't you just kill me?"

"Your punishment must be more severe," comes the reply. Bane knows Batman's identity, and he intends to make him suffer. His motivation is still a mystery though but at least he found some cough sweets.

The bleakest comic book movie ever?
Tone is everything to a film. 'Avengers' has a fun tone, 'Prometheus' a terrifying tone, 'Amazing Spider-Man' a... err... familiar tone. 'The Dark Knight Rises' has a bleak tone.

The trailer leaves viewers with the disturbing feeling that Batman might die by the end of 'The Dark Knight Rises'. Both he and his alter-ego Wayne will clearly suffer as the film rolls on but perhaps Nolan is just messing with our expectations.

A typically grave Alfred (Michael Caine) sums up the mood of the teaser by saying, "I've buried enough members of the Wayne family."

In Nolan we trust
The final few seconds of the trailer show us that Nolan still knows this is a comic book film though, no matter how dramatic or potentially Oscar-baiting some of it may seem. Nolan is a renowned James Bond fan, so he has a love for quips and outlandish set pieces.

Catwoman sets up the zinger at the end. "My mother warned me about getting into cars with strange men," she says.

"This isn't a car," growls Batman as we see the new aerial vehicle called The Bat soar over Gotham with two missiles in pursuit. Sweet.

The Dark Knight Rises hits cinemas 20 July 2012.