WATCH: 'The Dark Knight Rises' Goes Epic for Trailer No. 2

The new trailer for Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale's third and final Batman film has arrived online -- and it does not disappoint

It's time to batten down the hatches, folks. Director Christopher Nolan is making sure visions of Batman and Bane and Catwoman will be dancing in your head right alongside those sugar plums this holiday season. The full trailer The Dark Knight Rises, the final film in Nolan's Caped Crusader trilogy, has hit the Web -- and it's sure to get fans' blood pumping and set their brains a-puzzling. Watch it below!
 


Nolan and star Christan Bale (a.k.a. Bruce Wayne/Batman) have stated definitively that this film is, quite simply, the end. And judging by this trailer -- and the six-minute Dark Knight Rises prologue that screened in IMAX theaters this weekend -- this isn't going to be just another spectacle-laden superhero film with no substance.

The spectacle is in there to be sure -- how about that scene where the villainous Bane (Tom Hardy) and his goon squad decimate a football field? -- but the best part about Nolan's Batman movies has always been his ability to balance the action with real character development and some truly debate-generating themes. And that's what is most promising about The Dark Knight Rises.

The film takes place eight years after Batman defeated the Joker in The Dark Knight, and in that time it seems that Gotham has prospered. Well, at least the 1 percent has. And, although there has been peace in Bruce Wayne's fair city, there are those members of that other 99 percent that have a bone to pick. One of them, it turns out, is Anne Hathaway's Selina Kyle (a.k.a. Catwoman).

In one very telling scene, she whispers: "You think this is going to last. There's a storm coming, Mr. Wayne. You and your friends better batten down the hatches because when it hits, you're all going to wonder how you ever thought how you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us."

Sounds like there's an Occupy Gotham movement brewing -- especially since Nolan and crew filmed some scenes by the Occupy Wall Street protest this fall (although it appears the Occupy Gothamers employ automatic weapons in addition to their fierce rhetoric).

The timely social commentary aside, this is -- as the trailer cleary points out -- "the epic conclusion to the Dark Knight legend." As a result, many fans have wondered: Might Nolan actually kill off Bruce Wayne/Batman? There's a scene in the trailer that suggests this option can't be ruled out. The Darth Vader-esque Bane stands over a very bloody and seriously defeated-looking Bruce and says: "When Gotham is in ashes, you have my permission to die."

We'll find out if Bane grants that permission when The Dark Knight Rises hits theaters July 20.

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