'The Dark Knight Rises' Teasers Reveal Thrilling Details (PHOTO)

Maressa Brown

the dark knight risesWarner Bros. issued a press release late last week announcing that production of The Dark Knight Rises -- the third and possibly final film of the current Batman franchise -- has commenced. Shortly thereafter, a few adrenaline-pumping teasers hit the web, including this photo of Tom Hardy as the villain Bane. Fans are in a tizzy, trying to guess what it all means?!

Well, here's what we do know so far ...

Christopher Nolan will direct; Christian Bale will reprise his role as Bruce Wayne/Batman; Anne Hathaway will star as Catwoman; Tom Hardy plays a villian named Bane; the all-star cast will also feature Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Marion Cotillard, Michael Cane, Josh Pence and others. Nolan's working with an estimated budget of $250 million, the cast is currently shooting in Jodhpur, India, but will move to Pittsburgh at some point, and production is expected to last through November. The release date will likely be in July 2012.

But there's plenty left to guess about ...

First of all, the movie's promotional website, which has kicked off the flick's mysterious viral campaign, is kind of a mystery. It's just a totally black screen appears along with an audio track of creepy, possibly German (?) religious chanting. That's it. What's up with that?

Then, you've got the one still from the film that's been released so far ... of Hardy as Bane, sporting a scary Hannibal Lecter-esque mask. Props to Nolan to getting something like this out so quickly. It may be one creepy pic, but really whetting fans' appetites to know how this new villain will be portrayed.

There's also been some speculation that a teaser trailer for the The Dark Knight Rises (or TDKR) will premiere before Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two, which is due in theaters this July 15. Hopefully the rumor is spot-on, because given how many fans they likely share, bringing these two hugely successful franchises together is a brilliant marketing idea. And it's not a shabby deal for fans either!

No matter how the TDKR campaign plays out, this much is definitely true: For the next year, Batman fans are sure to be on the edge of their seats.

What are you most looking forward to about TDKR?


Image via Warner Bros.


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