Batman Begins arrived for me with only one piece of fanfare, it was a Batman film, it then became at that point one of my favourite films of all time. The Dark Knight came with the added fanfare of all the reviews I had heard and read before seeing it but I still went into the movie with a relatively low level of exposure and hype. I approach The Dark Knight Rises, months before its release with a much higher level of hype than I ever had for the other two, films where I had only seen the trailer once and in the case of Batman Begins had read no reviews. The question at the crux of this article is the following, with the internet being what it is...is it now at all possible to come to a movie, completely fresh? will the internet kill The Dark Knight Rises? You could argue that it didn't kill The Dark Knight but that movie became something nobody could have anticipated, it became a cultural phenomenon, it grossed over a billion dollars worldwide and it expanded the audience for Batman considerably. The Dark Knight may be this generations The Empire Strikes Back, it is the film that filmmakers of the future will look back on as a huge influence, it opened peoples eyes to the possibilities of filmmaking, people saw it multiple times in cinemas, it transcended its source material.
This fear over the fate of The Dark Knight Rises comes from somebody who wants the film to incredibly well. Christopher Nolan is the filmmaker that Hollywood needs more of and I believe in Christopher Nolan, what I don't believe in is the commenters on IMDB, Twitter or other internet forums. In the end I know it doesn't matter what other people think of a film if you or I personally love it and if it makes enough money but the Dark Knight Rises is going to be one kind of threequel. The Godfather Part III, seen as immensely inferior to its predecessors and in fact unnecessary, to many ruining what had come before it and by some rejected as even part of the Godfather story, its own maker joining that crowd. Will it be a Return of the Jedi? where it is neither an abomination nor the best in the series. Or it will do a Return of the King? be huge critically, commercially and get Nolan the Oscar he deserves...
If I was in charge of the advertising campaign for this film, I would now go on a complete radio silence. No more posters, no more trailers, let other films hog the spotlight and fight for the audiences attention. People know The Dark Knight Rises is coming, they want to see it, the job is done. The hype for this movie is at such a point that they could have released no trailers and people would be just as, if not more excited. If The Dark Knight Rises can still emerge this summer with mystery and with perhaps a readjustment of expectations if early year releases such as Prometheus or The Avengers fail to deliver, it could beat the hype like The Dark Knight. The questions I pose with this article are can the internet and hype kill a movie? Will it kill The Dark Knight Rises? and what kind of threequel will this be? A Godfather Part III, A Return of the Jedi or a Return of the King?
Personally, nothing will hinder my hype for this movie and that worries me but not as much as it excites me. In the end I don't think anything can live up to this hype which is why I am going to do my best to cut myself off from this crazy Batman world that has formed on the internet so that when July rolls around I can be like, "Oh yeah, The Dark Knight Rises...bring it on" I won't let the hype kill this movie for me, I'll let the movie decide whether it wants to be remembered or not (And if so for the right reasons) but I doubt whether many will adopt this approach. He has defeated numerous villains but has The Dark Knight faced his biggest battle of them all? a villain he cannot defeat? Forget the fire rises, the hype rises and Nolan better have a masterpiece up his sleeve to avoid an internet outpouring of "What a disappointment", "It wasn't as good as The Dark Knight" and numerous other IMDB posts and tweets which will try to initially distort the internets view of this film. If everybody gave Toy Story 3 and Deathly Hallows: Part Two such big passes, Rises should have no issue with the critics (Who will enter into a bloodbath for the first review) but as somebody who runs a website and realizes a lot of movie discussion online, I wouldn't be able to handle a year in which The Dark Knight Rises Sucks became a trending, agreed upon topic online. So perhaps the hype killing Dark Knight Rises may be a good thing, as Bruce Wayne says in Batman Begins, "People need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy and I can't do that as Bruce Wayne but as a symbol, as a symbol I can be incorruptible" Perhaps The Dark Knight Rises will become the symbol for our over publicized, over analyzed, over exposed film hype machine and lead to a revolution in the way in which people market and approach the movies they anticipate.
For good or for bad, "The Dark Knight Legend" may become something very real in the film industry.
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By Movie Parliament Prime Minister,