I’m a bit surprised by the lack of Batman’s presence in any of The Dark Knight Rises movie marketing so far, so thought I’d write a little post on it.
It’s seems quite odd that the marketing guys at Warner Bros would take this approach, I know when they did the marketing for Batman Begins they wanted to market the film as if it wasn’t a Batman film until the end. But that was a different time, that was a re-boot and the first Batman film to be released after the poorly received Batman & Robin so you can understand the thinking behind it.
The Dark Knight's marketing campaign was heavily focused on the Joker (as you’d expect with such a well know villain), but Batman featured a lot as well. Batman has barely been used at all with The Dark Knight Rises marketing though (in terms of imagery on posters, promotional material or in any of the trailers/prologue).
So far Batman has not featured on any of the posters, and with two teaser trailers and the opening prologue (which combined equals over ten minutes of footage) he has less than 3 seconds of screen-time. Seriously, there are about 4 quick cut shots of Batman in all that promotional material.
The marketing has been heavily focused on Bane, a relatively unknown villain in the Batman-verse to mainstream audiences. I get that Warner Bros need to introduce Bane and get him recognisable to build hype for the film, but at the end of the day this is a Batman film. I can’t see the next Bond film SkyFall being advertised without James Bond being used in any of the promotional material. It’s an odd strategy, especially considering how successful The DarkKnight was with using an established villain. But that’s ultimately a storychoice so the marketing guys are obviously working with the information they’ve got. Maybe pushing Catwoman would be a better way to go, but due to the secretive nature of the film I doubt they’re allowed to use her in promotional material yet…
Batman Begins had the same sort of challenge as they didn’t really have a “well-known” villain to use in the marketing, however that film was sold on the premise of it being the story of how Bruce Wayne became Batman so arguably it didn’t need one.
If I didn’t have a known villain in the film (or one I was allowed to talk about) I would put the emphasis on Batman. Currently if you removed the few shots of Batman in the trailers, there’s little to indicate this is even a Batman film, which is maybe what they’re going for?!
What are your thoughts?
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