Dark Knight Rises Teaser

"The Batman has to come back." 

And will he ever.

The teaser trailer for The Dark Knight Rises, director Christopher Nolan's anxiously awaited third and final installment in his critically acclaimed Caped Crusader trilogy, has hit the internet after having made its debut in theaters last weekend ahead of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. And by the looks of it, the people of Gotham are in for a wild ride.

Check it out...

The teaser opens with the camera ascending amidst a crumbling Gotham City, culminating in the outline of the Bat signal. All the while, we hear the voice of Liam Neeson, reprising his role from Batman Begins as villainous mentor Ra's al-Gul, over brief images from the first film and The Dark Knight.

It then segues to Gary Oldman as Police Commissioner Gordon, ailing and seemingly defeated in a hospital bed.

"We were in this together, and then you were gone," he remarks weakly to an offscreen Bruce Wayne, played by Christian Bale. "Now this evil rises. The Batman has to come back."

To which Wayne replies, "What if he doesn't exist anymore."

Gordon: "He must. He must."

Intercut with this exchange are quick flashes of footage for TDKR—the kind of shots that make the hair on the back of your neck stand up—specifically Batman's new nemesis Bane (Tom Hardy) as he trains for what will be the ultimate battle with our hero.

Along with Bale and Oldman, The Dark Knight Rises also stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the mob-targeting Holiday Killer; Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle/Catwoman; Marion Cotillard as Miranda Tate, a Wayne Industries board member; and a rumored cameo by Neeson. Also back are franchise vets Michael Caine as Alfred the Butler and Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox.

Past is merely prelude. The Dark Knight Rises, now filming in locations around the world including London, India, Romania, Los Angeles and Pittsburgh, hits theaters July 20, 2012.

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