Christian Bale, Tom Hardy

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The Dark Knight Rises...early.

The six-minute prologue for the highly anticipated final installment in director Christopher Nolan's epic Batman trilogy is being unveiled by Warner Bros. in select Imax theaters (get the full list) tonight ahead of Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol.

For those of you who can't make it—or are really interested in knowing what to expect—here are a few nuggets we gleaned from the clip. (Warning: Spoilers ahead!)

For the past week, Nolan has been previewing the clip for fellow superhero-friendly filmmakers like Jon Favreau (Iron Man) and Bryan Singer (X-Men), as well as Michael Bay and Eli Roth and other industry insiders.

Opening with Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) speaking at Gotham District Attorney Harvey Dent's funeral, the teaser segues into a thrilling new heist that even tops the beginning of The Dark Knight.

Plus, we get a good look at Batman's new foe Bane, played by Tom Hardy. The action amps up with a devious plot to hijack a jetliner featuring dazzling aerial stunts that have already blown away those those lucky enough to attend the sneak peek.

The one quibble: Bane's voice was hard to make out under his mask, though it still sounded cool. No doubt, once the film is actually ready for audiences on July 20 Nolan and his team will have ensured their fearsome new villain is heard crystal clear.

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