An extended look at "The Dark Knight Rises" electrified audiences at CinemaCon on Tuesday, carrying with it the promise that director Christopher Nolan is planning an action-heavy conclusion to his epic Batman trilogy.
Nolan didn't offer up a trailer, he didn't preview a few scenes from the film or trot out stars to prattle on about how much they enjoyed working on the superhero movie.
Instead, he spliced together a nearly wordless series of shots that showed the caped crusader (Christian Bale) duking it out with Bane (Tom Hardy), tangling with a very sultry Catwoman (Anne Hathaway) and once again being called on to save Gotham City from the brink of anarchy.
Planes crash, football fields explode and heroes brood, all to great effect. The film hits theaters on July 20.
The preview came as Warner Bros. unveiled its upcoming slate to exhibitors -- a presentation that also included sneak peeks at Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby,” Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" and Adam Shankman’s “Rock of Ages.”
The applause that greeted the footage was thunderous, so much so that Warner Bros. might think about using it as a trailer.
Nolan said that he thought of the film more like a theatrical event in the classical sense.
"It's a live show," Nolan said. "It's a performance ... on July 20 there will be thousands and thousands of these live performances taking place."