Warner Bros. has re-released the trailers for Batman Begins and The Dark Knight Rises in crisp, glossy 4K. The hugely successful films, released in 2005 and 2012 respectively, mark the first and final installments of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy. The franchise also introduced fans to Christian Bale’s portrayal of the caped crusader.
Batman Begins is the follow-up to 1997’s Batman & Robin, the much-maligned, cartoonishly stylized conclusion of Warner Bros.’s four-part Batman film series. Nolan’s trilogy would create a cohesive, tonally consistent imagining of the franchise, as opposed to the previous four films, which featured a mixture of directorial styles and actors. Batman Begins tells the story of the young Bruce Wayne who, in the wake of his parents’ death, travels abroad to train for seven years before returning to his native Gotham and completing his transformation into the Batman. Following the trilogy’s second installment, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises forces a hardened Bruce Wayne out of an eight-year-long exile.
Now, Warner Bros. has released updated trailers of both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight Rises, posting the slick 4K videos on YouTube. In the new trailers, the glacial training locations of Batman Begins shine in high definition, and the mid-air action sequences in The Dark Knight Rises are crisper than ever. Side by side, the two trailers highlight visual similarities that the meticulous Nolan no doubt had in mind while filming the trilogy. For example, each video shows similar high-contrast shots from the bottom of dry wells, demonstrating the thematic significance of the well structure throughout the trilogy. Check out the trailers below:
The updated trailers arrive on the heels of Batman Day, a date commemorating the first appearance of Batman in Detective Comics in 1939. Batman Day seems to be the only occasion behind the new trailers, as 4K editions of the Dark Knight trilogy were released in 2017. For whatever reason, Warner Bros. has yet to release a 4K version of The Dark Knight trailer, the second and most lauded installment of the franchise, and the only one selected for preservation by the Library of Congress.
The reasoning behind Warner Bros.’s re-released trailers for Batman Begins and The Dark Knight Rises could simply be to create a buzz around the forthcoming The Batman. Set for release in March 2022, Matt Reeves’s film will reboot the Batman franchise with new talent, most notably Robert Pattinson as the latest Bruce Wayne. Paul Dano is also attached to play The Riddler, and Zoë Kravitz will join as Catwoman. A 4K trailer for The Batman was released last August, and another has been scheduled for an October release. With the re-release of the original Nolan trailers, it is possible that Warner Bros. is suggesting that The Batman will be as high caliber a project as the iconic Dark Knight trilogy.