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So it begins… The Dark Knight Rises ARG

May 21, 2011 Leave a comment

If you haven’t figured out by now I’m a huge Batman fan.  My obsession started back in 1989 with the original Batman movie. It got even worse during my years in college when I finally decided to start collecting the actual Batman comic books. My online pseudonym AzBat is actually taken from the nickname given to Azrael when he took the took over the mantle after Bruce Wayne got his back broke by Bane during the Knightfall storyline. I’ve also been a fan of every Batman movie since(although Batman & Robin was hard to stomach).

Anyway, in May 2007 Warner Brothers started filming what would be my favorite Batman movie of all time: The Dark Knight. The movie itself is not what it my favorite but instead the viral marketing of movie by means of an alternate reality game (ARG). The viral made the movie’s universe feel like a real living breathing place. It was mesmerizing & intriguing, what new info will we get today? What new puzzles, web sites, scavenger hunts & swag we will get next? It was an amazing experience. I’ve received all kind of stuff like actual Gotham Times newspapers, Harvey Dent campaign materials, Joker goon fugitive packs with a real cell phone to receive text message from the Joker, misc items from the Citizens for Batman organization, early showings of the first trailer and free tickets to the IMAX midnight launches.

To say that I’m excited about the return of Batman to the big screen is an understatement. Yesterday Warner Brothers announced that it has started principal photography on The Dark Knight Rises. That’s almost 4 years to the day when it started filming The Dark Knight. With the announcement Warner Brothers also updated the official web site at: http://www.thedarkknightrises.com/. Upon visiting the site you’ll hear a vocal chanting going on in the background, but like with the last movie, it’s not all what it seems. Members of the SuperHeroHype.com forums began trying to decode the audio & eventually figured out it had a hidden message: #thefirerises. This lead people to look for the hash tag on Twitter & they also found a user with the same name. Sending Twitter messages to that user resulted in people receiving a URL on the The Dark Knight Rises web site: http://www.thedarkknightrises.com/image.html. It originally had a fuzzy picture, but as more people sent messages to @thefirerisses the picture became more & more detailed until it was completely clear. That picture is the first official photo from the movie: a picture of the villain Bane.

Bane from The Dark Knight Rises

That’s almost exactly how the The Dark Knight viral campaign started in 2007. And so many believe it’s what we can expect for The Dark Knight Rises as well. I sure hope they are right. If you’re interested in finding out more about The Dark Knight viral campaign I would check out this wiki site for the chronology & details of all the sites, puzzles & prizes. There’s even a fan site created to pay homage to those that participated in the viral. You can visit that here. If you have any kind of fondness for Batman or like games & contests, I think you will love following The Dark Knight Rises ARG. I won’t try to post a day-to-day review on what’s going on with it, but you can expect a few posts on the bigger updates. For the best place to keep up-to-date on a minute-by-minute basis check out The Dark Knight Rises Spoilers forum on SuperHeroHype.com. Hope to see you on the forums! Just look for AzBat! 🙂

Tommy McClain