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Warning

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If you don't want any spoilers from the new Batman film, then do not CLICK HERE!

If the opening frames of "The Dark Knight" are any indication, Batman will have his hands full come June. The Joker is on the loose, and MTV News has seen just how devilishly maniacal and dangerous he can be.

On Sunday night, a small crowd in New York gathered to watch the first six minutes of director Christopher Nolan's eagerly awaited sequel to "Batman Begins" and, holy extended trailer, the footage did not disappoint. Introduced by the beaming director and displayed on an 80-foot-tall IMAX screen, the opening of the film welcomed Heath Ledger's Joker to the Nolan/Batman universe.

And it was clear from the start, much as you might have loved Jack Nicholson's villain, the purple-clad bad man won't have the time or inclination to dance to Prince this time around. Nolan spoke at length with MTV News immediately prior to and following the special event, clearly proud of his new villain. "I think what Heath is doing is very adventurous," he said. "What he's doing is very radical. It's very much what I wanted. I knew I needed someone really fearless."

The opening sequence — specially filmed in the IMAX format, and set to debut December 14 with prints of "I Am Legend" in theaters — fulfilled a dream for Nolan, who said he had been wanting to shoot in the format for 15 years. "In the finished film, there will be four or five IMAX sequences," Nolan explained. He continued excitedly before the screening: "Everything about doing this in the IMAX format is trying to get that feeling back when I was a little kid when I'd sit in a movie theater and see images that were larger than life. That's what I'm trying to get back to with this material. I felt like introducing the Joker in this way because he's such a huge character [and it] would be a very fun thing to do."

But Nolan also revealed that not all the IMAX scenes will be action-filled. "Some of them are actually quiet scenes which pictorially we thought would be interesting. It's not all the slam-bam scenes," he said.

As the lights dimmed, the first images were revealed, of a gleaming and bright Gotham City. The camera moves in close on a building when suddenly the calm is shattered, quite literally, by a broken window. A group of clown-mask-clad robbers are about to seize a bank. They bicker about the mysterious man who has employed them. "Why do they call him the Joker?" one asks another. It's a refrain almost identical to those rooftop thugs who wonder about the mysterious "bat" in the opening frames of Tim Burton's "Batman."

Soon we are inside the bank as a tense standoff is under way. None of the employees resist, save one played by character-actor extraordinaire William Fichtner. This is a mob bank, we learn, and the wrong place to mess with, even for a group of seasoned criminals.

The controlled heist degenerates into a mess quickly enough, with each of the robbers mysteriously getting taken out. But it's not Batman knocking them off — rather, it's one of the robbers themselves. Just as the final two robbers are set to leave, one pulls a gun on the other. "I bet the Joker told you to kill me as soon as we loaded the cash," he says, clearly with the upper hand.

The eerily calm but playful response comes. "No, no, no. He killed the bus driver."

Before the gun-toting clown can finish asking, "What bus driver?," he is taken out by a school bus crashing into the bank. "School's out. Time to go!" screams the sole survivor of the gang.

All that remains for him is the bank employee (Fichtner) lying at his feet. By now we're pretty sure these are going to be his last words: "The criminals in this town used to believe in things. Honor. Respect. What do you believe in?" He screams it again, louder, "What do you believe in?"

And the mask comes off. The grinning, scarred face of the Joker is revealed at last. His face filled the 8-story-high screen as the clip played. "I believe whatever doesn't kill you simply makes you …," he said. He pauses on the last word: " … stranger."

As the Joker made his getaway, the sequence ended, but before the lights returned, the audience was treated to quick tantalizing flashes of the rest of the film. The Joker firing what looks to be an automatic weapon in a city street. Police Commissioner Gordon raising an ax dramatically. Batman whizzing by in his batpod. And finally, Gordon lowering the ax, destroying what we see now was the bat signal. Troubled times clearly await in Gotham. And it's clear who's to blame.

Nolan explained to MTV News that the Joker we meet in "The Dark Knight" is fully formed. Don't look for an origin story here. "To me, the Joker is an absolute," he said. "There are no shades of gray to him — maybe shades of purple. He's unbelievably dark. He bursts in just as he did in the comics."

Though there was no sign of much of the supporting cast in this extended preview, Nolan stressed there's much more to the story. Asked about Aaron Eckhart's Harvey "Two-Face" Dent, the director said "his story is in some ways the backbone of the film. [Bruce Wayne and Harvey] have an interesting relationship. They're friends and rivals."

And what about the caped crusader we left at the end of "Batman Begins"? Nolan explained that "he's a little more sure of himself" in the new film. "We didn't want him sitting around wrestling with the same angst. It's all-new angst," he laughed.

Nolan, who wrapped filming just two weeks ago, said he's shooting for a running time comparable to the first film's 140 minutes. Congratulated on the ambitious slam-bang start to his sequel, MTV News asked if the next six minutes could help but live up to the first. The director smiled and sighed nearly in unison. "That's what I'm working on now."

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37 comments to “Warning”

  1. Jill says – reply to this


    1

    first! love you perez!!!

  2. Lori says – reply to this


    2

    Didn't read your article, I just wanted to yell FIRST

  3. mfgc says – reply to this


    3

    first! you rockperez!

  4. dj says – reply to this


    4

    hotblumpkin!!! 1st bitches hi dj!

  5. saoda says – reply to this


    5

    OMG I LUV BATMAN CANNIT WAIT LOLZ
    XOXO

  6. BRITNEY FAN says – reply to this


    6

    omg im like the 13th person woooopty fucking DOOOO DAAAAa

  7. BRITNEY FAN says – reply to this


    7

    omg im like the 13th person woooopty fucking DOOOO DAAAAa

  8. BRITNEY FAN says – reply to this


    8

    omg im like the 13th person woooopty fucking DOOOO DAAAAa

  9. lele says – reply to this


    9

    AHHHHHHHHH terrible. going to be terrible.

  10. doris says – reply to this


    10

    first!

  11. lb says – reply to this


    11

    It that britney in the chair - first!

  12. NAMELESS says – reply to this


    12

    SWEET!!!
    1st!!!

  13. www says – reply to this


    13

    wwwwww

  14. chasebryce says – reply to this


    14

    first

  15. Lee says – reply to this


    15

    It Britney in the chair!

  16. wtf says – reply to this


    16

    1

  17. Brooke says – reply to this


    17

    Credit your sources, Perez. This came off the MTV site. Don't want to get sued!

  18. Patty says – reply to this


    18

    I can't fucking wait. I love Batman!

  19. Abby Laigh says – reply to this


    19

    Oh, I can't wait!!

  20. coach smart says – reply to this


    20

    Didn't realize that it was a super hero trait to give anal.

  21. ani says – reply to this


    21

    FIRSTTTT

  22. lauryn says – reply to this


    22

    thats awesome i can't wait to see it

  23. Old News says – reply to this


    23

    This news has been out for a couple of days on all the comic sites and other reputable news venues. Where were you when it actually was news, Perez?

  24. kimmy4lsu says – reply to this


    24

    Brooke: you idiot, can't you fucking read? he said MTV News at the top of the story….in the middle of the story……and near the end. read people, before you post!

  25. Rash Manly says – reply to this


    25

    Why is Batman
    giving
    Michael Jackson
    the thrid degree?

  26. Tara says – reply to this


    26

    Cool!

    Thanks, Perez!

    I can't wait for this movie!

  27. UberChic says – reply to this


    27

    I am super excited!!!

  28. Brooke says – reply to this


    28

    Re: kimmy4lsu

    Yes, of course I can read. Although MTV is mentioned in the article 3 times, nowhere does Perez credit the article to MTV or acknowledge the original author of the article.

  29. I.C.E. Reaper says – reply to this


    29

    Hey Perez Good site you got mate.
    Interesting stuff you put on the site.
    And i have seen you just now on Jensen! xD
    Just wanted to say your site is great. =D

  30. halle says – reply to this


    30

    Sounds awesome

  31. HOTTIE says – reply to this


    31

    I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE CHRISTIAN BALE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST MORE PICS OF HIM WITH HIS SHIRT OFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PLEASE!!!!!!!!

  32. cari says – reply to this


    32

    CHRISTIAN BALE IS THE GREATEST ACTOR OUT THERE RIGHT NOW! I can't wait to see this movie in IMAX! The whole viral campaign online is unbelievable as well. Their PR department is full of geniuses. For all news Batman go to Batman-on-film.com
    DID YOU ALL HEAR BALE IS GOING TO BE THE NEW JOHN CONNER IN TERMINATOR 4: SALVATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  33. meg says – reply to this


    33

    sounds good

  34. razz says – reply to this


    34

    ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh can't wait!

  35. Jenny says – reply to this


    35

    In London the rumour is that Heath is now dating Lily Cole, his new co-star in the new Terry Gilliam film. Considering that he ALWAYS dates co-stars, do you think he had a fling with somebody on the set of Batman? Maybe even somebody from behind the scenes? I think so.

  36. Mizz Maggie says – reply to this


    36

    FIRST ! LOV YOU PEREZ

  37. Liv says – reply to this


    37

    Soooooo Perez, when are you going to comment on Tiffany Pollard "New York" and her alleged pregnancy??? I'd like to hear your thoughts! =)