The Dark Knight Rises was screened yesterday and last weekend to elite press, and will have its big world premiere screening next Monday while showing earlier that day for second-tier press, followed by an IMAX screening on Tuesday, 7.17. So it’s looksee time all around, and yet Warner Bros. publicity has decided not to show TDKR at Comic-Con 2012, which kicks off tonight in San Diego. I’m told they might be offering some kind of private-screening option to a select few, but there’ll be no big screening in Hall H or anywhere else in San Diego.
I’m the last guy in the world who could relate to average Comic-Coners, but this strikes me as, no offense, a somewhat unfriendly and inconsiderate thing on WB’s part. TDKR is almost certainly going to ring the bell for hardcore Comic-Coners like no other film this year, and it’s being shown left and right in NY and LA and yet WB publicity is blowing them off? The biggest, best-known convention in the world for geekboy fans of comic-book movies and fantasy CG fare? Really?
I realize that TDKR doesn’t “need” to be shown at Comic-Con, as a journalist friend pointed out an hour or two ago, and that director Christopher Nolan feels that he’s operating on a somewhat higher plane than other genre filmmakers, and that he regards TDKR as being a bit more artful and/or metaphorical, or generating greater voltage levels, than the sort of film that is usually hawked at Comic-Con. He’s not a “genre” filmmaker — he’s Chris Nolan, and he wears dark-blue suits and speaks with a British accent. He probably sees himself as a kind of Stanley Kubrick-like figure, and if he does he’s not wrong.
If I was running the WB p.r. campaign I would sit him down and say, “Chris? Like it or not but the ComicCon-ers are this movie’s base, and at the very least it would be good manners to show it to them during Comic-Con 2012. I know we haven’t screened our big Batman movies to them before, but this is the last one and we should this time. They really care, they really believe and while we understand your game and how you see yourself and the film, we still need to pay tribute and respect for the ComicConers. It’s the right gesture, all things considered.”