Christopher Nolan has revealed he wanted to finish his Batman trilogy "in the biggest way possible".
Footage from the director's latest flick was unveiled at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, and featured collapsing bridges, rolling army tanks and Christian Bale returning as an older, more weathered superhero. Michael Caine, Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman are also reprising their previous roles in the franchise.
Christopher, known on set as "the governor", said: "We've been working on this story for nine years. And so it's with mixed feelings that we finish this thing."
The director said his goal for Dark Knight Rises was to create a "spectacle" that makes viewers excited the moment they enter a cinema.
"What defines cinema, and what gets people out of the house to watch it is spectacle," he explained.
Newcomers for the third instalment include Anne Hathaway as Catwoman, Marion Cotillard, Tom Hardy and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Joseph, Tom and Marion also appeared in Christopher's 2010 film Inception.
The preview opened with images of the villain, a masked Tom, terrorising a plane, and frenzied police and streets of rubble. Anne was featured heavily in a series of black, tight outfits.
The film is being shot in India, England, Scotland and in the US in New York, Los Angeles and Pittsburgh.
The preview seemed to inspire some envy in fellow director Adam Shankman, who followed Christopher during Warner Bros' film presentation. Adam, who was promoting the musical Rock Of Ages, told the audience: "I'm older than he is, but I want to be Christopher Nolan when I grow up."
The previous two films in the franchise are Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.