IMAXprologue

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The following is a description of the first five minutes of The Dark Knight, shown as a prologue to the movie in front of IMAX showings of I Am Legend, as well as to participants who registered at Whysoserious.com/Steprightup/Pairofjokers:

Sudden immense aerial view of a Gotham city block, brightly lit during the day. We slowly zoom in to focus on one building, which is made up entirely of windows in dark, one-way glass. Suddenly a window blows out.

Inside the building, a man in a red-haired clown mask puts down a large gun, then picks up a grappling gun and a hook with a rope. He inserts the hook into the gun, aims it out the window, then fires toward the nearby lower roof of the Gotham National Bank.

On a street corner in Gotham, we see the back of a man standing on a street corner with his head down, holding a grumpy-clown mask in his left hand. We slowly zoom in towards the mask, when a van suddenly races into view from his left and skids to a halt. Grumpy quickly puts on his mask and enters the right back door of the van.

Back in the building, two men in clown masks (one bald along with Red-haired Clown) send duffle bags down the zipline, then plunge down it themselves. The camera follows them out the window then swoops down to a dizzying view of the street below. They fly through the air over the street, then land running on the rooftop.

Inside the van, Grumpy has moved to the left back side of the van and is loading a gun. The two men sitting in the front, also wearing clown masks (one smiley and one angry), discuss the job:

Smiley: Three of a kind. Let's do this.

Angry: That's it? Three guys?

Smiley: Two guys on the roof. Every guy gets a share - five shares, that's plenty.

Angry: Six shares. Don't forget the guy who planned the job.

Smiley: He thinks he can sit it out and still take a slice? I know why they call him the Joker!

On the bank rooftop, the two masked men work to smash the lock off of the security wiring box.

Baldy: So why do they call him the Joker?

Red-haired Clown: I heard he wears makeup.

Baldy: Makeup?

Red-haired Clown: Yes, to scare people. You know, war paint.

The van stops at the bank entrance and everyone exits. All three masked men quickly enter the bank lobby, and Smiley starts shooting into the air. Angry Clown attacks the security guard from behind, and Grumpy runs through the lobby with his duffle bag and places it on a counter. The bank manager, sitting in his office, deftly moves out of sight. Smiley immediately starts threatening customers and tellers ("Hands up, heads down! Come on pal, I'm making a withdrawal here!") as Grumpy unzips his duffle bag, revealing a setup of grenades. Smiley physically threatens a teller who has just pushed the alarm button.

Back on the bank rooftop, the wiring box is open and Baldy is intercepting the signal. ("Here comes the silent alarm...and there it goes.")

In the bank lobby, Smiley continues to threaten people as Grumpy reaches down to a hostage and puts something in his hands, then pulls something else out.

On the rooftop, Baldy is confused:

Baldy: That's funny, it didn't dial out to 911, it was trying to reach a private number.

Red-haired Clown: Is there a problem? [lifts up a gun behind Baldy, who has his back turned toward him]

Baldy: No, I'm done here.

Red-haired Clown suddenly fires the silenced gun right into Baldy's back. He falls. Red-haired Clown picks up his bag and runs toward the stairs, going down them and breaking into the vault room. He takes a large drill to the vault, and goes in a few inches when he is suddenly thrown back by a large electric burst.

In the bank lobby, Smiley explains, "Obviously we don't want you doing anything with your hands, other than holding on for dear life!" Close-up as Grumpy is putting what's shown to be a grenade in each hostage's hands and pulling out the pin.

The bank manager, still hidden in his office, takes off his glasses and slowly leans toward the window. Just outside, Angry Clown smashes the butt of his gun into the security guard and yells, "On the ground! Stay on the ground! Nobody move!" Suddenly the bank manager's office explodes as Angry Clown falls. The window shatters to reveal the bank manager crouched low with a shotgun in his hands. Grumpy hurriedly slides back behind a counter. The manager marches out of the hole in his office and through the lobby, blasting at Grumpy,who ducks four blasts until he makes it behind a counter where Smiley is also hiding. The manager yells, "Hey! You have any idea who you're stealing from? You and your friends are dead!"

Smiley looks down at Grumpy and asks, "He's out, right?" Grumpy, cowering with his arms wrapped around his knees, pauses then meekly nods yes. Smiley stands up to make a shot, then gets blasted at. The manager pumps again with no avail - now he's out. Grumpy immediately jumps out and shoots him. The manager falls to the floor, still alive but writhing in pain. Grumpy tilts his head and looks at him curiously. Smiley jumps back up. "Where did you learn to count?!" he retorts as he moves toward the vault room. Grumpy simply turns toward him with an annoyed movement.

Smiley barges into the vault room, where Red-haired Clown is working the combination lock with his hands in his sneakers. Smiley unzips his duffle bag.

Red-haired Clown: They wired this thing up with like, 5,000 volts. What kind of bank DOES that?

Smiley: A mob bank. I guess the Joker's as crazy as they say. Where's the alarm guy?

Red-haired Clown: Boss told me when the guy was done, I should take him out. [puts down the sneakers, and starts turning the wheels to open the safe.] One less share, right?

Smiley: Funny. He told me something similar...

Red-haired Clown: Hey wha - [turns to see Smiley with a gun on him] No! No!

Smiley simply shoots Red-haired Clown point-blank. He runs into the vault, piled high with cash, and starts sweeping cash into his bag.

Smiley and Grumpy drag numerous bags of cash to the side of the bank lobby.

Smiley: That's a lot of money. If this Joker guy was so smart, he'd had have us bring a bigger car. [cocks gun and aims it at Grumpy, who's just turning away from him] I'm betting the Joker told you to kill me soon as we loaded the cash.

Grumpy speaks his first words: [turns toward Smiley, sighs and looks at his watch] No, no no no, I kill the bus driver. [takes a smooth, theatrical, almost playful step to his right]

Smiley keeps his gun on Grumpy: Bus driver? [moves to his right in response]

Grumpy: [takes another step]

Smiley: What bus driver?

Suddenly the door explodes and the back end of a yellow school bus bursts into the bank, knocking over Smiley. Another clown-masked man exits the back door of the bus ("School's out, time to go") and starts helping Grumpy throw in the bags of cash, amusingly observing that Smiley's "not gonna get up, is he?" When they're almost done, he asks Grumpy, "What happened to the rest of the guys?" A bullet to the chest is Grumpy's response, as he's walking away to fetch the last bag of cash.

The bank manager has seen all of this, and mutters how Gotham's underworld used to be honorable. ("Think you're smart, huh? [coughs] ....hired goons. They'll just do the same to you. Oh, the criminals in this town used to believe in things. Honor. Respect.") Grumpy throws the last bag of cash into the bus, and upon hearing the manager's words, turns toward him curiously, then saunters over to where he lies. The manager demands of Grumpy, "What do you believe in, huh? What do you believe in?!" Grumpy gently places a cylindrical grenade into the manager's mouth. The grenade is attached to a string. The manager's eyes go wide.

Grumpy speaks. "I believe what doesn't kill you, simply makes you..." Grumpy lifts his mask, revealing a face ruined by blotchy white makeup, smeary black eye makeup and a large scar on his mouth. The Joker. "...stranger." The manager looks at him in shock. Grumpy/The Joker gives the manager a brief wide, mischievous grin, then picks up the empty shotgun and walks back toward the bus. The end of the grenade string is attached to his belt loop. The manager shudders slightly as the string tightens.

Grumpy/The Joker tosses in his new toy, then gets in and closes the door on the string. He climbs over the bags of cash to the front. As the bus starts up and rolls away, the camera focuses on the bank manager as the grenade string is pulled taut and is finally yanked out. The manager tenses for a few suspenseful seconds. Finally, a lingering "pffft" as a gentle smoke is released from the end of the grenade. The manager's eyes roll back in his head in relief.

The bus containing the stolen money rolls out of the bank at a traffic light intersection. Clouds of dust fall off the end. The bus merges onto a city street in between 2 other yellow school buses within a long line of equally yellow school buses, driving away. Police cars, with their sirens on, start to approach the bank, just missing the Joker's bus. The traffic light turns yellow, then red.

These events would later occur during the course of the game, as the sixth episode of Gotham Tonight was interrupted with coverage of the robbery.

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