The Dark Knight Rises, directed by Inception's celebrated Christopher Nolan and featuring a staggeringly star-studded cast that includes Anne Hathaway (Catwoman), Tom Hardy (Bane), Liam Neeson (Ra's Al Ghul), Gary Oldman (Jim Gordon), Morgan Freeman (Lucius), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (John Blake), Michael Caine (Alfred), Marion Cotillard (Miranda), and of course Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne / Batman himself, promises to be one of the biggest blockbusters of the summer. And Nolan made it clear at CinemaCon on Tuesday that he is not in the business of disappointing his fans.

"What defines cinema and gets people out of the home to watch it, is spectacle," said Nolan and the CinemaCon convention in Las Vegas. Nolan did not present a new trailer of the film, but he did unveil a series of shots from The Dark Knight Rises that included images of a pale and sick Bale-as-Batman, as well as a confrontation between Batman and Hardy's Bane, and Hathaway in full Catwoman getup, reports EW.

"What we wanted to do with this story," Nolan said, "was finish it in the biggest way possible." So big, in fact, that Nolan thinks of the film as a live performance. "It's a live show," he said, according to The Wrap. "It's a performance … on July 20 there will be thousands and thousands of these live performances taking place." Don't get excited, guys — it's just a metaphor.

Also revealed at Tuesday's CinemaCon? Peter Jackson's prequel to The Lord of the Rings series, The Hobbit, starring old favorites Elijah Wood, Hugo Weaving, Orlando Bloom, Andy Serkis, Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Ian McKellen, and Christopher Lee and set to hit theaters on December 14, 2012; and Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby, which will star Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway, Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan, and Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby himself.

You can see if The Dark Knight Rises delivers on Nolan's promise when it hits theaters on July 20, 2012.

Watch a trailer here, via The Wrap:

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