December 7, 2011


After The Dark Knight launched its viral “Why So Serious?” campaign way back in 2007, the movie obviously went on to be a smash. How much of that was due in part to alternative marketing is up for debate, but with The Dark Knight Rises just around the corner, it’s no surprise that we might be seeing the beginning of another viral run-up. Recently, The Wrap (via Movie Viral) interviewed Jeff Robinov, the President of Warner Bros. Motion Pictures, who said that the “marketing strategy will definitely evolve” from the previous Batman installment.

Hot on the heels of that quote, Empire and Wired (via Movie Viral) received two separate “CIA documents” concerning a Dr. Leonid Pavel. While that name doesn’t yet ring a bell, readers over at ComingSoon connected Pavel’s mugshot to that of actor Alon Aboutboul, who has a role in The Dark Knight Rises. Nothing has been confirmed yet, but hit the jump to check the documents out just the same. [Update: A new document has been added along with a link to a countdown timer ; you can check them out after the jump.]

the-dark-knight-rises-alon-aboutboul-mugshotPerhaps with all the attention that The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is getting with their current viral marketing run, the folks at The Dark Knight Rises wanted to steal some thunder from the “feel bad movie of the holidays.” As you can see below, according to the documents, Pavel (Aboutboul) is a nuclear physicist of Russian descent who specializes in fuel-cycle technology and reactor design; he has gone missing. The edited transcript appears to be between a CIA Station Chief at the US Embassy and a member of the Georgian militia discussing the handover of Dr. Pavel. If there is more written between the lines, I haven’t seen it yet.

Empire is saying that the transcript was given to them as part of a clue to an upcoming event, which of course they can’t discuss. Wired is equally close-lipped, calling their document “a clue to an upcoming cultural event.” Again, there’s been no mention of this being part of The Dark Knight Rises except by some folks who believe the grainy image is Aboutboul (who has nothing current on his IMDb lineup besides some TV work and TDKR). It’s also possible that this is a very small last ditch marketing effort for Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, which opens 12/16 in IMAX, 12/21 in regular theaters and in which the Russians feature heavily in the plot. Check out the documents below and let us know what you think. We’ll keep an eye out in case anyone slides a clue our way.



Update: TDKR‘s viral twitter, @thefirerises posted this image:


If you go to the website “” you may see a countdown clock, although I’m personally seeing a website that just says “There has been an internal error,” so maybe the site is getting flooded.  If you can’t see the clock, it’s apparently counting down to 10:00AM (PST) tomorrow (which coincides with what’s written on the new document).

  • Dr. cool

    I get it. Kinda obvious..maybe.

    He is the one who develops bane’s Big bomb we have been seeing.

    So it’s Nuclear and not an earthquake machine. Cool.

    I wonder who is typing in the document; like who would these people be who want to extract him from the obvious League of shadows.

  • Phoenix

    Well, this all but confirms what the prologue will be. The summary has been on the web for a few weeks now. No matter, still excited to see it next weekend.

  • jen

    AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! I CAN’T WAIT FOR THIS MOVIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! F**k…I can’t even wait for the viral marketing!!!!!!!!!

  • sam

    Maybe,as one of the prologue description suggests,it’s during the transfer of the Doctor via air,that Bane and LOS attack his plane. And that’s who he’s afraid of,the LOS.

  • David

    If this is for the DKR maybe this gentleman turns out to be Dr. Strange. In a recent adventure Strange is the head of a gang of super-criminals attempting to take control of Gotham’s East Side, then controlled by Catwoman. Catwoman joins Strange’s gang, then allows its members to “find out” that she intends to betray them, faking her death when they attempt to eliminate her.

    This would be an interesting way to introduce Catwoman to the movie. Have her faking her own death and escaping strange. Then later on have Bane’s gang kidnap him. He could be the one to develop the venom also.

  • Garmcc

    It has been floating around the net for a few months now that Alon Aboutboul is playing a “particularly evil mad scientist” and is one of the main villains…but hasn’t been confirmed if he is indeed playing Dr Hugo Strange…this news came from an Israeli site,14718,L-3082571,00.html

    feel free to read if you can read or translate :) and his wife confirmed the news on Twitter, so he could indeed be the scientist who developes weapons/venom for Bane or could be Nolans interpretation of Dr Strange? Truth is we wont know until the final product or sypnosis is revealed.

  • Garmcc

    “scientist who developes weapons/venom for Bane” forgot to add to that comment, or the scientist who treats Bane with the “venom” in Peña Duro prison, if Nolan goes down that route it could make sense? Bane could kidnap him for revenge or to use him for more “venom”

    Also in the comics Bane visits Gotham from hearing of the tales through prison and how it is ruled by fear, fear of the “bat” . Bane then links that to the demonic “bat” that haunted his dreams as a child..

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  • tim

    operation early bird website has a NYC coordinate with a 10:30pm time on 10/13 which just so happens to be when there is a special advance screening of the 6min prologue.

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