As you may already be aware, there's a movie about Batman called The Dark Knight Rises coming out this summer, and as is the case with any big-budget super-hero flick, that means we're going to get some product tie-ins. Who can forget how Dominos Pizza reflected the complex themes of morality and sacrifice in 2008's The Dark Knight by offering a pizza with double the pepperoni?! I assure you, my arteries will never forget.

This time around, it's Mountain Dew, and not only is there a new flavor that's allegedly inspired by Batman, there's also a website and, more importantly, an in-store display that looks like the Saddest Batman Ever. Check out more info, and my theories on how this just might tie into the film, after the cut!The centerpiece of the promotion is undoubtedly the life-sized Batman display that's sure to be protecting your local gas station from thematic crime:

This is just a computer-generated mock-up of the actual product -- which explains why, as CA's Caleb Goellner put it, "it looks worse than those Taiwanese news cartoons" -- but I sincerely hope that the version we actually get in real life looks exactly like this. Batman's gaunt glumness and unblinking, shell-shocked eyes are pretty much exactly what I think the World's Greatest Detective would look like if he woke up to find that his legs had been replaced with a barrel of Mountain Dew that he had to wheel around selling to impressionable teens.

The promotion also involves a website that you can go to where you are invited to "Rule the Streets With Dew," which actually sounds like a pretty pleasant thing to do:

As for the products themselves, they're rolling out Batman-themed cans, as well as a new flavor called Dark Berry, because apparently "Caped Crusadew" didn't test well:

Now, this is where things get interesting. The reference to ruling the streets, and the fact that the Mountain Dew campaign seems to be selling itself on providing access to information about the movie itself gives me the idea that maybe, just maybe, this stuff might actually be part of the plot.

After all, Christopher Nolan's films have nudged a few elements of the Batman mythos to be slightly more realistic. So what if, what if, Bane didn't get his powers from the super-steroid Venom, but instead was just a big tough dude who was jacked up on Mountain Dew?

If nothing else, it's something the audience could relate to.

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