US talk show host David Letterman triggered online wrath from movie fans Friday, after apparently giving away a key plot twist in the new "Dark Knight" movie.
While those who don't want to know the ending can choose not to read stories about it -- including this one -- fans of the Batman-based franchise were enraged after the Thursday night spoiler.
Letterman was interviewing actress Anne Hathaway about the third and final film, "The Dark Knight Rises" -- out next weekend in the United States -- when he stunned her by apparently revealing the dramatic plot twist.
"I saw this movie, the Batman movie... and in the end, Batman is dead," he said. After a startled pause, Hathaway admonished him saying "Daaaave..!" at which point Letterman scrambled to backtrack.
"He's not dead... just relax," he told the audience, with a big smile on his face.
"The wrath you have just invited onto yourself!" exclaimed Hathaway, before looking at the camera and saying, in words addressed to director Christopher Nolan: "Chris, I had no part in it, I'm sorry."
It was not clear whether Letterman's spoiler was genuine. But the blogosphere erupted with fans protesting that he had ruined the movie for them in advance.
"Dave has 'OLD TIMERS'' disease. It happens to everyone," commented Mad Hatter 1 on the Huffington Post, while @dirtytea tweeted: "Avoid David Letterman interview with Anne Hathaway, he spoils the ending."
The Hollywood Reporter said it was unlikely Letterman's comments would do significant damage to the blockbuster finale's box office takings, once it is released next Friday.
"If (comic book baddie) Bane really does put an end to Batman, Warner Bros. (the studio behind "Dark Knight") may want to do the same to David Letterman," it said.
But it concluded: "With 'The Dark Knight Rises' tracking north of $160 million for its opening weekend, there's little chance Letterman's statements could hurt its box office."