Christopher Nolan Opens Up About His Batman Trilogy in New, Revealing Interview

Christopher Nolan Opens Up About His Batman Trilogy in New, Revealing Interview

Nov 29, 2012

 

 
Christopher Nolan fans are in mourning after the third chapter in the director's dark Batman trilogy came to a close this summer. The Film Society of Lincoln Center's blog FilmComment recently spoke to Nolan about the gritty superhero series, and we scoured the lengthy interview for just a few fascinating tidbits. The chat is a worthy read for some insightful reflections and techno-geekery — like the fact that Nolan never uses a second unit director because he feels if things aren't "important enough" for him to shoot them, "they shouldn’t be in the film in the first place."
 
If you've always wondered whether or not that Batman symbol on the apartment door in Following was an Easter egg indicating Nolan's plans to join the Batfranchise, the director cleared things up. "I’d love to pretend that it was some kind of foresight and part of my great master plan, but it was total coincidence," Nolan said. He also chatted about The Dark Knight Rises' connections to the Occupy Wall Street movement: "A lot of the ideas underlying the film come from a situation in which the economy was in crisis and therefore even on the news questions are being asked—unthinkable questions about what might happen in society."
 
For the first story in the trilogy, Nolan put the emphasis on the characters in Batman Begins, indicating he was most interested in "the process of becoming." We also learn that he looked to another superhero movie to mirror its star power:
 
"I do love actors and I feel great actors can find the depth of a characterization that adds to the richness of the film. I felt a lot of the scale of Batman Begins should come through the casting, and once again I looked back to Richard Donner’s Superman for that because he cast Marlon Brando and Glenn Ford and Ned Beatty, all the characters were played by these terrific stars. So we went after that kind of depth of casting."
 
And on the series' villains:
 
"I think truly threatening villains are the ones who have a coherent ideology behind what they’re saying. The challenge in applying that to the Joker was to have part of the ideology be anarchic and a lack of ideology in a sense. But it’s a very specific, laid-out lack of ideology, so it becomes, paradoxically, an ideology in itself."
 
Nolan did confirm (again) that his tenure with Batman is indeed over: "For me, The Dark Knight Rises is specifically and definitely the end of the Batman story as I wanted to tell it, and the open-ended nature of the film is simply a very important thematic idea that we wanted to get into the movie, which is that Batman is a symbol… He saw himself as a catalyst for change and therefore it was a temporary process, maybe a five-year plan that would be enforced for symbolically encouraging the good of Gotham to take back their city. To me, for that mission to succeed, it has to end, so this is the ending for me, and as I say, the open-ended elements are all to do with the thematic idea that Batman was not important as a man, he’s more than that. He’s a symbol, and the symbol lives on."
 

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