Nolan & Bale Talk Dark Knight

This month sees the release of the long awaited Batman: The Dark Knight the sequel to smash hit movie Batman Begins. In a recent interview for UK Movie Magazine Empire both Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale talked about how they think this new movie will be different from previous Superhero movies.

British Director Christopher Nolan is not really known for doing superhero movies or for that matter sequels – Batman Begins back in 2005 was new territory for the director. Prior to that he was best known for directing movies like Memento, which examined the darker aspects of humanity – some, of which he brought to his first Batman movie.

Nolan when asked if it felt strange to be making a sequel at the behest of a studio revealed that he felt a little liberated by it.

“There are limitations in terms of having to meet certain expectations and then trying to exceed them. So this is probably the first film I’ve done that is completely linear in form, because that felt very much the way it should follow on from Batman Begins. But I didn’t actually see that as a limitation. Taking on a sequel is actually quite liberating. Normally, however you’re addressing the material, you have to explain who people are. You have to show certain movements in the narrative in the first third to get to a particular point. With a sequel you don’t have to do any of that. You can just jump straight in.”

The Bruce Wayne and Batman we see in Batman: The Dark Knight is different to the guy we saw in the first movie. According to Christian Bale the first movie was about Bruce Wayne reaching for his power and finding his calling.

“He has it. So it’s a totally different mindset that he’s in.” Bale says, “He’s somebody having to hold on to and retain power, and he has to become accustomed to the responsibility that comes with it, instead of being a sort of angry young man who’s trying to find a way to hit out without damaging the wrong people. Now you’ve got somebody who finds himself more needed than ever. That was never the plan. The plan was that he would return to what he could make as much of a normal life as possible. He’s finding that it’s… He can’t escape it, you know?”

Over the last decade or so Superhero movies have come and gone – but the sequels to these movies have often fallen into the trap of utilising to many of the colourful characters from the comic book universe. Most recently Spiderman 3 was guilty of this and the critics butchered the movie for trying to do too much in the allotted 2 hours. The Dark Knight has a fair few characters in it from the Batman Universe – the main two being Heath Ledger in his final movie role as The Joker and Aaron Eckhart in the duel role of D.A. Harvey Dent/Two Face. When challenged about the potential pitfalls of having to many characters in the new Batman movie Nolan is quick to counter.

“Yes, but the ambition has to be to make a film that in some way moves on and develops the world you’re in,” argues Nolan. “Otherwise you’re just making a TV show – you’re making episodes of the same thing. When a sequel’s done badly, you take pot – shots at it and say, ‘Why did they stuff all these extra characters in?’ But when it worlds well, whether it’s The Godfather: Part II or The Empire Strikes Back, nobody complains. You have to try and expand it, and you have to try and do it well. In genre terms, if the first film had a very noirish quality to it, then what we’ve done with this film is taken on the dynamic of a story of the city, a large crime story. The broader canvas demands more characters to fill it. The audience accepts that type of storytelling where you’re looking at the police, the justice system, the vigilante, the poor people, the rich people, and the criminals. I’m hoping it’s the sort of film that Michael Mann always does very well, like Heat…” Nolan Smiles “…But with the occasional psychotic clown running through it.”

In other Batman: The Dark Knight news Digital Spy reports that star Christian Bale has hit back against fans and Critics who’ve been calling for Heath ledgers final performance to be cut from the movie. Some have even gone as far as saying that the movie should not be shown.

Heath Ledger who passed away in January from an accidental drug overdose plays the Joker. One scene in particular that may not make it into the movie sees him being carried off in a body bag.

“I know there are a lot of people out there who don’t think this movie should be shown,” Bale admitted. “But, if you’re asking my opinion, I think that’s bloody insane. I also think it’s an insult to Heath and everything he stood for. I don’t think anything should be cut – I think it’s the movie he wanted to make.”

“The guy was brilliant. He was a fantastic actor and he put everything into this part,” Christian continued. “I absolutely know without question that he would have wanted everyone to see it. For me, this is a celebration of what he did best – entertain people…respect the man. This is what he did. This is what he wanted to do.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *