Christopher Nolan, the mastermind behind the current Batman film franchise and this summer’s Inception, is notoriously one of the the most tight lipped film makers currently working. He seems to revel in keeping as many details about his projects as secret as he can for as long as possible. However he has been known to let out a few little tid bits every now and then. The LA Times has reported a number of juicy details about the next Batman film, revealed in an interview with the at times elusive writer/director.
Firstly the third film in his Batman series has a title: The Dark Knight Rises. While a title is normally not a big announcement it this title seems to indicate a direction for the hero to be taking. At the conclusion of The Dark Knight Batman essentially had to allow himself to become the villain so that he could preserve Gotham’s faith in the late Harvey Dent. Dent of course had become Two-Face and gone on a low level killing spree and Batman knew that if the public ever found out that their white knight had fallen so far it would break their spirit. He told Gordon to call it in that he had been the killer and this put him a position of having to flee the authorities and face the derision of the city that had lauded him before. This is a pretty low place for the hero to start the next film but the title seems to indicate that Batman will rise again to his previous heights, and perhaps even beyond.
The much bigger news coming out of the interview was regarding the villain. Nolan will still not confirm which of Batman’s extensive rogue’s gallery will be featured in The Dark Knight Rises, however he did say that it would not be the Riddler. This long time villain (previously portrayed by Jim Carrey in Batman Forever) has long been suspected to serve as the antagonist for Batman since Nolan had confirmed that he would not recast the Joker (played in The Dark Knight by the late Heath Ledger.) The Riddler seemed like a natural fit for the world that Nolan had created, his love of puzzles and riddles could easily be twisted to match the dark tone of the films.
This of course leaves the question of who the villain will be. Given the more serious and realistic tone of the films it seems unlike that Nolan would use the more outlandish villains from the comics such as Poison Ivy, Mr. Freeze or Killer Croc. For more realistic enemies there’s still the Penguin but that may be a difficult villain to make work in Nolan’s vision of Batman. The Penguin’s stature and love of birds is a bit too comical. It’s true that this villain has been used very well in the comics in recent years as more of a straight gangster, but these films have already had plenty of those. The new favorite amongst fans and speculators would seem to be Catwoman. She could certainly fit into the tone of these films though being a burglar she seems like a low key antagonist. There’s also been speculation that Nolan may bring back Harvey Dent in some form. The character appeared to die at the end of The Dark Knight however it’s possible he could have survived his fall and is now kept under wraps at Arkham Asylum. At this point fans will just have to wait for more information from Nolan.
The last bit of information revealed in the interview was that Nolan has talked Warner Bros. out of shooting the film in 3D. Instead Nolan plans to make maximum use of the IMAX format. Several key action scenes of The Dark Knight had been shot specifically for IMAX and Nolan hopes to film even more of this new film in that manner. The release for the film is still planned for the summer of 2012 and it suspected that casting is ongoing, but Nolan would not confirm that.