Homicidal maniac in a well-crafted movie: great entertainment. Homicidal maniac in an actual movie theater… Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons grapple with the horrific news out of Aurora, discussing whether and how it should relate to the film that was being screened, Christopher Nolan’s THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, and also how these events should affect Spotlight’s geekly mandate of discussing the film in-depth.
Then, they do go on to analyze Nolan’s final chapter to his universally celebrated Batman trilogy, evaluating how the decision to keep the Batman (Christian Bale) off-stage for long stretches of the film effect our expectations, whether the choice of Bane (Tom Hardy) and Catwoman (Anne Hathaway) as villains gave the masked crimefighter a suitable roster of adversaries, and whether this last tale provides a fitting summation to the themes established and explored from the very first film.
Contrary to eariler reports, composer Hans Zimmer (THE DARK KNIGHT) told The Hollywood Reporter that he would NOT be scoring Zack Synder’s SUPERMAN Reboot.
No! Absolutely not! You know, I can’t even remember ever talking about Superman… How can I say it: My heart belongs to Batman. I wouldn’t even know how to go and give voice to it. I haven’t thought about it.
Asked if he would be be interested in following in the footsteps of John Williams, composer of SUPERMAN THE MOVIE’s epic score, he had this to say:
” Right! John Williams, the greatest living composer — full stop. And that happens to be one of his greatest themes. So no. And I’m not thinking of rewriting Beethoven’s Ninth either. It just sounds like a thankless task, you know? So that’s unequivocally a no. I have never spoken with Zack Snyder.”
Offhand, I’d say we can probably take Hans Zimmer at his word that he is not planning to write the music for any Superman project currently in the cards.
Christopher Nolan revealed to The L.A. Times that his third Batman film will be entitled THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, and that it won’t feature The Riddler, as many news outlets, both print and online, have speculated.
Not willing to go into detail about plot or characters Nolan did say: ” “We’ll use many of the same characters as we have all along, and we’ll be introducing some new ones.”
Christopher Nolan also eliminated Mr. Freeze as a potential villian, although it would be hard to imagine that sci-fi/fantasy character fitting into his more real-world grounded version of the venerable DC Comics character.
However, he was more open about his plans about how to shoot the THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, confirming that Warner Brothers has agreed to his desire to not make the film in 3-D, and instead focus on image quality and the use of IMAX cameras, which worked quite well in selected scenes of THE DARK KNIGHT.
According to Deadline.com, Tom Hardy (STAR TREK: NEMESIS) may be playing a part in Christopher Nolan’s third Batman film.
He was recently in the director’s SF film INCEPTION, and site speculates he may be in discussions to play a villain in the follow-up to THE DARK KNIGHT.
Tom Hardy was due to play a role in MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, but it looks like that film is going to be delayed.
EmpireOnline got some confirmation from Christopher Nolan about directing the as-yet untitled BATMAN 3.
“It’s becoming inevitable, I’ll put it that way. I feel myself falling into it, I guess. And getting it all figured out and I’m pretty excited about what we’re doing so… If I haven’t announced it, I think that people probably all know at this point that I’m doing it.”
As for who “WE” might be, Chris Nolan told the site that he’s working on brother Jonathan Nolan’s script for the film now. So there is a screenplay, but no announcement of villain or plot, thus far.
A post at FirstShowing.net claims that the third installment in Chrisopher Nolan’s Batman saga will re-introduce a familiar and beloved Gotham villain into the film continuity: The Riddler. Not only is the infamous Edward Nigma said to be making an appearance in the much-anticipated sequel to THE DARK KNIGHT, but rumor has it that INCEPTION’s own Joseph Gordon-Levitt is “interested” in the role. The possibility still exists that additional villains may be thrown into the mix as well, including Catwoman, the Penguin, and/or Killer Croc.
But wait, there’s more. ComicBookMovie.com purports that they’ve uncovered a possible plot synopsis for the film:
Bruce Wayne buries himself in work as Batman and leaves his Bruce Wayne persona behind as their is nothing left for him no more and hasn’t been seen for 6 months in public and is said to be locked away in the newly built Wayne Manor.
This fits in with rumors that Warner Brothers recently purchased a whole host of internet domain names, including WheresBruceWayne.com. Could this be another viral marketing campaign similar to the “I Believe in Harvey Dent” site that accompanied THE DARK KNIGHT? At the time of this writing, the URL returns no result yet, but we’ll be monitoring it closely.
Now, once again, this is all rumor. But it certainly is something to think about!
After THE DARK KNIGHT wowed audiences with its stunning visual sequences shot in IMAX format, director Christopher Nolan and his director of photography Wally Pfister are considering shooting the third installment in their series entirely in IMAX.
According to MTV, Pfister called the idea “my preferred, amazing goal,” adding, “I like IMAX more than I like 3-D.” Nolan voiced a similar opinion in June, saying that he was “not a huge fan of 3-D.” Personally, I’m with Pfister. While films made specifically for 3-D, like AVATAR and TOY STORY 3, are often visually striking, I still see 3-D as a kind of gimmick on the whole. I prefer a high resolution 2-D picture over a mediocre 3-D picture. If more high profile films would go the 2-D IMAX route instead of the second rate 3-D route (I’m looking at you, CLASH OF THE TITANS), the film industry could find itself in a much better place in the near future.
Obviously any final decision regarding the way “BATMAN 3” is shot will be the ultimate decision of Warner Bros., but it is interesting that Pfister and Nolan are even considering this. If they can provide Warner with a successful proof of concept, we might be seeing more all-IMAX films in the coming years!
In the wake of the relatively disappointing box-office results and sharply critical reaction to SUPERMAN RETURNS, Warner Brothers Pictures decided to go with a kind of re-boot for their next Superman film. THE DARK KNIGHT’S Christopher Nolan will produce, with his brother Jonathan Nolan directing, with a script by David Goyer.
In a 2008 interview in The Wall Street Journal, Warner Brothers Pictures Group President Jeff Robinov revealed that the studio wanted to make better use of the DC Comics characters, and said: “We’re going to try to go ‘dark’, to the extent that the characters allow it.”
The implication was that any new Superman film would follow this plan of operations.
Some might react negatively to this idea, maintaining that Superman is not a dark character. Well, admittedly, he’s certainly not as complicated on a psychological level as the Dark Knight—but there’s plenty of darkness within the Man of Steel’s world and the character’s history.
In a recent interview with Empire Magazine, Christopher Nolan gave some hints about the direction they might go, relating his reactions to writer David Goyer’s concept of how to bring Superman to the screen.
“It was the first time I’ve been able to conceive of how you’d address Superman in a modern context I thought it was a really exciting idea. What you have to remember about Batman and Superman is that what makes them the best superhero characters there are, the most beloved after all this time, is the essence of who they were when they were created, when they were first developed. You can’t move too far away from that.”
While it’s premature to speculate exactly what Goyer and the Nolan’s take might be, let’s put the matter into historical context.
Siegel and Shuster’s hero, in the early days of the comic, was not always known for a sunny disposition. Superman was a mysterious and sometimes alarming figure. He was quite willing and able to threaten wrong doers—and occasionally uncooperative officials—with shows of force. This included abducting suspected criminals and using the implied threat of death to intimidate them into revealing information or confess to their crimes.
The cover of Action #1 features Superman smashing a car that belongs to terrified, fleeing hoodlums, as a subtle reminder not to force pretty girl reporters into your automobile. In the same story, he breaks into to the governor’s mansion, manhandles his secretary, tears down a steel door and forces the governor to review evidence to avert a wrongful execution by the state.
Superman’s ire and iron will were perfectly natural, but his reactions were not always limited to destruction of property. In plain point of fact, in the early years of the comic book Superman sometimes allowed criminals and others to die in their attempts to destroy the Man of Steel or those under his protection. From time to time he outright killed people whose activities enraged him, such as executioners and torturers in the military service of other sovereign countries.
He would warn some wrong-doers who seemed protected by the law to leave Metropolis—or else face his brand of justice. The Man of Tomorrow’s occasional use of lethal force didn’t end until sometime in 1943, by direct editorial edict.
His actions were not those of a “boy scout”, as he is sometimes labeled. The Boy Scouts are a commendable group, but within the context of the Superman comics and recent animated cartoons, the term boy scout is used as somewhat pejorative label; that Superman is the guy who plays too much by the rules, too nice for his own (and potentially other’s) good.
“A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.”
Superman is many of those things, some of them consistently. But we know he is not always truthful; he tells many white lies to protect himself and others.
Metropolis’s underworld would not describe him as cheerful and friendly—and in all likelihood, neither would a number of the city’s officials. It’s been seen in the animated series that the federal government doesn’t entirely trust him, either.
Superman did not or still does not always bend his will to authority, he sometimes uses his own judgement about who he will obey, who he will aid, and whose plans he will thwart.
Personally, I’d like to see something akin to the hard-nosed Superman of the first season of the George Reeves ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN series.
You wantdark? That season of the show, as produced by Superman radio series vet Robert Maxwell was just about film noir in style, on average. His Superman was no boy scout, despite likely sharing some of their values.
Maxwell made him aggressive, coldly contemptuous of crooks, more than willing to use force as he deems fit, and not overly concerned with legal niceties.
For an extreme example, in The Stolen Costume, he expresses no observable remorse when the crooks who’ve learned his secret die attempting to escape the mountain cabin he’s imprisoned them in, without trial. The Man of Steel has acted as sole judge and jury in this rare case. It has a surprising whiff of realism, and adds a hint of fear about what might happen if this strange visitor from another planet went rogue.
Of course, this is not what the comic book character and even the 50’s TV version evolved into: a softer, more reasonable and almost paternal figure. But he never quite lost that ‘avenging angel’ side.
So a ‘darker’, more realistic version of Superman is quite within the boundaries of the character.
Remember, Superman is what The Batman pretends to be: a superhuman, nearly unstoppable justice figure—and he should be just as feared by criminals. He should be a mystery to people, his identity unknown and exact motives unclear—at least at first. His sudden appearances and amazing abilities should be a source of wonder and speculation. Superman could be something of an urban legend, with reporter Lois Lane hot on his trail, eager to prove the caped wonder’s existence to doubters like Perry White and that annoying Clark Kent. Kent, by the way, needn’t be a stuttering milksop—just a guy who might be more talk than action, possibly a bit of a coward, someone who seems to run away from trouble.
George Reeves’ Kent was a slightly cynical and sarcastic investigative reporter—Bud Collyer’s milder-mannered radio version was equally effective at that job, and actually worked with the G-Men and military intelligence during World War Two.
SUPERMAN RETURNS depicted the character as a ‘savior’, and seemed to saddle the Man of Steel with a bit of a martyr complex. Over the years, he has been sometimes been portrayed as having nearly limitless powers.
This is, I think, a mistake in film adaptations of the character.
The scaled-down abilities of the earlier comics, radio and TV series could work better in a film intended to be more based in the real world . Some actions need to be difficult for him, and other things beyond even Superman’s abilities. Everything is then more of a challenge for the hero, and the character becomes less god-like, more human and fallible. It’s an angle worth considering.
Lastly, Metropolis is a big place; a city of many contrasts, rich and poor living just a few streets away. It has clean commercial areas and posh well-lit districts, as well as seedy areas, such as ‘Suicide Slum’ and the waterfront, where both valuables and people are known to disappear. Organized crime and secretive scientific research labs are common, interwoven with seemingly legitimate businesses.
Seems to me that after nightfall, Metropolis would be nearly as dark as Gotham City. And as long as there’s crime and corruption, injustice and tragedy, there will always be a job for Superman.
Cinematical have been talking to Wally Pfister, DoP for both BATMAN BEGINS and THE DARK KNIGHT, about the progress with Christopher Nolan’s (THE DARK KNIGHT, THE PRESTIGE) BATMAN 3. Pfister spoke about the possibility of shooting BATMAN 3 in 3D, IMAX or digitally.
Jonathan Nolan, Christopher’s brother and script writing partner, is currently hard at work writing BATMAN 3 which will hopefully bring the BATMAN trilogy to a fitting close. Meanwhile Pfister has been quick is discount the possibility of a 3D BATMAN sequel,
“I did it [IMAX] for one shot of The Dark Knightbecause Chris said, ‘You have to say you did it,’ and literally I had this strapped to my shoulder and I was carrying it. But I think he is game for doing something interesting like that. Lord knows that the 3D fad might pass by the time that summer comes around”.
He then added,
“I know one thing about the film that Chris is adamant about is that he wants to shoot on film. He doesn’t want to shoot on video, and I’m the same way”.
So it’s a possibility Nolan will shoot some scenes of BATMAN 3 in IMAX (as he did with THE DARK KNIGHT) but won’t be going anywhere near 3D or purely digital camera technology. I’d say all three pieces of information are a blessing; BATMAN 3 doesn’t need to be in 3D as story has always come first for Nolan’s interpretation of the comic book character and I’d personally take film over digital any day.
BATMAN 3 is long a way off yet, with the studio probably looking at a release sometime in 2012, but stay tuned for more information on the highly anticipated sequel as Nolan embarks on the INCEPTION press tour, in which he’s more than likely to let some details slip.
Hollywood Reporter informs us that THE DARK KNIGHT has achieved the remarkable feat of becoming the best-selling movie download of the year at Apple’s iTunes – even though it is not available yet:
According to Apple, consumers have been pre-ordering the movie for purchase and rental at such a fast clip that it has surpassed Disney’s “WALL-E” as this year’s top iTunes movie download.
Rounding out the iTunes Top 5 are “Kung Fu Panda,” “Iron Man” and “National Treasure: Book of Secrets.”