Nolan Has Bat-Vision
Variety had the details from director Christopher Nolan about the upcoming BATMAN movie.
After a disappointing fourth installment, and three false starts at a fifth version, Batman will be born again. But don’t call this the latest in the series. Consider it “Batman: Year One.”
This time around, it’s about the genesis of Batman: How billionaire Bruce Wayne makes a series of decisions that turn him into the Caped Crusader. Batman will be more realistic and less cartoonish. There are no campy villains. Wayne — younger, more vulnerable, more human — will be getting as much attention as his masked alter-ego.
“I felt like doing the origins story of the character, which is a story that’s never been told before,” says Chris Nolan (“Insomnia,” “Memento”), who takes the reins of “Batman” from Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher.
Humanity and realism, says Nolan, is the crux of the new pic.
“The world of Batman is that of grounded reality,” he says. Burton’s and Schumacher’s visions were idiosyncratic and unreal. Nolan says, “Ours will be a recognizable, contemporary reality against which an extraordinary heroic figure arises.”
Nolan, a self-confessed James Bond fan as a child, is keen on reinventing Wayne as more of a modern-day Bond than hapless playboy — an action-adventure hero who has mythic qualities and battles the odds to save the world.
While the new Bruce Wayne is getting emphasis, Nolan, scripter David Goyer and WB have focused on fixing problems that plagued the other pics. For example, Bruce Wayne was too dark and impenetrable and had lost the humorous side found in the comics. The character was basically just dead screen time until Batman appears — which in the new film may not happen until 40 minutes after it begins.
“If we’re successful, the thing that will be talked about a lot and on what we worked on the hardest is that the audience will really care about Bruce Wayne and not just Batman,” Goyer says. It doesn’t matter how much you spend on special effects — if it feels hollow, no one gives a damn.”
Rather than pit Batman against a new set of supervillains, the new film focuses on how billionaire Bruce Wayne becomes the Dark Knight.
“It’s almost impossible to reinvent Batman,” says Robinov. “Chris is reintroducing Batman, and it feels smart and cool and fresh. That’s no disrespect to the other movies, but it’s really Chris’ vision of Batman, and that’s what we’re supporting.”
There’ll be a new Batmobile, a new arsenal of gadgets, a new Batsuit (sans nipples) as well as a new musical theme.
Even Gotham City is getting a facelift. Previous pics made the city seem dark and claustrophobic or garishly stylized. Instead of lensing on sets built inside huge soundstages, the new film will be shot on locations in New York, London and Iceland, assembling pieces of each city to recreate Gotham as a modern-day metropolis.
In terms of whether the movie will be too dark, Robinov says the film’s more about conflict than darkness: about Batman’s internal conflict and what drives him to suit up as a superhero.
Nolan Has Bat-Vision