Christopher Nolan Says He Made Batman Serious So He’d Be Believable

Also watch Christian Bale’s Batman Screen Test… With Superman’s Girlfriend.

Out Tuesday, the Blu-ray set features Nolan’s movies Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises — films that are, for the filmmaker, extremely heightened and operatic.

With three Batman films, director Christopher Nolan won accolades for the grounded fashion he crafted the adventures of the Dark Knight and the various villains who want to see Gotham City destroyed, raising the bar for comic-book movies as a whole.

However, it was never exactly about creating a sense of direct reality, Nolan reveals in a behind-the-scenes look at creating his Bat-movies in the new The Dark Knight Trilogy: Ultimate Collector’s Edition.

“But it’s about what I suppose you might term a cinematic reality,” Nolan explains. “It’s about giving the world of the films and the characters as much weight and validity as they would if your source material were not a comic book — if he was a character in another genre of film you were having to introduce to the audience for the first time and get them to believe it.

“That’s what my use of the reality is about. It’s not about a literal reality.”

The fact that it’s not real life is part of the appeal for Nolan about Gotham, its protector (Christian Bale) and the baddies he fights, from Liam Neeson‘s methodical Ra’s al Ghul in Batman Begins to the late Heath Ledger‘s psychotic Joker in The Dark Knight to Tom Hardy‘s bruising Bane in The Dark Knight Rises.

They’re removed from real life enough that “you can address dramatic elements that would be extremely uncomfortable in a realistic film in a way that lets the audience enjoy the experience and entertainment.

“Hopefully it gives them a little something to think about and gets under their skin in some ways.”

The Ultimate collection includes new special features, including “The Fire Rises: The Creation and Impact of the Dark Knight Trilogy,” a look at Nolan’s franchise and its effect on filmmaking with Guillermo del Toro, Damon Lindelof and Zack Snyder among those weighing in; a conversation between Nolan and Superman director Richard Donner about bringing iconic superheroes to the big screen; and the IMAX sequences in The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises.

There is also another clip from the Dark Knight Trilogy box set, featuring Christian Bale‘s screentest, in one of Val Kilmer‘s old suits. He was very thin at the time, fresh off The Machinist, but putting on a bit of a gruff helped convince Chris Nolan and co. that he was the man.

For the purposes of these screen tests, Amy Adams stood in opposite the various Batmen, as “a favour”. This would have been in 2004, I believe, before her breakout with Junebug. Next year, she’ll actually get to make a Batman movie.

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