“Horses for courses” — Nolan on why The Dark Knight Rises won’t be in 3D

Yesterday, Christopher Nolan revealed the title of his third (and hopefully not, but probably final) Batman movie starring Christian Bale as Batman — The Dark Knight Rises.

There’s something very noble and poetic about it, and it falls in line with what my friend Kareem and I have talked about in dozens of conversations since we saw The Dark Knight together in Los Angeles in 2008.

As Jim Gordon explained to his son, Batman realized he was truly willing to become whatever Gotham City needed him to be, and if that happened to be a villain, then so be it.

“Why is he running, Dad?”

“Because we have to chase him.”

Gordon’s son is rightfully bewildered. “He didn’t do anything wrong.”

And Gary Oldman just sells the living hell out of the speech that follows, because you can actually hear the moment when Gordon’s heart switches from sinking with sorrow over his friend’s decision to swelling with pride and courage for what’s to come:

“Because he’s the hero Gotham deserves. But not the one it needs right now. So we’ll hunt him. Because he can take it. Because he’s not our hero. He’s a silent guardian. A watchful protector. A Dark Knight.”

And oh, how sweet the sound.

I have no idea what this movie will be about. All I know is that Nolan has worked nothing but magic in Gotham City so far, and that The Dark Knight Rises will bring it all home in style.

And doing means not shooting the movie in distracting, gimmicky 3D, even though Warner Bros. was most certainly pushing for it. Nolan explains his decision to Geoff Boucher on Hero Complex:

“We want the look and feel of the film to be faithful to what has come before in the first two films,” Nolan said. “There was a large canvas and operatic sweep to ‘The Dark Knight’ and we want to make a film that will carry on with that look and feel.”

Stereoscopic presentation would have significantly changed the feel of certain “Dark Knight” scenes, such as rooftop and aerial shots in Hong Kong that created vast and startling night vistas, Nolan said. “There’s an intimacy at times [with spatial illusion of the 3-D effect] and we didn’t want to lose scale…. Our ambition for the third movie is to complete a story that has begun. This is not starting over, this not rebooting. We’re finishing something, and keeping a consistency with what’s come before has real value.”

But the lack of 3D doesn’t mean he still won’t be pushing the limits of shooting it on good old-fashioned film:

The commitment to IMAX and high-definition cameras will enable Nolan to avoid the dim-image challenges that come with 3-D. He said it will let him take the third film in the series into a new strata as far as image quality and the scale that can be achieved with that quality.  “We’re looking to do something technologically that’s never been done before,” Nolan said. “Our ambitions are to make a great movie.”

It won’t be mandatory to see the film in IMAX, however, to “see the benefits of the extraordinarily sharp, high-resolution” images.

Nolan says he’s taking this one “horses for courses,” a British expression meaning one step at a time.

Given how he proves himself a thoughtful craftsman with every film he makes, has that ever been in any doubt?

He doesn’t explicitly say it, but I think he’s going to shoot the entire thing in IMAX.

And we’ll find out on July 20, 2012!

In the meantime, bookmark Batman on Film for all the latest Batman movie news! Bill has already posted some new comments from composer Hans Zimmer, along with his own thoughts on all the latest movie news. No other site will bring you news as accurately or with as much integrity as Bill’s.