"The Joker is presented as an absolute."

IGN just interviewed The Dark Knight writer/director Christopher Nolan about all kinds of things related to the July 18 Batman Begins sequel, and now I’m even more excited than I already was.

IGN interviews Christopher Nolan, Page 1

IGN interviews Christopher Nolan, Page 2

Grab a Pepsi and some nachos, gang. I’m going to share some of my favorite highlights.

Nolan on IMAX scenes in the finished film:

I think there will be four or five in the finished film. I’ve only just started editing the feature so it is as yet uncertain. As we shot we intended to shoot four, but we enjoyed it so much and we were loving the results so much as we watching dailies. We were sitting there on the stage in Chicago watching dailies on an eight-story screen. It’s a pretty incredible thing. So were started throwing the cameras a little bit more and more, so it will be a little more in the film than that but primarily they’re the big action beats.

Nolan on casting Heath Ledger as The Joker:

I’d met with Heath several times on projects in the past and nothing had ever come of it. And I think he’d heard I was looking for someone to play the Joker before we had a script, and I’d heard that he was really actually into the idea. And we met and we got each other. We both had exactly the same concept in our heads of who that guy would be in this film in the way that we’d interpreted it. It wasn’t specific to, “Oh, he’s going to look like this or talk like that” at all. It was about a psychological concept. It was about a character concept. It was about the threat of anarchy. It was about anarchy being the most frightening thing there is. Chaos and anarchy in this day and age, and I think it is. It’s certainly the thing I’m most afraid of.

Nolan on The Joker’s appearance:

Well, we never wanted to do an origin story for the Joker in this film. The arc of the story is much more Harvey Dent’s; the Joker is presented as an absolute. It’s a very thrilling element in the film, and a very important element, but we wanted to deal with the rise of the Joker not the origin of the Joker, if that makes sense.

Yes! I use this analogy all the time, but it’s like Hannibal Rising, which presented all these childhood traumas to explain Hannibal Lecter. I hated it, and here’s why: What’s scarier? A Hannibal Lecter who does what he does because of deep psychological and emotional tragedies from his past, or a brilliant, charming, cultured gentleman who wakes up one morning and decides he likes to eat people? I’ll go with the latter every time, because sometimes evil just happens. And that’s The Joker. Who is he? What is he? It doesn’t matter. He can’t be figured out and he can’t be fought. That’s terrifying.

Nolan on whether Bale’s recent casting as John Connor in the next Terminator movie will keep him from playing Batman again:

That would be news to him. No, it’s great. He’s an incredible actor and will bring something great to that production. They’re very lucky to have him, but he’s not afraid to take risks and take on all kinds of different projects. That’s one of the reasons why I like working with him.

I recommend reading the whole thing.

It’s awesome.

Big thanks to IGN for the intelligent interview, and big thanks to Christopher Nolan for giving me the Batman movies I’ve been waiting my whole life for.