The Truth About The Dark Knight Trilogy
After all these years, it's easy to assume we've learned everything there is to know about director Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy but just like Batman himself, these movies are very good at keeping their secrets.
Batman and Superman are often presented in stark opposition to one another. One is a dark figure who triumphs through technology and intimidation; the other is a bright hero who triumphs through superpowers and inspiration. With that in mind, it might be surprising to hear that Christopher Nolan's Batman actually owes quite a bit to the Man of Steel.
Nolan has said that, like many people, he was blown away by Richard Donner's Superman: The Movie in 1978. Among its many brilliant features, he appreciated that it told the full story of Superman's origin. Nolan contrasted this with Tim Burton's 1989 Batman film, in which the character is fully formed by the time the movie starts, and saw Batman Begins as his chance to do Batman in the style of Superman '78: a movie where he could start with a more recognizable setting grounded in reality with a single extraordinary figure in it, and, as the title implies, explore that hero's beginnings. While the shape of the current slate of modern DC films comes from the clash between Batman and Superman, Nolan's masterful trilogy could never have started without the inspiration of the big blue Boy Scout.
One of the most notable aspects of Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy is how much Christian Bale made the character his own. He was, after all, the seventh actor to don the costume for the big screen going all the way back to the '40s, and he knew it was inevitable that he'd be compared to previous Batmen. All of which makes it that much more fascinating that when Bale auditioned for the role of Batman, he did so while wearing Val Kilmer's old Batman suit from Batman Forever.
In fact, Nolan made every prospective Batman actor wear the old suit. Why go through all the trouble? According to the director, being Batman onscreen transcended concepts such as "chemistry" or simple "acting ability." Instead, he needed an actor who would be believable and compelling without being overshadowed by the iconic imagery that made Batman who is is. Or, in other words, he really just needed a guy who looked good in the suit. No wonder Bale did so many push-ups.
Without a doubt, viewers' first glimpse of Harvey Dent's burned face is appropriately grisly. Keep watching the video to see the truth about the Dark Knight trilogy.
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The Superman connection | 0:00
One Batsuit, slightly used | 1:22
A nastier Two-Face | 2:13
The Killing Joke influence | 3:14
The Long Halloween influence | 4:23
The Charles Dickens influence? | 5:38
More inspiration from comics | 6:25
The trilogy that almost wasn't | 7:36
Heath Ledger took a beating | 8:40
Holmes is where the heart is | 9:15
Secrets and lies | 10:07
Turning down Alfred | 11:00
Batman v Batman | 12:09
Manuel for Mayor | 13:26
A suffocating suit | 14:12
Hong Kong controversy | 15:05
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