Aint It Cool News reporting IMAX rumour about Chris Nolan’s third Batman film

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Harry Knowles from Aint It Cool News, every film geek’s favourite purveyor of movie gossip, has reported that “The THIRD chapter of Christopher Nolan’s Caped Crusader’s saga could very well be FULLY shot in IMAX, not IMAX Digital – but the beautiful, stunning IMAX that we saw pieces of THE DARK KNIGHT in.”  Knowles acknowledges that the difficulties in undertaking such an challenge are enormous; they include “the cost of shooting an entire feature film on IMAX… the stock, the time it takes to reset, to load, to move the cameras…”  However, he thinks the outcomes have the potential of being amazing, because “as Nolan proved with DARK KNIGHT – the difference is stunning.”  The Dark Knight was the “first time ever that a major feature film has been even partially shot using IMAX cameras.”

After the tremendous success of The Dark Knight, I could see a studio considering dolling out the funds for a completely IMAX-driven sequel.  However, in the end, I do not think that the studio would spend the money, for several reasons.

First, I believe that both the triumphant performance and tragic pre-release death of co-star Heath Ledger was a significant driving factor in the film’s tremendous worldwide $1,001,921,825 gross.

Second, getting the full effect of exhibition means the film must be shown in an IMAX theatre.  There are only a few theatres equipped with this technology.  Thus, spending a huge amount of money to shoot the entire film in IMAX when you can only see the IMAX effect in a limited number of theatres makes spending all that money a lousy investment.   My hometown of Ottawa only has one theatrical  IMAX theatre.  Many small towns have none.  Just shooting a few scenes in IMAX as was done for The Dark Knight makes more financial sense.  You can show it in IMAX in major markets and still make a good chunk of change.

It would be an impressive visual feat to see an entire Batman film done with this revolutionary technology. From purely a cinephile’s perspective, it would likely be visually stunning.  However, I do not think it will happen.  Commerce often trumps art.


  1. Drew says

    Thanks for the erudite response; I hate the 3D false advertising too. A 60% showing does not mean a film is opening in 3D; they should say “being shown in 3D in select theatres.” As braindead as some of the prequels were, I must admit the “Final Destination” trailer looks awesome…and I will shell out the extra (if its required) to see it in real 3D.

    Keep on posting!

  2. PlanBFromOuterSpace says

    Aside from only a very small percentage of theaters even being able to show the film in the way it’s meant to be seen, you’d also have to consider other factors like “Is it worth spending the extra money when the same people already NOT seeing the film in IMAX aren’t going to notice any difference anyway?”. Talk about pissing away your money to please a very small percentage of people. A third Batman film will already be called a “disappointment” from a financial standpoint I’m sure when it fails to make a half a billion dollars in it’s domestic run. If they filmed entirely in IMAX, to the delight of relatively few, it would just be throwing more fuel on the fire of people pre-determined to hate on the product regardless of it’s performance.

    Does anyone remember waaaayyyy back in 2007 when Spider-Man, Shrek, and Pirates all made 300 million within a month of each other and no one seemed to notice? Sure, they’d all been out-performed by their predecessors, so it didn’t seem like an impressive feat, but I’m sure that all of those productions had way more money needlessly spent on them BECAUSE of the freakish grosses of the past films in their respective franchises. What also didn’t help was that none of these films were GOOD, so costs were inflated AND people weren’t as psyched about seeing the next installments. Warner Brothers needs to make sure they don’t fall into the “If we spend more, it will make more” mindset, and nixing the full-IMAX idea (if it’s even legit) would be a good first step.

    On a kind of somewhat, sort of, semi-related note, does anyone else get annoyed by the “…and showing in 2D in select theaters” line that we’re seeing so much of lately in ads for 3-D movies? I manage a theater (I’m not THE manager, but A manager), and we’re constantly having to tell people that films advertised as being in 3-D cannot be shown at our location IN 3-D, that we don’t even have the right projectors for it (We WILL be getting them by year’s end, however), and neither do most locations. Anyway, the “select theaters” tag pisses me off, because in this case, “select” means at least 60% of all screens. I’m sure it goes up even more as the weeks go on, as other 3-D flicks come out and need those auditoriums, but “Select theaters” makes it sound like we were hand-picked to NOT show the film in the way that everyone wants to see it. Ugh. Explaining the “why nots” to the “Final Destination” crowd is going to be such a pain in the ass this weekend…

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