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.