In 1998, Wally Pfister shot The Hi-Line in Montana in the dead of winter on a $300,000 budget. It got him into the competition at Sundance Film Festival and while the film is all but forgoten, it was there, that he met Christopher Nolan who asked him to be his D.O.P. in the neo-noir thriller Memento (2000). The success of this collaboration resulted in Pfister taking over as Director of Photography for Nolan’s subsequent films: Insomnia (2002), Batman Begins (2005), The Prestige (2006), The Dark Knight (2008), which he partially shot with IMAX cameras, and Inception, which was shot partially in 5-perf 65mm. As of 2010, Pfister is the only cinematographer that Christopher Nolan has worked with except Following (1998), on which Nolan himself acted as cinematographer. So it’s no surprise that the four time Academy Award nominee will be returning to work with Nolan in the upcoming Batman movie.
Pfister recently talked a bit about reading the script for The Dark Knight Rises, penned by Nolan and his brother Jonathan. When asked how Nolan can top The Dark Knight, Pfister responded:
“I asked the same question. I read the script two weeks ago, and he’s done it. Plain and simple — he’s done it. It’s a phenomenal script. He’s still in the process of cutting it back because it’s a very long script right now, but it’s really phenomenal. And he actually had me go back and wanted me to watch, in IMAX, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight again. When I watched those I had read the script for The Dark Knight Rises and was like, ‘dude, it is a perfect trilogy.’ I think that was his intent, to work off those two pictures — and they are very different pictures. And it’s funny, we all had different opinions about which picture we like better.”
Talking to the Kevin and Josh Movie Show (via Nolan Fans and Ropes of Silicon), Pfister revealed that they plan to shoot the majority of The Dark Knight Rises in IMAX:
“Our goal is to shoot as much in IMAX as we can. We’re going to put in on the screen, and put it on the screen big. And I really encourage everyone to see it in IMAX if they can because we’re really going for it this time. In terms of the action, we are all scratching our heads right now trying to figure out how we’re going to do it; how we’re going to do it in the amount of time we’re going to do it in. The opening scene of the movie will blow your mind.”
It was also noted that Pfister shot Anne Hathaway’s screen test for the upcoming film and had this to say regarding her as Selina Kyle:
“She’s so good. She did an incredible job. She is a great, great actress… and she looked phenomenal in the wardrobe.”
Filming is set to get underway in May. The Dark Knight Rises hits theaters on July 20th, 2012.