Will ‘Batman 3′ be 3D?

Published 5 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:29 pm,

At the Hero Complex Film Festival this weekend, Christopher Nolan spent some time in between screenings of Insomnia and The Dark Knight answering questions from L.A. Times’ columnist Geoff Boucher as well as audience members. Amongst the intriguing insight into his own career – his opinion on 3D caught my eye.

We commented on Nolan’s thoughts when he answered a similar question a couple of months ago, but his relatively contradictory answers raise an important query – Will Batman 3 be presented in 3D? Unfortunately, I am now convinced it will.

When Geoff Boucher posed the question, “What is your general philosophy on 3D and is it something you anticipate being a big part of your canvas?” Nolan initially expressed a general lack of enthusiasm for the format – adding that audiences will have a key role in whether his future projects incorporate 3D.

“I’m not a huge fan of 3D, really. There is no question that if audiences want to watch films in stereoscopic imaging, that is what the studios will be doing and that is what I’ll be doing. The truth is, I think it is a misnomer to call it 3D versus 2D, because the whole point of cinematic imagery is that it is 3D imagery, we work in three dimensions. You know, 95% of our depth cues come from occlusion, resolution and so forth. So, the idea of calling a 2D movie a 2D movie is a little misleading. I don’t know, we did test some of Inception in post-conversion processes and they worked very well. It is quite easy to do, in fact. But it takes a little time and we didn’t have time to do it up to the standards that I would have been happy with. But it was fascinating technology. On a technical level I think it is fascinating. There are just enormous compromises. Post-conversion processes are probably, for me, the way of the future. But, really it is up to audiences to decide what they want to see and how they want to watch their films. Certainly, I am quite pleased with Inception and the way it is presented – very bright, very clear. So, as the technology improves, those differences may change. Really, it’s going to be up to audiences.”

Nolan’s hat tip to the audience may be a bit naïve – considering the private nature of his creative process, it is surprising to hear moviegoers have a large impact on the way his films are presented. If he really does intend to listen to the masses, how can Batman 3 not be released in 3D?

3D Batman 3 Will Batman 3 be 3D?

Avatar and Alice in Wonderland grossed a combined $3.75 billion and Clash of the Titans came in just under $500 million. Clearly, audiences want to see 3D, regardless of the complaints of people like ourselves. Nolan even mentioned later in the interview that while viewing a 3D presentation “it is impossible to forget you are watching a film at times.”

Clearly, Nolan is old-school. He loves shooting on film and can’t see himself using video any time in his career. In fact, he said he doesn’t even have e-mail or a cell phone, let alone look at the Internet.

His go-to cinematographer, Wally Pfister, has also shared contempt for digital filmmaking. It is safe to assume Nolan will never be directly shooting a film in 3D.

Batman 3 is potentially the most important release in Warner Bros.’ known future and if they give Nolan the time he needs to convert it in post-production, why would he say no? Everything he said above has me confident he’ll present the next Batman installment with a converted release in 2012.

I found it interesting to hear that Nolan spent time converting Inception into 3D during the editing process. The fact he actually liked the look was even more surprising. It would appear if Warner Bros. gave Nolan more time, we would be seeing a post-conversion 3D Inception instead of the regular one releasing on July 16th.

If you ask me, I’m glad there wasn’t time – it’s a pleasure to see a tentpole studio film shown only in the regular format for a change.

Inception image Will Batman 3 be 3D?

On an unrelated note, he added one bit of information on the status of Inception.

“We are just getting off the dub stage – just finished the last reels’ sound work for our early screenings. I’ve got about another week finishing it off.”

Those of you aching to hear the opinions on the finished product should stay tuned. Updates are surely around the corner.

What do you think of the possibility of Batman 3D? Under Nolan’s direction, would you have more confidence in the process or does it bruise your hope for the film? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Inception folds into theaters and IMAX on July 16th, 2010.

Batman 3 is set to release in 2012.

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  1. I think its safe to assume that from this point on any big screen blockbuster (and most movies in general) will be in 3D its what the masses want.
    Personally I dont care either way and I will likely see the regular version of every new release while they still offer them rather than spend almost double the price to see 3D.

    I think it is the general standard now and we will just have to accept it. At least be grateful that the option for 2D is still out there

    It will be the norm in a few years and all of us naysayers will have forgotten about why we hated it in the first place and we will be bitching online about the next revolution in film (scratch and sniff movies/choose your own adventure movies etc etc)

    remember when films made their transition from silent to full audio, then again from black and white to color and all the bloggers were all up in arms and opposed to it

    • There were bloggers when they went from black and white to color? I thought Al Gore made the Internet.

      • Oh indeed!

        Why you should have read the article on screenrant when entertainment made the transition from live plays to the camera obscura. Petitions and polls and hunger strikes were widespread

        Vic Holtreman even pulled out his luscious hair in a fit of rage

        • So, that’s how it happened. :)

  2. I don’t want Batman 3 in 3D. I just don’t like 3D and I hate how the glasses darken everything, this sounds stupid, but whenever I watch a 3D movie, I notice how the colors are dulled and the entire movie is a lot darker, and the last two Batman movies are pretty dark, cinematography wise, so imagine how dark Batman 3 would look with the 3D glasses.

    • I couldn’t agree with you more! What you said doesn’t sound stupid at all… it DOES darken the colours. I thought that Alice in Wonderland suffered terribly from that.

      I really wish that 3D was a passing trend that would just go away, but I know that this isn’t the case.

    • Maybe you could… watch the 2D version? Those still exist, you know.

      • Existent yes. Annoyed at the fact every movie is getting the s@#*t kicked out of it by Hollywood using way too much 3D, also yes.

        I don’t like 3D myself unless they use it right (which the only one that actually did was Avatar).

        But yeah 2D is always a good option. ALWAYS USE IT WHILE IT LASTS.

  3. As much as I DON’T want to see Batman 3 get converted into 3D (or any other movie converted in post-production for that matter) I think if any director could make it look amazing, it would be Nolan. I trust his vision and if it does get released in 3D, I’ll definitely check out… after watching it in 2D of course.

  4. i do kinda agree with 3D being the way of the future.

    back when film first came out people said it was no substitute for live theater and would die out. they said the same thing for Talkies, colors, and animation.

    the only problem is i think studios are rushing into the feild too fast. right now i think 3D is good for Digital images and epic scenery. But it fails in fast-edited action. “How To Train Your Dragon” and “Alice in Wonderland” worked because they are computer digital images that arnt real. sports and documentaries of mountains and oceans are good in 3D because they show off the grandness of the setting. “Avatar” had the digital aspect and epicness, which could be why it was so popular. But even in the begining of “Avatar” befor i got use to the 3D, the action scenes confused me

    and “Clash of the Titans” wasnt well reviewed because the fast action was too fast for the 3D and people were confused (i was anyway).

    i think they need to experiment with it more and fine-tune it before they release everything in 3D.

    As for “Batman 3″, though i dont want it to be in 3D, i trust Christopher Nolan as a film maker and “Dark Knight” has a grandness and smooth editing that makes me think “Batman” could be the first good live-action 3D movie.

  5. please no 3D for Batman. it’s played out. Alice in Wonderland wasn’t even that great as 3D. I refused to watch Clash of the Titans in 3D and watched it normal and was happy with that. Only movie that I loved in 3D was Avatar.

    Don’t buy into Nolan.

  6. Would be seeing a post-conversion 3D of Batman 3 I am pretty sure . Warner Bros has already announced that all their big budget movie are going to be in 3d that means Batman 3 is coming in 3d and Warner Bros are going to pressure Nolan to make it in 3d that means a post-conversion 3D of Batman 3 is what we will see after all even if people don’t like 3d it will be coming in 3d.

  7. I don’t think Nolan personally wants Batman 3 to be in 3D, but being a wise filmmaker, he knows studios will push the format on him and he wouldn’t want the production of Batman 3 to look troubled or conflicted. So he’s partially vouching for it by saying “only if it looks good”. That being said, I wouldn’t want Batman 3 to be in 3D at all, and the truth is a lot of people don’t like 3D. The reason movies like Alice and Clash make so much “ka-ching” is because they’re marketed as “the 3D experience”. And most people want to watch a movie in all its glory, which they believe is in 3D, hence they’d rather spend the extra bucks than “miss out” on “the experience”. It’s all in the marketing, people. Here’s to hoping Batman 3 stays true to its tone and doesn’t end up on the 3D bandwagon. I’d rather see Batman 3 be completely shot for IMAX. Now there’s something special.

    • Agree 100% on the IMAX. That would be freakin’ awesome.

  8. 3D will only be the wave of the future if the masses support it…

    If they don’t then it will subside into a fringe where it belongs…

    Folks that see every 3D film to compare it to Avatar and Alice in Wonderland, are only speeding this process along.

  9. I don’t care. 3d won’t hurt the film in any way what so ever if u don’t like watch the 2d version. Get over it people.

  10. “Clearly, audiences want to see 3D,” I somewhat disagree. James Cameron and how different it looked, and Johnny Depp in Alice, plain and simple. I myself don’t mind 3D, but don’t put 3D as the main reason why people want to see a film. What happened to all the other 3D films that bombed at the box office? It was in 3D, shouldn’t they all be a success?

  11. That’s fine for now Daniel, what happens when that’s all you can see? In fact such a trend will have a long term effect on what you see in a film. Even normal filming makes compromises in composition. That sets a tone for a film. If you’ve seen a film in Cinerama you know what I mean. Hopefully the 3-D movie will never completely displace the 2-D movie for the same reasons. Rather than an all encompassing improvement like color and sound 3-D may never transcend some artistic issues such as tone. If that’s the case it will be like many other technological improvements like filtering, digital effects, or positional sound. Not every movie needs everything that these techniques can offer, they’re just used according to the Auteur’s judgment…

  12. Will 3D hurt the film? No, probably not, but it will certainly have an effect on the fans. The masses may be in love with 3D, but only one film maker has managed to make it work to his advantage so far, and that was james Cameron. Who spent 2 decades making sure he had the technology to put a true 3 dimensional vision on the screen.

    No one else is going to put in the same effort as Cameron did.

    • That’s because there’s no need to spend two decades. The technology exists; it’s all there. There is absolutely nothing stopping other filmmakers from matching Avatar’s use of 3D.

      • Except for the fact that they’re doing it postproduction instead of shooting it in 3D. If Batman 3 is SHOT in 3D (Which it won’t be) then we know that all the scenes are being set up for 3D. That is what made Avatar in 3D so cool. Cameron set up all his shot knowing that they’d be in 3D. These other films have been shot using standard film making techniques.

  13. Heres hoping WB has a few HUGE bombs real quick in 3D so they change their minds about doing B3 in 3D.

  14. I’ve got no problem with movies like “Batman” or similar movies being released in 3D AS LONG AS IT’S SHOT IN 3D. If studios go the cheapo route and have the directors film in regular format then convert it to 3D, I view that as a money grab on the studios part and will never support those films in 3D. If they shoot the film in 3D from the beginning, like Cameron did, then I’m all for enjoying the experience and paying the higher price.

    As far as 3D being a passing fad or just another technology available to film makers, I don’t think that’s the case. I use HD as my proof. A few years ago it was a luxury that has become a standard on television now. There’s almost no primetime, regular television show not done in HD now, and most cable channels have a large portion of their shows in HD as well.

  15. Old man I believe that to be an entirely differant argument. Since Batman is not being released in 3d only there will be a 2d option so the point stands that it won’t hurt the film and shouldn’t matter. If the 2d option is suddenly vacant we can discuss that but for now it’s a non issue. The only way to prevent that is to not go see films in 3d and hope most people do the same. I don’t have an issue with 3d other than the price. I have not seen any recent films in 3d I considered it saw the price and said screw it.

    • So are you saying that you don’t agree with the others? That unlike sound or color, 3-D’s possible replacement of 2-D is impossible? Because if it’s likely to any degree then some should be concerned now. Maybe you or I have the luxury of saying I don’t give a sh*t but this technologies displacement of 2-D is unnecessary and damaging to the art of film making at this time. Like I said before and I stand by it when you change the composition, which 3-D does, unlike chiguy’s assertion that it’s in the same class as HD you change the tone of the film. It’s like watching something that was originally one aspect ratio then pan-N-scanned. In the pan-N-scanned case the technology messes with the artists intent. Using 3-D exclusively strikes at the very heart of the “setup,” how a scene is framed and composed. Their are trade offs when you go native 3-D. This is possibly why Nolan prefers conversion over native 3-D recording. As a film maker he doesn’t have to make the compromises native 3-D demands nor does he have to rethink how he pulls off a scene to kowtow to the whims of the studio or maximizing for 3-D presentation. That’s one of the reasons 3-D conversion doesn’t quite look as good as native 3-D. In composition 3-D is addressed minimally or not at all in those instances where conversion is the order of the day.

      Perhaps as 3-D is refined and matures the artistic skills will evolve as well and what I’m talking about will be a fading memory. I won’t be around to see it, which is just as well. I imagine it will take a few more decades for the current crop of directors and film makers to mature, retire permanently and fade off the scene. By that time a new breed of film-makers will be breaking ground and changing film-making, perhaps in ways only the truly young among us will be able to imagine…

  16. 3d needs to he matched up with the correct setting. Am alien world or deep space or under the ocean. Anything immersive. Even a movie like hitchcocks birds. When scenes are specifically engineered to have crap flying out at you. But when it has neither of these and you add it anyway you get superman returns in 3d. Oh and I think inception would work with 3d. Landscape of the mind is perfect for it.

  17. Alice in Wonderland suffered from far more than that like Tim Burton directing it. Depps usual cheese performance terribly stupid costumes and the fact that they turned down the lights to call the film dark instead of using the tone of the film.

    • Actually Daniel if you went to see Alice in 3-D you would have found the lighting darker still by about three foot-lamberts! Nolan mentions that in this interview how “Inception” is bright and clear rather than dark and fuzzy.

      3-D is also effecting scriptwriting in many ways. It literally is affecting what gets made and the scenes written into the movies. A technology that has that far of a reaching effect will have profound results in what choices we have watching entertainment unless we as consumers make the choices that will effect production. What I’m saying I’m saying to everybody, just don’t abandon 2-D films. Support them where you can…

  18. The main reason I’m worried about 3D is because I doubt that by 2012, what with every major movie in 3D, the option of wathing the film in 2d will exist except for low budget indies. I hope that doesn’t happen, but my friends and I will just keep going to watch 2D films and, for the ones who want 3D to be done right, we boycott 3D films that were converted into 3D at the end instead of shot in 3D by watching it in 2d instead.

  19. I could say the same about 80’s reboots Daniel. Just get over it,,,

  20. Yeah Jose their deploying cinematic 3D, in a way that slowly acclimates children to this medium. They know that 50% of adults don’t like 3D but if they can’t get the kids to accept it early on it will help them phase out 2D.

    There also targeting adults by deploying televised 3D in sports bars and on special ESPN related channels.

    By targeting the children and the mainly stupid sports fans, they’re achieving a slow paradigm shift in entertainment. They’re goal is total 3D in cinema, tv and smartphones within 15 years.

    Anyone that desires 2D will be considered a luddite and or a non conformist fool.
    2D will fade away like VHS. It will be hard to even find a theater or Tv set that’s 2D enabled.

    So suck on the 3D boob today, and tomorrow you won’t have any choice.


  21. (Off subject)I was reading-up on Green Lantern Rebirth and was thinking of a perfect character play-out and departure point for Sinestro.

    Since at first Sinestro was a Green Lantern and taught Hal Jordan most of everything he knows, he couldn’t possibly be a threat in the first movie. But being the pompous megalomaniac he was he desired power and order of the universe instead of being the Corps errand boy. So when Parralax shows up during the course of the movie, he develops a admiration for his ability to cause fear and use the fear as power (Since everything depends on fear), so he gets the idea of somehow harnessing that power somehow). In Emerald Twilight Sinestro is let out of his prison in the Corps Battery (Where Parralax was also imprisoned) and after fighting Hal Jordan after he was possessed by Parralax, he got his neck snapped. But nobody knew until Rebirth that Sinestro was actually just a Yellow Element manifestation to throw off the Corps to make further plans for the Sinestro Corps War, so I was thinking that in the very end of Green Lantern or in the sequel that it could reveal that Sinestro is alive and has formed an aliiance of other creatures from all over the galaxy to form the Sinestro Corps.

    Now that would make a film (Or films in this case).

  22. I’m really hoping that they keep releasing the films in 2D, because I really don’t like that there is a 50% upcharge for 3D. I also don’t like that I had to sit there like a robot with my head straight to watch the movie. It’ll be even worse when I am forced at home to watch stuff in 3D and I can’t lay down on my couch to watch the ballgame. Until they can get 3D to work WITHOUT GLASSES, I will be sticking to good ol’ 2D.

  23. Andy the only film that’s used Cameron’s 3D technique (so far) is the upcoming Tron sequel.

    Nolan would have to use Camerons motion capture stereo 3D system to achieve the same degree of Avatars 3D reality.
    Take Alice I Wonderland for example, it was shot in 3D but still didn’t have the motion capture perfection Avatar did…

  24. I think cinema is on the downward slide already Old Man. 3D is just the next innovation to help move bad product and brainwash the sheep.
    Look at todays great films. There all independents. You might get an occasional Matrix or District 9 but those are rare and certainly outnumbered by the mundane films. Think of how many great stories are already in novel form that could be adapted to film and we get A-Team.

    3D will do to mainstream cinema what Rap did to mainstream music. But it won’t matter cas all da kids will be into the rap!

    • I have to agree with you on one point there, 790. There ARE a LOT of great books out there that would be wonderful films, but instead we get Alvin and the Chipmunks. I’d LOVE to see John Sandford’s PREY novels turned into movies. They’d be awesome. Also stuff like Stephen Donaldson’s Thomas Covenant series would be one the best fantasy series out there. Don’t get me wrong, I love that the comic book movies are being done, and being done ALOT better than they used to be, but I would love to see some great, new sci-fi/fantasy out there.

    • Yeah really you wouldn’t have to come up with a single story idea if you just adapted all the greats that are out there already. I’ll tell ya I’ve watched very little television this spring. Most of what I’ve been watching is new movie releases or going through and buying DVD titles that I haven’t seen or didn’t get to collect for one reason or another. “Breaking Bad” the new episodes of “Who” or “The Universe” are all that interest me. Other things have been outdoor activity, the Internet, and reading.

      I’m with you on that Andy I’ve still got the Covenant series. Read ‘Em years and years ago. Wading through the Second Foundation series now and found a 645 page book of Greg Bear short stories just today. There’s so much out there that it’s hard to go back and reread even past favorites.

  25. Well as someone who doesn’t like 3D the thought of Batman 3 in 3D does not really excite me no matter who is controlling things. But I can appreciate what Nolan is saying about audiences dictating the way movies go and in all fairness I wouldn’t blame him for not so much selling out but going 3D if that ends up being the most popular format …… I just hope it doesn’t.

  26. 3D noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

  27. Why would anyone want batman in 3D?