Christopher Nolan Explains Choice of No 3D in Batman 3

Published 4 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:25 pm,

batman 3 the dark knight rises 3d Christopher Nolan Explains Choice of No 3D in Batman 3

While comic book fans and movie buffs theorize on what characters, villains and stories Christopher Nolan is drawing from to conclude his Batman trilogy with The Dark Knight Rises, we do have some important hard facts about the film. What may be the most interesting design choice about the movie – and certainly very pleasing to moviegoers – is that Nolan will not will shooting Batman 3 in 3D, nor converting it afterward as per the desire of Warner Bros.

Nolan’s interest in utilizing IMAX tech may lead to them shooting most, if not all, of The Dark Knight Rises in the higher resolution (and expensive) format instead. And if director of photography, Wally Pfister, has his way, he’d love to do the entire movie in IMAX as well. But with 3D offering and obvious method of bringing in more cash for the studio, why didn’t Nolan share his Inception in 3D and why will The Dark Knight Rises not be shot that way either?

Deadline interviewed the revered director about the experience and development of Inception, where they touched on the subject of the 3D phenomenon and Nolan’s choice to not make use of it (yet).

“We looked at shooting Inception in 3D and decided we’d be too restricted by the technology. We wouldn’t have been able to shoot on film the way we’d like to. We looked at post-converting it, actually did some tests, and they were very good. But we didn’t have time to do the conversion that we would have been satisfied with. Inception deals with subjectivity, quite intimate associations between the audience and the perceived state of reality of the characters.”

Warner Bros. has made it known that their next major ongoing film franchise to fill the void soon to be left from the conclusion of the Harry Potter series will make use of their vast library of DC Comics characters, and that all of these films along with their other big budget blockbusters, will be in 3D. Nolan’s Batman Begins and The Dark Knight didn’t make use of the third dimension, but why not jump in on the fad for The Dark Knight Rises?

christopher nolan the dark knight rises Christopher Nolan Explains Choice of No 3D in Batman 3

Nolan continues:

“In the case of Batman, I view those as iconic, operatic movies, dealing with larger-than-life characters. The intimacy that the 3D parallax illusion imposes isn’t really compatible with that. We are finishing our story on the next Batman, and we want to be consistent to the look of the previous films. There was more of an argument for a film like Inception. Ive seen work in 3D like Avatar that’s exciting. But, for me, what was most exciting about Avatar was the creation of a world, the use of visual effects, motion capture, performance capture, these kinds of things. I don’t think Avatar can be reduced to its 3D component, it had so much more innovation going on that’s extremely exciting. 3D has always been an interesting technical format, a way of showing something to the audience. But you have to look at the story you’re telling: is it right?”

Yes, very. With his recent successes, Nolan has earned the right to make whatever movie he chooses in whatever method we wishes, and we can applaud him for not forcing 3D into Inception and sticking to his guns in ending his Batman trilogy in the same style he shot the first two installments. It’s much preferred over the post-converted route Green Lantern is taking.

For most live-action films to date, I would happily choose the 2D option over its overpriced counterpart. And if IMAX were the other alternative, if shot that way, I would always go with that, especially on a Nolan project.

3D or IMAX. Which would you prefer for your superhero movies?

The Dark Knight Rises begins production in May and is scheduled for theatrical release on July 20th, 2012.

Follow us on Twitter @rob_keyes and @screenrant.

Source: Deadline

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  1. It’s good to hear that he is keeping continuity in the feel of the trilogy. While 3D is great for some movies, Christopher Nolan makes films. I can’t think of a single film he’s created that wasn’t elaborate or specific in every element. His work succeeds because of all the elements he brings together to create those very specific moments in his films.

    Having never had the opportunity to view an IMAX film, I can’t answer the IMAX or 3D question.

  2. Thank you, I didnt want the last one to be in 3D. Why they want to put the DC films and others in 3D is beyond me ($$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$).

  3. hallelujah mr nolan! Just because its THE THING at the moment doesnt mean you have to ruin a good franchise with bloody 3D just to get more cash!

  4. Cool.

    I just want the movie NOW!!! lol its gonna be great! :)

  5. YAY!! This is great news! As a glasses wearer I hate 3D and having to wear the 3D glasses on top of my glasses. Plus, I hate paying the extra money for something that has not really ever been worth it for me when I watch movies. Then again in my opinion the exceptions of 3D that I have liked were How to Train Your Dragon and Avatar. I also like the continuity of the films being shot the same and so happy that he’s not doing some poor post conversion. Those Dark Knight scenes done in Imax were awesome and so worth the extra money. I’m looking forward to the next Batman movie!

  6. i think he’s indirectly trying to say that 3D is garbage and it didn’t really do much in avatar.

    i’m not a nolan lover but i have to say his cinematography work is beyond ‘good’. i hope he gets things right with TDKR b/c the ending (after he gets joker) of TDK felt somewhat rushed and was boring/out of place.

    one thing i’m sure no one can wait for is the reveal of the new batman villains, i mean we have a good idea of who one if going to be but it would be good for a concrete confirmation.

    • Actually 3D did work for AVATAR, it brought more depth into the picture which looked great and gave it more realism.

  7. I would prefer IMAX over 3D any day. IMAX is such an amazing quality to its picture and sound design, while most 3D leaves one feeling like there could be more!

  8. Oh i hate 3D, thanks CNolan!

  9. I actually think a 3D Batman would be great.

    • Yeah but not for the Nolanverse Batman, it wouldnt look right.

  10. Shot in 3D perfect. post production is a waste!

  11. Nolan is a genius. He wants to focus on the plot and the story and not about effect that could make more peple to go to the theatres. He Wants his movies to be perfect and nothing less.

  12. I’d prefer IMAX any day. All 3D movies are inferior to their 2D counterparts. 3D is a gimmick meant to trick audiences into thinking their getting added value to justify the higher price, but which actually diminishes the film on a visual and storytelling level.

  13. Wow to have an entire film made in imax would be cool! Would love to see Justice League filmed entirely in Imax! Bigger than life film! :)

    • Unfortunately, if Justice League ever gets made, it’s going to be in 3D.


  14. thank you christopher Nolan thank you.

  15. I agree with Nolan, the use of 3-D is movies when done correctly for a certain story it works. Examples like Avatar and How to Train Your Dragon worked very well. But to just throw 3-D at movies is a complete waste of a movie, studios are taking away from the movie going experience and trying to add something new to every movie, instead of making sure it works first. Its unfortunate that there arent more directors, actors, or producers that are speaking up about 3-D.

  16. 3D is gay. I’m proud of Nolan for not being a media whore with the 3D gimmick.

    • Not that there’s anything wrong with that. :-)

  17. That’s good to hear. 3D is nonsense, its just a way to make more money. I remember it from Jaws 3D as a kid, why repackage the same crap and act like its all new and amazing. It’s for the money. It takes away from the movie experience, usually moves that are made in 3D suck so much they have to distract you with visuals, kinda like using CGI excessively. Avatar was a stupid movie, Fern Gully meets the Smurfs, nothing new there. Anyways, Nolan is an amazing director and I applaud him for his choice, cant’ wait to see the new Batman. Oh, yah, Imax.

  18. WoW!!!! I completely agree with Nolan, no 3D Batman please

    hope we get gr8 IMAX scenes in TDKR like the Hong Kong scene…that was Awesuuum!!!

  19. I’m getting sick and tired of 3-D, IMAX is the way to go. Once the Avengers gets released in 3-D *sigh* I’m not gonna sit there and see a whole bunch of characters all up in my face at once, I’ll end up with a headache and my head will start spinning. Ever since Avatar came out, and with the transition of 3-D, every comic book/ sci-fi/fantasy movie got released it’s either shot in post conversion or completely shot with a 3-D rimmed camera is annoying. IMAX is visually stunning enough we don’t need 3-D to “polish” it up, the movie will have a ruined experience that way. And please I don’t wanna have to pay more money for a pair of uncomfortable 3-D glasses which somewhat hurts my eyes to see a sloppy post converted film a la Clash of Titans IMO the movie was fine with the regular release of March 26. 2-D is better, IMAX is great 3-D ehh no not ever. It makes me cringe now.

  20. Here Here

  21. Nolan doesn’t have to justify anything to anyone.

    • Agreed, Anthony. I think he’s the Hitchcock of our generation.

      • I highly enjoy Nolan films but, I wouldn’t call him the Hitchcock of our generation. There are some cheesey parts in both batman films that would keep me from labeling him that.

        • What director hasn’t had some cheese in their films?

        • That’s exactly the point. Hitchcock did not shy away from cheese, or even making a campy film such as The Birds.

        • Actually, Hitchcock was, in great part, KNOWN for his cheesiness…Yes, he was a brilliant filmmaker, but he spread the cheese on quite thickly in many of his productions. Nolan has shown his imagination and creativity in a number of films AND in a number of ways, so, in THAT regard, he can easily be compared to Hitchcock.

          • Sorry guy, can’t agree. Nolan is great but not the best. There are so many directors out there who show creativity and imagination as well. If he were to take that crown, I feel he needs to diversify in genres. All his films run the same themes and tones.

            • Side note: no director is or should be labeled the best IMO. Favorite is cool though.

            • Sully…

              Ummm, I never said Nolan is the best; I simply stated that he CAN (at least for certain aspects of movie-making) be compared favorably with Hitchcock.

              Nolan is NOT the best (as you say, that is an iffy description for ANY director without INCONTROVERTIBLE proof), but he IS an extremely talented director.

              • By the same token, Hitchcock, though great, was NOT the best either.

  22. Good, not every bloody film has to be in 3D

  23. Like most everyone else here, I’m very happy to hear this explanation. IF given the choice, I myself prefer IMAX over 3D as the effects have given me headaches in the past. But that is not to say that 3D is entirely without merit. It just needs to serve the story. Nolan and Cameron seem to be the only ones that truly understand that the format that a film is shot in is dependent on the story.

    I remember seeing The Dark Knight in IMAX, and those sequences did create a larger than life experience for the moviegoer. The overhead shots of Chicago, the Bat-pod chase sequence, everything that was shot with the IMAX cameras created a world that was wholly unique.

    The same can be said for the 3D in Avatar. Having seen it in both 3D and 2D, there is a sense that something is missing when you watch it without the 3rd dimension. While Cameron may have been out of line (in my opinion) with his comments about Piranha 3D, you can get a feeling that it’s because he’s protective of the format and doesn’t want it used as a gimmick that can help a studio gain a couple million dollars more.

  24. good cause 3d sucks

  25. I too am VERY happy that Mr. Nolan is not filming in 3D. Also I am one of the many that are tired of every and I mean just about every movie Hollywood is putting out now days is in 3D. It’s a bit tiresome to me, it’s like they’re beating a 3D dead horse. Now IMAX on the other hand, you don’t really see much of that. So yay for Christopher Nolan. For me he can do no wrong… Until he shoots in 3D if it’s not good for the story.

  26. Inception in 3D would have been awesome IMO. I have a feeling Nolan will utilize the format sometime in the future. It’s pointless for a Batman film, those are more character driven action films.

  27. Nolan fans should rejoice that at least somebody other than JJ Abrams is taking a stand against 3-D. When applied correctly, it’s a great storytelling medium, but when it isn’t…

    • …you get Clash of the Titans

  28. Great choice Mr. Nolan! I knew there was a reason I liked you

  29. Can someone please explain to me the pros of a film being shot in IMAX and why it would look better?

    • The frame is just bigger 70mm vs 35mm. Although some of inception was filmed in 65mm format.

      • @ Jose
        @ sully311

        You also dramatically increase the picture resolution and depth of field. :-)