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. IMAX every time. Better yet, 3D on IMAX.

  2. I agree that 3D does have its place, but there is no need for Batman to have it. Glad Nolan is important enough that he can just tell the studio ‘NO’.

  3. If only other directors got the memo, no 3-D!! apparently they don’t smh

  4. If the new Batman film is shot entirely in IMAX, I will be making the 25 mile trek to see it. I much prefer IMAX over 3D, although I really think that Avatar was excellent in 3D IMAX. I love that Nolan is more concerned with the continuity of his films instead of a gimmick to squeeze out a few more bucks from the public.

  5. I love Nolans work, 3d Im not a 100percent some movies that can work, but Batman No way, and Nolan said it right there He said ”You have to look at the story”- thank God he sees it in that view. Its all about the story, its the heart beat and the very thing that makes or breaks weather 3d or not its the story.. I feel sometimes the 3d is been over used to make more money for studios especially when we the world at this time is going through a recession.They know that the ordinary man might be out of work etc but their is nothing like the movies to help you forget about things for a bit and if they bring a smile with something extra like 3d and its attraction the movie makers will go for it because 1. folk are out of work they will be selective about what they go and see.2 they want quality and a real reason to want to spend their money and 3d maybe a little expensive than normal shows, but some are willing to spend it on the 3d show any case if it is a good show,,3.. at the end of the day its all about the story, not the always the effects -they are tools not the main event- thats what i think Nolan and good film directors achieve a great deal of success they firstly TELL THE STORY, and you can have all the best and amazing actors in a film, have all the incredible effects,and lavished sets, and the biggest budget commanded in history but if the story is a problematic, and weak, and the risk is taken and ignored because the effects and the actors are the main event and the story gets smothederd by 3d and etc because everyone is doing it then it aint alwaysthe best to follow the crowd so I think Nolan is bang on … so Im looking forward to the next Batman i have great faith in Nolan to do a good job because he cares so much about the story…

  6. Amen to Nolans choice.

    Nolan gets it, that is what makes a film good regardless of its genre or target segment and he knows what not to do (aka 3D especially post-conversion 3D) just to squeeze a few bucks more out of the finished film. How many decision makers in the industry would say “We aren’t going to go with the 3D be it during film or post conversion, because it doesn’t fit with our story and or will detract from it”? You can bet the money guys (those who fund the films) wouldn’t make that kind of call without being pushed by the director.

    This is what makes Nolan this generations Davinci of Film.

  7. “But you have to look at the story you’re telling: is it right?”

    Yes.. U’re always right Mr.Nolan.. In future, i want Nolan to collaborate with 3d but not for The Dark Knight Rises.. I want it to be shot in IMAX cameras.. Nolan always understands people thoughts:):)Great.. Waiting for the TDKR cast.. Really i can’t wait..

  8. 3D does not work for people who wear eyeglasses (contacts make my eye dry). Until they create 3D contacts, my vote is for IMAX.

    • I wear glasses, and I LOVE 3D.

      • What Little Monster said. :)


    • @fencerbender 3D contacts will still make your eyes dry :)

  9. Since I’ve heard that Nolan won’t be shoot TDKR in complete IMAX, then I would want to scrap the idea completely. My biggest complaint of the BD release of TDK (other than lack of special features or commentary) was the aspect ratio constantly changing throughout the film b/c only certain scenes were shot that way. It’s not bad enough to take me out of the film, but it’s still annoying (very).

  10. 3D in sci fi films works just fine, but in a realistic, actual location shot environment it just looks ridiculous.

  11. i love this guy

  12. im really getting tired of all these little stories about chris nolan…thats no slight against screenrant i just want him to give us the freakin details on tdkr already.

  13. I’ve actually stopped going out to see films. The last one I saw was, “Inception”.

    You can’t find 2D screenings anymore, so I just wait for the dvd. Screw you hollywood 3D agenda!

    • I’m beginning to get there as well 790. I’m tired of the cold popcorn and the warm drinks and not being able to get in the seat without shelling out $20.00 plus dollars. My 2010 list of movies seen, as compared to years past, has shrunk dramatically. I use to go almost every weekend. Being partially 3-D blind doesn’t help either. With all the titles coming out on 3-D it’s getting harder to ignore just how much it’s changing the whole experience.

      IMAX I have to agree with most everyone here is a preferable experience and would pay to see it over a 3-D only experience. I can imagine more and more 3-D influencing the way stories are filmed, told, and perhaps even what stories will get made in the future. That’s just sad because their are some great stories out there. I suppose the small and independent film makers might still be the old school viewers salvation, if they can only just keep going…

    • thank u so much even i dont understand all this craze behind 3D

  14. 3D is trash. Hollywood is attempting to sell me an allusion. Since storytelling, character, and plot is in such short supply, it makes complete sense that there is this quite salivating anticipation for the current king of all those things, namely Nolan, to finally turn over to the dark side to justify why Hollywood continues to make crappy movies in a crappy format. Nolan has created the anti-godfather series with Batman, where instead of seeing a crime drama from the perspective of the villain, we see it from the perspective of the hero. In my opinion, the only consistent equal to Nolan is Arronofsky, other than him, it’s not even close. Ironically, or is it, Darren isn’t using 3D in his films either. 3D was a gimmick 40 years ago as it is now. It doesn’t provide anything to character, plot, or story, period.

  15. Well I remember saying a year ago that if the masses support 3D films, then that’s all your gonna get.

    Critics of my conspiratorial views all said, “ah take off, they’ll always be a 2D version”.

    As you can see, the 2D versions are not always availible and as time goes by 3D is being used in most all Superhero, Horror and sci fi genres.

    You guys still think the studios have plans to produce 2D films? 3D like Bluray is being forced upon us.
    I don’t support it, and I hope it bankrupts the industry.

    Cameron is a tool.

  16. There are seven major cinema complexes where I’m from and they all offer the choice of either 2D or 3D. I hope it stays that way.

    Given that most films are shot on 35mm film, I don’t see that every movie will be put through the 3D post conversion. At least I hope not. :-)

  17. MagEyE, the 3D that’s being used today is doing nothing but aclimatizing the masses so eventually when the technology is “perfected” 3D will seem like a natural progression.

    Unless people stop going to see 3D films en mass tomorrow, 2D will fade away within 10 years.

    Those that b**** about it will be outnumbered by the youth that are growing up with the tech now.

    • @ 790

      I couldn’t imagine indie films or art house films in 3D and we are always going to have a good amount of those shot. :-)

      I get what you mean though if the whole Hollywood formulaic machine goes 3D it would be terrible. :-(

  18. I prefer IMAX 2D or just 2D all the way. i’m sick of the 3D gimmick that doesn’t work that well and has become increasingly annoying as the years go by and every movie is coming out in 3D, many of which dont need it. I applaud chris nolan for being a trooper and not following the pack and being a great director, keeping things in good form. 3D will just take away and make it into an expensive piece of eye candy and will take away audience focus on the story, instead causing them to focus on when a batarang will fly out at them on the screen, only to find out that it doesnt even seem like its flying out because the 3D technology is flawed.

    I’m glad they know nolan is too good a director for the studio to pressure, and they cant force him to make it in 3D. They know he will leave the project and they need him to make a good film. If they had their way, theyd do it in 3D…other directors dont like it, but the studios make them do it and they give in because they aren’t nolan….the studio will just tell them to go find work elsewhere if the director refuses to do things their way, which is unfair because the studio needs to allow directors to use their creative abilities and not just make the film into a flawed cash draw….thats cheating the paying audience…and nowadays it costs an arm an a leg for a movie ticket, especially for 3D. However, they can’t tell nolan to find work elsewhere…if he is on a film, any other person might not make that same film as fruitful as he could.

    Not too happy that Warner Bros. wants every single DC film they have lined up to be in 3D. Im already annoyed that I need to see Thor and Capt. America in 3D….would have preferred IMAX 2D.

    As for The Dark Knight Rises, I hope Wally Pfister gets his wish and they shoot the film entirely in IMAX, no 3D. That would be a blessing.

  19. Right on Nelson!!!


  20. i will go see a movie in 3D if it appeals to me like, tron lagacy. its the hefty price tag that goes along with it that makes me not want to go see a movie. but when i go see a movie like tron legacy and before opening cradits they tell me that the movie isnt completely filmed in 3D is when i get frustrated.

    • joshua,

      Yeah, I really hate 3D movies when they haven’t been shot using stereoscopic cameras. Very distracting.


  21. I agree. Maybe I don’t feel that much more of a connection to a film when I see it in 3D. Sometimes I don’t even notice the 3D effect in films.

    2D is fine by me. The Dark Night is one of the best films. I don’t think the Dark Night Rises will lose anything in 2D.

  22. I agree with Matt, 3D IS STILL A GIMMICK, but like many people, I am partially 3D blind,it sort of comes and goes. The old red/green cardboard cellophane glasses seemed to darken the film, don’t know about the new ones though. It’s progress, but yjey can’t get away from gimmicky things pointing at the lens, and the other annoying garbage of old.
    But wait, there’s more…{ God, I hope not.} converting the old films to 3D. Gone With The Wind, in 3D, maybe not that bad, but all the old blockbuster that flopped????, now that’s a depressing thought.

    • I keep reading about 3d blind on this page, I guess that is what was happening to me in the beginning, but I discovered if I tilt my head slightly it works for me. every movie should not be in 3d but some are fun to see that way i guess.

      • True 3-D blindness isn’t something you turn your head and fix at the theater randy. I’ve tried all the corrective suggestions traditionally given to people with standard viewing problems. They don’t work for me. On the plus side I’m able to see through certain optical illusions so I guess that’s something positive…

        • Haha, OK, I didn’t mean to crunch on anyone’s 3D blindness, I just know that it worked for me to watch like that. I never even heard of 3D blindness until I visited this site.

          Good Luck.

  23. IMAX or Post-converted 3D? IMAX all the way.

    IMAX or properly filmed 3D? BOTH!

  24. 3D is just another gimmick that some who couldn’t tell a good story would use this trick. I could care less any of these movies is in 3D, the 3D glasses tend to dim the image and any movies that are just converted to 3D rather than shot in 3D using the double camera usually looks lackluster.

    I trust Chris Nolan and his story telling capabilities and they are strong enough even without the use of 3D. Just like James Cameron could do without 3D for Avatar.

  25. Short answer – Christopher Nolan ISN’T a tool.

  26. I’ve only seen one film in 3D and I liked it, however I left the theater with a pounding headache, and It was all I could do not to throw up. I’m not 3D blind or anything although my brother is, and there is no effect of 3D for him at all. MY point is this; If there are enough people who get sick/headaches from this and enough people who just can’t see it anyways, they better always have an alternative. There is no logic in eliminating viewer base simply because they want to push new tech & make more money. Ultimately, it has been the overall EXPERIENCE that keeps movie-goers coming back for more, and that experience is being tainted by idiotic greed. If producers can afford to keep churning out some of the worst stories ever told like they have in the last few years, I suppose they can afford to take the imminent financial hit they are gonna take for pushing 3D to full throttle, but If they have any brains, they will realize that video-games are stealing at least half their audience, and they will at least TRY to get back to those innovative, amazing stories we used to go see every week! :)

  27. I’d rather see anything in IMAX 2D:

  28. Best Choice Ever, 3D ruins the movies, and this is a quality movie doesnt need stupid blurry, dizzy, effects for nothing!

    so that can people with glasses can enjoy it and not suffer too!

  29. Good Decision, I don’t like 3D as wearing 3D glasses creates headache..
    Loves to watch this film… bcoz it’s 2D.