Cillian Murphy, one of Christopher Nolan’s favorite actors, recently spoke with Total Film Magazine about Inception and Batman 3.

Murphy touched on topics such as his working relationship with Nolan as well as the possibility of another Scarecrow role in Batman 3.

The screenplay for Inception is likely one of the most complex stories of the year, but Nolan only gave Murphy two hours to read through the Inception script – and decide which character he’d like to play. While that time frame seems a bit intense, the real story here is the freedom that Nolan gives his performers.

Filmmaking is the most collaborative form of art on this planet and clearly Nolan has a penchant for communication. But it wasn’t as easy as it sounds for Murphy. They did discuss the roles and which would suit him the best.

“He didn’t say, ‘Take whatever role you want.’ I wasn’t going to steal Leonardo DiCaprio’s part. But [Nolan] said, ‘I have an idea what you might be good for…Tell me what you think.’ And we both agreed. It’s different for me. It’s not like any character I’ve played before.”

“Chris has talked about it being an existential heist movie and if you take that, I would be a crucial cog in that heist set-up.”

The latest Inception posters give an extra hint as to the role Murphy’s character will play in the overall story. Murphy portrays Fischer, dubbed “The Mark” on his character poster. The nickname obviously refers to his role as the main target for DiCaprio and Co.

Murphy has also said his character is “central to the narrative of the film.”

Nolan himself mentioned Inception will be an ensemble piece – with DiCaprio sharing screen time with everybody else. Calling a character central to the narrative is a bit general, but we are starting to see a clearer picture of his reasoning.

Each trailer has presented conversations between DiCaprio and Murphy – suggesting a sort of cooperation. Maybe DiCaprio is setting up Murphy’s character for a long con (BOOM, Lost)?

As for his comments on Batman 3, Murphy was coy, yet open. The last time he was asked about the film was by Geoff Boucher of the LA Times. He mentioned he would never approach Nolan about the film, especially on the set of Inception. While he still hasn’t approached Nolan, Murphy did mention his character’s possibilities.

“It’s not for me to start campaigning for the Scarecrow to come back but if Chris wants me back in that role, yeah, absolutely, I would love to do it…”

It would seem redundant to bring Scarecrow back for Batman 3, considering his presence in The Dark Knight wasn’t exactly breathtaking. Nolan provided just enough closure on Scarecrow to put him away forever.

But if the film does tackle Arkham Asylum, which is a great possibility, his re-appearance would be within reason. It sure would have made a fantastic scene to see Dr. Crane and The Joker talk about their psychiatric needs. But alas, this is all highly unlikely. Murphy was simply kind enough to deliver a response to a query on Batman 3. It’s not enough to get your batarang in a bundle.

In only a decade, Nolan has quickly become one of the most sought-after filmmakers in the industry. Now, with a hands-off approach from Warner Bros., he has made a passion project with Inception – a project completely derived from his own mind. But is his story too intricate?

According to Murphy, everybody on set was on the same page.

“There is never confusion on a Chris Nolan set. Just to be around him… he has complete confidence in his abilities without ever appearing arrogant. He’s just at ease, and he gives actors great confidence. To feel a director like Chris has faith in you is very liberating.”

That is one of the main reasons his films have done so well. It’s not just great storytelling or compelling stories, but a style of filmmaking. Sets can be disaster zones, full of ego and frustration. But when the director knows his material and believes in his actors, it shows on screen.

Murphy also addressed the recurring criticism that Nolan delivers somewhat “cold” films. Of course, if you watch his work, you’ll see the heart is dulled down, creating a more realistic approach. But the trailers have shown quite a bit of emotion already in Inception. So what kind of strings will be pulled in the film?

“The film has a strong emotional core to it – Leo’s character and some of the other characters are trying to work emotional stuff out – but, having said that, it is a big exciting action film. It’s not all about people with their heads in their heads going, ‘Why did I leave that girl?’”

The balance of personal struggle and full-fledged action has proven difficult for many directors. Many action adventure films don’t even try to add a semblance of heart. But Nolan appears to tap into both realms. And it appears Inception will be able to switch from big action to acute drama in a seamless way.

Cillian Murphy has been outspoken about his work for a while now, and it is greatly appreciated by the fans and writers like us. Inception has been slowly, but steadily revealing more of itself over the last few weeks. The interviews are great, new ways to get a perspective on the film from those inside it. And Murphy has been our unofficial surrogate of late.

Would you like to see the Scarecrow return in Batman 3? What do you think of Murphy’s role in Inception?

Inception hits theaters and IMAX on July 16th, 2010. Your mind is the scene of the crime.

Source: Nolan Fans