Jonathan Nolan Talks Leaked ‘Dark Knight Rises’ Set Photos

Published 4 years ago by , Updated September 12th, 2013 at 7:21 pm,

Due to the high volume of revelatory photos that have leaked from the set of The Dark Knight Rises, there has recently been a bit of backlash toward the film, especially with regard to newly-introduced characters like Bane and Catwoman.

Recently, Jonathan Nolan – co-creator of the new CBS show Person of Interestand co-writer of The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises – talked about all the leaked photos, as well as the vast scale of action set pieces Christopher Nolan is producing.

Courtesy of IGN Movies, on the topic of the many, many, many leaked photos from TDKR, Jonathan Nolan said:

“It was great because we were working [on Person of Interest]. So that was the only way I was able to get down to set was to watch it on YouTube!”

Well, that’s a relief. It’s been interesting to see how fans have reacted to the set photos thus far. There’s a large swath who are genuinely irritated that the Internet is being inundated with so many spoilers – as if we human beings are incapable of avoiding articles with the headline “Set Photos From ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ Are Very Revealing.”

Anne Hathaway As Catwoman In The Dark Knight Rises Jonathan Nolan Talks Leaked Dark Knight Rises Set Photos

There’s another somewhat separate swath of fans who think that Catwoman’s look, Bane’s look, Bane’s goofy voice, and so forth, have been underwhelming when compared to what we’ve seen from previous Christopher Nolan Batman films (never mind the fact that those were finished products).

On that topic, Jonathan Nolan said:

” I think the goal with those movies is just to make something so… You know, Chris loves to shoot on these IMAX cameras, these massive cameras. As soon as you release something in the theaters, like a trailer, people go in and they record it with their iPhone or a camera, and they put it online. But when we first released that IMAX prologue for ‘The Dark Knight,’ the image was so big that no one could record the whole thing with their camera. So you have one YouTube video of the top half of it and another YouTube video of the bottom half. I think the goal with those movies and the thing that Chris is doing and just kicking ass with is making a movie so big that you couldn’t possibly fit all of it. Even in tiny little pieces, you still wouldn’t get a sense of the scale of it. I saw a little bit the other day, and the scale is just vast.”

The point being, it’s easy to judge something out of context, but it means very little with regard to the overall (motion) picture. After all, had you seen set photos of Steven Spielberg’s Jaws from back in the day, you’d probably assume that movie was going to be a train-wreck (like everybody else on the film assumed). Which isn’t to say that The Dark Knight Rises will be of the same quality as Jaws, but rather – it’s possible?

How are you feeling about TDKR, Screen Ranters? Have you been underwhelmed by what we’ve seen so far or are you taking a “wait-and-see” approach?


Follow me on Twitter @benandrewmoore.

Person of Interest airs Thursdays @8PM on CBS. The Dark Knight Rises hits theaters July 20, 2012.

Source: IGN Movies

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  1. Not worried. Others might not get what they expect and that could harm their experience with the movie but as for me I’m just going to sit back and enjoy the film.

    Not really looking at many photos myself and trying to stay clear of spoilers from this point on. I’m hoping for a good ending to this trilogy.

    Also on another topic one of the things I am excited about is seeing parts of the film in snow. I don’t know why but I just love seeing blockbuster films and comic book characters in the snow.

  2. Always the wait and see approach for me. While I don’t like how catwoman is turning out visually (specifically the head wear), I do know that the whole is often greater than the sum of its parts. So I will wait.

  3. I am not very concerned at all honestly. We have only seen snap shots and photos out of context. I am not saying this will be the best movie ever, but I do not get all the criticism when we see out of context photos.

  4. Im looking forward to TDKR. Set photos are amateur; Nolan is not

    • Nicely put. +1

    • Nolan is a highly overrated director. Some people call him the greatest, but truth be told he’s no where near. His films may look pretty but if you look deep enough into them, there soulless films that for some unexplained reason have fascinated millions of people (with the exception of “Memento” and “The Prestige”) Nolan’s best films in my opinion. The top five directors (alive or dead) for me, would be…

      1. Stanley Kubrick
      2. Martin Scorsese
      3. Ridley Scott
      4. Alfred Hitchcock
      5. James Cameron (not necessarily a great director, but the way he has evolved the technology for cinema has been incredible and undeniable.)

      Nolan MAY be in the top 20, but I doubt it.

      • if James cameron is in your top directing spot I don’t care about your opinion at all

      • first off you must know how to spell there is actually they’re. Two you ooze of arrogance. Three Ridley Scott hasn’t made a film which deserves mention on a list with Kubrick and Scorses or Hitchcock. Ridley is good but never great. Cameron, maybe in the top twenty, but common, you’ve lost so much ground and respect from me and you know it. Hence , your paranthese. Quit wacking it to avatar, please

        • What about “Blade Runner”? You can’t deny the brilliance of the film. And I’m with the poster below me, Nolan has never gone outside of his creative bubble. Look at a director like Zack Snyder for example – he made a zombie/apocalypse film and then did a period film and then a superhero film etc. he may not be good but at least that guy isn’t afraid to try new things. When I watch a Nolan film they always feel very similar in style and substance. And I didn’t really like “Avatar” that much btw, I too thought it was highly overrated – where on my list does it say I like “Avatar”? Liking James Cameron does not equal liking “Avatar” you ignorant turd. That’s like saying just because someone is German that automatically makes them Nazi. And speaking of overrated cough* “The Dark Knight” anyone? Biggest failure of a Batman film you could possibly get. Hell, even “Batman & Robin” is a better Batman film then “The Dark Knight” and THAT is saying something.

          • You think that Memento, Insomnia, Batman Begins, The Prestige, The Dark Knight, and Inception are all the same type of film? How? Or at least explain to me how those are the same and Zack Snyder’s films aren’t?

            • I don’t mean it literally. What I mean is that Nolan never changes his style every film is the same camera angles etc. and they all just have the same feel (gritty, realistic etc.) vs. Snyder where each of his films feel completely different. Apart from the obvious use of slow motion and colour you’d think that films like “300″ and “Watchmen” were directed by two completely different people. Another thing with Snyder is that he’s not afraid to experiment with his films (see “Sucker Punch”) he made a few mistakes, but now he knows how to improve (hopefully with “Man of Steel”) and honestly I never like the character of Superman – I’m only interested because of Snyder.

              Furthermore, Nolan has gotten way too cocky. Since “The Prestige” his entire attitude changed (watch some old interviews, you’ll see what I mean) he is a media whore in disguise – I’m just one of the few that can see past this bulls*** persona of his. He think himself top dog in Hollywood, in the same league as Kubrick…pifft as if.

              • “Furthermore, Nolan has gotten way too cocky. Since “The Prestige” his entire attitude changed (watch some old interviews, you’ll see what I mean) he is a media whore in disguise – I’m just one of the few that can see past this bulls*** persona of his.”

                You must be proud of yourself.

          • Let’s slow down and think about this for a second. I understand everyone has their own thoughts on what makes a good film but to say B&R is better than TDK and that as a Batman film TDK is a failure on almost every level is a bit much don’t you think? Even the stars of B&R admit it was a mess and as bad as Batman Forever was it was B&R that convinced WB to reboot the franchise…

            • At least “Batman & Robin” was a fun comedic take on The Dark Knight (the character, not the film) as a kid it was fun to watch. “The Dark Knight” on the other hand is just some crime/drama film that happens to feature characters from DC Comics. Did you know that out of the 2:30+ running time, Batman only has 24:56 actual screen time? That’s insane, especially considering IT IS A BATMAN FILM AND A SEQUEL! F*** that! I can’t wait for this reboot to be perfectly honest. And no, I’m not just some Nolan hater – I loved “Batman Begins”, my second favourite Batman film. Nolan killed Batman and I don’t know why people can’t see that. I also found a lot of the characters bland and just plain boring (Rachel and Gordon – I’m looking at you two). I really didn’t care when Rachel was blown up, in fact, I think I laughed my a** off. “The Dark Knight” is a good film, but as a Batman film it ranks below average. Btw the editing in “The Dark Knight” was terrible, it seriously gave me a headache.

              In terms of which is overall a better film, I would say…

              6. Batman & Robin
              5. Batman Forever
              4. Batman Returns
              3. Batman Begins
              2. Batman (classic)
              1. The Dark Knight

              In terms of which is the better BATMAN FILM

              6. The Dark Knight
              5. Batman & Robin
              4. Batman Returns
              3. Batman Forever
              2. Batman Begins
              1. Batman

              See the difference? So I’m not just some jerk, I have explained myself. It’s just my opinion, some will agree and some won’t but that’s just life for ya…

              And if you don’t agree with me…clearly you haven’t been paying attention ;)

              • I’ve been paying attention. And I agree that it’s just your opinion. :)

              • You’ve proven more than anythi8g that you’re an arrogant twat who can’t tell the difference between facts and opinions.

          • im sorry. i have no respect for people that enjoyed B&R. clooney regrets being in it, schumacher regrets making it. “Biggest failure of a Batman film you could possibly get.” TDK is one of the highest grossing films of all time. even if (in your opinion) the film fails as a good piece of cinema, it still brought bats back to life and made a billion dollars. B&R nearly killed it. . . . . ugh i cant stand people who post without knowing their facts.

      • James Cameron had nothing to do with “evolving technology for cinema.” That would be the special effects team that was hired by him to do ALL the work on Avatar and for him to take credit for it. Most overrated film of all time if I can even call it a film. Nolan is ten times the director Cameron is. Not to mention Nolan does it for better reasons, he’s more for the art and making a good film, while Cameron stands by watching the box office.

        • Wow, cause someone puts Cameron in their top 5 directors their opinion doesn’t mean anything? Please don’t be elitist, and being a grammar nazi is petty in my opinion, there is no correlation between spelling and intelligence. I do like most Nolan films, but I wouldn’t put him anywhere near the top, yet. He doesn’t have the longevity or gone outside his bleak style, and honestly he’s becoming a one trick pony.

          And, Cameron did have things to do with the technology in his films, you do realize the guy is an inventor and helped develop the 3D camera rigs that he used, the first thing Cameron ever did on a film was take apart the camera to see how it worked. I’m not advocating him though, I think he also has a one trick pony style as well, but extent of Nolan.

          My personal favorite directors (not best, because it is all subjective) are:

          The Coen Brothers
          Stanley Kubrick

          • Word, some good points, many I didn’t take into account. Cameron brought about the technology I just feel the people who had the most work done in the field fell by the way side with Cameron in the spotlight. But, as the director of a huge film its unavoidable. Its hard to give a film the necessary respect it deserves when it’s blown out of proportion and so many other great films out there go unnoticed.

      • I disagree. Christopher Nolan gets the respect that he deserves. I haven’t seen a movie by him that I wasn’t blown away by. You you have list of great directors (Scott and Cameron have had some flops), but I don’t think that Chris Nolan isn’t any less than them.

  5. what movie DOESN’T look a bit goofy and unorganized during principle photography? ppl are so dumb…

  6. Judging an entire movie off a few snapshots is like judging an entire wedding cake by looking at a bag of flour. Yes, you know it’s going to be in there, but not in the raw state you see it right now.

    • +1

    • Raw yes, but you can still get a fairly good indication, especially as this film doesnt use a lot of CGI. It is acceptable to judge on the costumes and look of a character because that is unlikely to change in post production.

      • I disagree. Regardless of the CG, the quality or, and angles/lighting/placement the cameras taking the pictures is not indicative of the movie as a whole. I tend to be a little more optimistic about movies, especially when all we’ve seen is basically behind the scenes and between shots kind of pictures. As guilty as I am too of looking at these shots, I tend to think that the massive amount of information available to everyone is ruining the movie industry. We’re more concerned with spoilers than the actual movie. If an actor taking a break between scenes isn’t fully decked out with every single piece of their costume on, then it must be a horrible movie.

        • I agree with you that we, the internet users, have essentially spolit movies for ourselves. There was a time when you never saw any of this stuff, until the studio was ready to release a few choice images. Now it feels like we have seen the film alreay. WHich of course we havent.

          I think there is something off about a lot of this film from what we have seen so far, mainly because an awfully large ammount of it seems to be set during the day and that seems fundementally wrong for Batman, but hey, Batman Begins was awesome, maybe this will be too.

          • The daylight shots have thrown me off a little bit too, but I can’t help but wonder if maybe, just maybe, Nolan and crew are throwing a little bit of a Trojan Horse our way. Security was so tight for TDK, and now pics are flowing like wine at a Lohan party. Warner knows this is it’s cash cow with Harry Potter being done, and with other notable comics characters not performing as well, they aren’t about to let this turn into a bomb.
            The best place to hide is in direct sight, and perhaps that’s what they’re doing here; creating some controversy to get the juices flowing.

            • Honestly, I think people have built up such a high level of expectation around Nolan, that even if they film isn’t an absolute classic, they won’t care anyway.

              As for it being misdirection, I seriously thought at first that it might, given as you said the tight security on TDK, we only saw what Nolan wanted us to see, and maybe this time is the same. But that just doesnt work, we have seen far toomuch for it to be fakery. No one would go to such extreme. Not even Batman himself.

              I even saw some of the filming in London. Saw Nolan and Hardy, and an explosion. Was cool.

              • It has always been cheaper to film in Daylight and post convert it. Most films use day to night.

                • Really? That doesn’t seem right.

                  • You shoot it with a film screen on making it darker. You can make it even darker in the edit room if need be. This way your actors can see and you don’t have to pay your crew overtime/night fees or set up generators and flood lights, all of which is more expensive.

                  • Its easier to film night scenes during the day on true filmstock because the low light is difficult for the film to capture. Sure, you could try to use strategically placed lights to brighten things up, but you have to consider how much light to use without losing the look of nighttime, where to place the lights so they don’t seem out of place, ect. To turn day into night, you could either convert it in post or you could place a gel in front of the camera lens during filming. Now, this isn’t a problem for digital video cameras, but since Nolan’s filming with IMAX filmstock instead, he has to work around that limitation.

            • Just cause its night in the pictures doesn’t mean the camera doesn’t have a light lens on it, it makes cleaner night shots

      • A look of a character will change drastically from what weve seen with these leaked photos and the finished project. Lighting, lenses, even sound will make a scene better (even though you cant see it).

    • you get a gold star!

  7. I’m looking forward to it. I wasted my money going to Joel Schumacher’s vision of the Batman franchise and that didn’t kill my love of the character. With that said, there is no way that these amateur pictures and video will sway my excitement for this movie.

  8. Thank you, Ben for this article…Given some of the crap the complainers have been engaging in, THIS was quite refreshing…as have been the responses so far to it.

    • Even mine.

  9. Batman Begins….The Dark Knight….Inception…yeah, I think I can ignore crappy iPhone leak photos — knowing what Nolan has given us in the past.
    Take a breath and relax, movie nerds. Nolan won’t let you down. He hasn’t so far.

    • Agree 100%

    • Actually, I was unimpressed with Inception…but that’s just my opinion.

    • Yeah agrees with ya every movie Nolan has made was awesome

  10. Like I’ve said before, I believe in Christopher Nolan.

  11. Watch insomnia, memento, and the prestige as well. Not blockbusters but still fantastic movies that alot of people dont know chris nolan made.

  12. The headgear DOES look a little off though, dont you agree? I still have very high hopes, just because of whos involved (watch tom hardy in bronson, he is amazing in it) and I wont judge much on amateur pics but, im hoping thats a beginning mask kind of like bruce wayne used a ski mask in bb.

  13. “The point being, it’s easy to judge something out of context, but it means very little with regard to the overall (motion) picture.”

    Excellent quote. Some of you out there need to let this sink in. Some of these complaints are just childish.

    I am not saying I wont complain if the finished project sux. But thats just it. Its not finished!!!!!

  14. “…as if we human beings are incapable of avoiding articles with the headline “Set Photos From ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ Are Very Revealing.””

    I’ve been trying to avoid all set photos in general, I want to see nothing of this movie until I watch it in theaters. However, when I click on an article titled “Jonathan Nolan Talks Leaked ‘Dark Knight Rises’ Set Photos” I don’t expect one of the said photos to be posted halfway through the article, as the title only suggests that the article is someone’s RESPONSE to the photos. So color me genuinely irritated.

  15. I’ve always said that you can’t judge the look of a film/characters from paparazzi set photos. I’m glad to see that most here (so far) seem to agree – but it seems that this is a different bunch of folks from the ones who comment on the actual set photo posts, who DO judge these things based on these pics. 8)


    • Vic, u need to get a better message board system, it wont process it because the program you’re using says “i think your message might be SPAM”, cant post my thoughts

      • JBM,

        If it says that, it’s because you’ve used a word that we’ve determined to be a red flag. Doesn’t mean YOU meant anything bad, but there are certain words we filter based on the fact that most of the time they’re contained in comments that are troublesome.


    • Apparently they still haven’t figured out that there’s this whole part of making a movie called “post-production”, where a lot of the “magic” happens.
      Case in point: The Dark Shadows set leak photo that has Depp looking like a french hooker, only to see the official photo and have something much different?

      Lenses, filters, and effects don’t occur on-set folks. You’d do well to remember that and control your hormones.

  16. I’m really not sure if the Jaws comparison is a fair one. The main reason why the cast and crew thought it was a train wreck was because of the sheer wall of technical difficulties they had with “Bruce” and filming in the water. In fact, the film was significantly changed because of those problems. We were supposed to have seen much more of the shark but, because of those problems, they let the audience’s imagination do much of the work. Luckily for all of us, the changes were a resounding success which put Spielberg on the map.

    So unless you are saying TDKR is plagued with technical problems and they have had to get creative in their filming choices, I’m not buying it. Set photos are not gonna change things like the dorky Catwoman outfit or the MK reject Bane get up. And yes, the shark did look cheesy close up in Jaws but the end shot where he leaped onto the boat was brief enough that it didn’t really detract from the overall experience. Now if we are only going to see Bane and Catwoman for a few mins then I would not be concerned BUT we know that’s not the case.

    • No, the only point was that everybody thought it would be terrible — and for reasons other than just Bruce — and it wasn’t. The finished product was perfect. I wasn’t drawing comparisons between technical difficulties, just the incorrect expectations.

      • Yeah but my point was, you cannot (or more should not) be comparing the two if they have completely different underlying reasons for the possible failure. Your bet bet imho would have been to find a similar movie that we all hacked to pieces based on poor set photos but was a resounding success.

  17. more like, im basing this movie is gonna be bad on the fact that- TDK was terrible for these reasons – poorly filmed action sequences, terribly overbearing serious dialogue, the diluting of legendary DC comic characters (including a weak/clueless batman),
    an ending that was so bad that it would turn a belligerent man sober,
    they just summed up Two face’s fate horribly, and jim gordon faking his death before he became commish was unsuspenseful because everyone knew he wasnt dead…
    now he expects me to be interested in catwoman & a Bane under 200 pounds, and a camo bat mobile.

  18. Let’s talk a little about how awesome Person of Interest is so far. I’m really loving it!!!!

  19. Although I try not to look at the photos and read spoilers my will power is non existent. But so far I haven’t seen or read anything that makes me worry about TDKR. I like the look of Bane, Catwoman and I think the Bat-Pod looks pretty awesome. So for me the finished product will only make these certain things look better. And to add my 2 cents in the Nolan debate I think so far his 6 major releases have been top notch films but in no way do I think any of them are perfect or that he has reached the level of one of the best directors ever. He’s done good to great work so far but let’s see a few more films before they name the Oscar for directing after him…

  20. One can piece together a film pretty well these days based on all the information online. The costume designs for Bane and Catwoman are quite underwhelming. No amount of IMAX or story will save that. Batman needs a costume. I hope the Batjet shown isn’t the new Batmobile.

    Dark Knight doesn’t hold up on multiple viewings. Heather Ledger’s performance is the only thing worth watching in that. Batman is little more than a reactionary incidental character among all the other characters.

    Dark Knight Rises, so far not peaking my interest in the slightest. If it wasn’t Nolan, I’d say WB has another flop on it’s hands like Green Lanter which I called it.

  21. Pffft, we’ll all be there to see it the first or second week…

  22. The man given us two quality Batman films. One could aruge they are the two best superhero films ever. You might think he’s a tad overrated as a director but we’re all comic book fans here or some just Batman fans, so at least give the man some respect to the fact he gave us two pretty good Batman films and stop trashing him because he is or isn’t on some made up ‘top director of all time’ list.

  23. What JN says about the big scale of this finally gets me excited about the movie’s logo – it sounds right, and again, it sounds like TDKR is going to have everything in it I had hoped for (a return to a “dark” Gotham and so forth).

    As for what we’ve seen so far, well, let’s compare it with a video that somebody up in a building made of the filming of a “Transformers 3″ scene. The crew were basically launching a car on an urban street somewhere. It was quite underwhelming to someone who had the earlier movies in mind…but the same surely can’t be said about the finished result.

    The leaked videos, in particular, from TDKR are incredibly exciting, compared to that T3 car launch…that’s very encouraging. What’s puzzling is that comment about not being able to see the top and bottom of the shot together – how does that fit into the video we’ve seen?

    There’s only one spoiler that would ruin it for me, and fortunately, they’ve only hinted at it a little bit: does Bruce ever climb out of the well on his own, in a figurative sense? Don’t tell me – just release the movie soon, okay? I don’t think I can wait until next year. :)

  24. I for one think it’s kind of neat to see behind the scenes stuff like this, before it’s polished up.

  25. IN NOLAN WE TRUST…nuff said.

  26. Claiming that all/or some of Christopher Nolan’s films are horrible doesn’t make you sound like a wonderfully sophisticated film intellectual. It makes you sound like you don’t know what your talking about and the fact that you say ‘Batman and Robin’ is better than ‘The Dark Knight’ only confirms that you have a poor taste in films