[It seems a new IMAX camera is being developed in order to shoot The Dark Knight Rises entirely in IMAX - See post for details.]
Director Christopher Nolan's Inception is currently showing in 197 IMAX venues, which accounted for over $7 million of its first weekend box office gross - and the film wasn't even shot in the large-scale format.
Nolan and his trusted cinematographer Wally Pfister ultimately concluded that the use of IMAX cameras wouldn't allow for their preferred handheld style of shooting. But will that be the case for Batman 3 as well?
Here is Pfister's opinion on the matter:
"I can't say until I read the script, but it would certainly be my preferred, amazing goal to shoot the whole movie in IMAX... Chris [Nolan]'s films are so densely layered and have so much going on visually in every way that IMAX helps enhance that because of the scope and the scale of it - it becomes a much larger canvas to paint on."
Portions of The Dark Knight (like the Hong Kong sequence) were shot using IMAX cameras and Nolan has previously expressed his own adoration for the format - though he loathes the practical complications that arise from the bulky technology.
As for the possibility of shooting in the other premium format (3D), Nolan recently claimed that he will not be shooting Batman 3 in 3D. In related news, Bat fans are breathing a mass sigh of relief.
Pfister has a sharp eye for crisp, dark visuals - as evidenced through his collaborative efforts with Nolan. The 3D conversion process affects both the depth of focus and the initial lighting scheme used to shoot a film, so a director of photography like Pfister would especially have to take that into account.
Would Batman 3 benefit significantly from the 3D format? Pfister seems to have his doubts, as he feels that "when you separate those different planes and you're creating artificial depth [with 3D], it looks phony to me."
Pfister claims that he usually works about four months on pre-production logistics before beginning principal photography on a film. Nolan's third Batman film seems like a good candidate to try and shoot entirely in the IMAX format - but the matter will ultimately depend on whether Pfister and Nolan can come up with a feasible plan. A plan that doesn't infringe upon, or interfere with, their artistic sensibilities.
The pair have raised the bar pretty high after releasing features like The Dark Knight and Inception - chances are they'll do it again (one way or another) with their next film.
UPDATE: Collider has done some digging into this matter and dug up some exciting news - Batman 3 (now titled The Dark Knight Rises) will likely be shot entirely in IMAX!
Here's what Collider's source had to say about the matter:
"I’m hearing that Nolan will try and shoot The Dark Knight Rises totally in IMAX. I’ve heard that IMAX has been quietly developing a smaller, less intrusive camera that will be able to handle dialogue scenes. If the camera is finished in time, expect Nolan to use it."
Those who saw The Dark Knight in IMAX theaters know just how gorgeous the full IMAX sequences looked on the massive screen. Keep your fingers crossed that this new IMAX camera is finished on time, because we're pretty sure that Nolan will do some amazing things with the improved technology.
The Dark Knight Rises is scheduled to arrive in U.S. theaters on July 20th, 2012.
Update Source: Collider