Christopher Nolan Wants to Shoot An Entire Movie on IMAX

December 8, 2008
Source: SlashFilm, AICN

Wally Pfister and Christopher Nolan

We're really trying not to write about The Dark Knight much anymore, but damnit, it keeps popping up! I blame SlashFilm for uncovering a great tidbit of news today, one which I couldn't pass up because it really excites me. Christopher Nolan recently appeared at a Blu-Ray release event for the film and spoke with a fan, with some of his quotes ending up on Ain't It Cool News. The one that really caught my eye was where Nolan mentioned that he "would love to shoot a film entirely in IMAX." For those that followed Nolan's thoughts on IMAX when The Dark Knight was first hitting theaters, he explained that he loves the format and was only experimenting in it, but found there to be too many technical issues to use it all too often.

Nolan said that shooting in IMAX is more about "clarity and sharpness" and not size, and is about providing a "sense of the screen disappearing." For those of you who did see TDK on IMAX, you know exactly what he means. In terms of technical issues, IMAX cameras can only shoot about three minutes of footage before they must change reels and are so noisy, that all dialogue has to be re-recorded in post production. This poses a problem because this younger generation of actors has less experience with ADR (Automated Dialogue Replacement) and it's harder to get a perfect result. Instead, he's considering shooting a hybrid film using a 65mm camera for all scenes with dialogue, and an IMAX camera for everything else.

Might Nolan eventually consider shooting the sequel to The Dark Knight on IMAX? As of right now, I doubt it, because as Peter at SlashFilm also conjectures, he'll experiment with another film before he risks it on anything big. Speaking of the sequel, USA Today also spoke with Nolan on his plans. He is currently jotting notes and doing some rough outlines for a third story, but hasn't found anything that "he's willing to commit to film." Nolan adds that, "It was obvious when the box office was so big ($530 million domestically) that we had underestimated how ready fans were to reboot the franchise," he says. "The worst thing you could do now that you've gotten the plane back in the air is mess up the landing."

Getting back to the main focus of this article, I'm very excited at the prospect of seeing an entire dramatic movie in IMAX. While I won't go as far as to claim that IMAX itself is the future, it's this kind of technical progression that is driving the future of cinema, not 3D. As much as the folks at IMAX would love to hear me proclaim that their format is the future, I think it's safer for me to say that experiments in large format filmmaking and other techniques that fully immerse the moviegoer are where we'll see visionaries like Christopher Nolan heading next. I get chills just thinking about seeing an entire action movie in IMAX, as the little bit of The Dark Knight that we did see in 70mm took my breath away. What about you?

Find more posts: Hype, Movie News, Opinions



There are no IMAX theaters near me, I've never seen what IMAX looks like. I think I'm missing out.

Syphous on Dec 8, 2008


IMAX is a wonderful medium and is currently under-utilized. I have seen several short documentaries at the IMAX cinemas and have always wanted to see a FULL length movie shot in IMAX and not just blown up on an IMAX screen. Yes, IMAX is more expensive to see, but I would pay to see good movies there.

Mike McRorey on Dec 8, 2008


IMAX is the boss, but... Is Nolan a long-shot kind of director? (e.g. Tarantino?) Because if he is filming an entire film in IMAX would be a hassle

Jafz on Dec 8, 2008


I'd like to see that done. IMAX has infinitely more potential than 3D does at this time, and I'm a bit lost as to why so few studios are taking advantage of a technology that's fully fleshed out.

Will S. on Dec 8, 2008


Ive seen several movies in IMAX, and I didnt really notice a difference at all in the film, until TDK came along. Hopefully this gets utilized more often, because it really did add to the experience, using genuine IMAX cameras

Chris W on Dec 8, 2008


Syphous, when Revenge of the Sith came out digitally a couple of years ago I honestly considered taking a road trip 3-5 hours to get to the nearest digital theater. Heck, I was on vacation at that time anyway. I think the Imax version of TDK (and probably any Nolan-directed sequels) is worth equal consideration. 😀

kevjohn on Dec 8, 2008


TDK in IMAX was breath taking. that first scene just popping out of the screen, i felt like i was watching from above the city myself. i sure hope nolan experiments with IMAX in all sorts of ways. it'd be fun to see the different things he'll try. and i'm glad to hear nolan's so considerate of the fans that he's mapping out the 3rd film so carefully. he can take all the time he wants on it. i'd be there at the midnight release no matter what.

craziemutant on Dec 8, 2008


I got the privilege to view the Dark Knight twice...both times in IMAX, and I can honestly say IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE. I find this a really interesting example of where the technology has not kept up to the demands of modern movie-making. With spectacular new digital cameras like the RED slowly replacing film as the medium of choice, why don't we have digital IMAX cameras? I would think there must be a camera system that can capture as much information as IMAX, and simply with a gigantic hard drive or connection, to constantly offload footage onto massive hard drives. Wouldn't this be quiet enough for normal footage?

jman571 on Dec 9, 2008


I think Nolan should shoot a live-action Robotech movie all in IMAX format. The story, look, and scale is perfect for it [IMAX].

Noodles777 on Dec 9, 2008

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