Thursday, July 19, 2007

I believe in Christopher Nolan

Filming for "The Dark Knight" the sequel to "Batman Begins" is going strong in Chicago. Though the film is not out until next year, the hype for this film is crazy. The teaser trailer will be shown with "The Simpsons Movie" as if that wasn't going to make enough money by itself.

Nolan is using the Batman story "The Long Halloween" as a starting point for "The Dark Knight". This is a great graphic novel, and you should read it if you haven't already along with "The Killing Joke". Nolan is very familiar with Batman and the stories that are loved and cherished by fans.

Though I am still skeptical of Heath Ledger as The Joker, I give Christopher Nolan all the benefit of the doubt. "Batman Begins" is one of the best "Superhero" films, and one of the best films period from 2005. I love all of Nolan's films going back to Memento, and the man has not let me down yet. The thing I love so much about Nolan is the detail work he does. It's the subtle things that make me excited in movies. The little details, the small and seemingly insignificant that just add to the overall whole. That's what makes a film interesting to me, what gives it the spice, the flavor.

There is a scene in "The Dark Knight" where Harvey Dent (District Attorney of Gotham) and Rachael go to the theater to see The Russian Ballet. The show has been canceled because Bruce Wayne has taken all the ballet dancers on a cruise on his yacht. Now....what does this have to do with anything? Well, in his previous movie "The Prestige", Hugh Jackman's character (Robert Angier) tries to rent a theater for his final magic shows, and is told he cannot because The Russian Ballet has it booked during that time.

Nolan is making a subtle homage to "The Prestige" with just one little detail in "The Dark Knight". It's tiny, it doesn't mean anything in the overall film, but to fans that are "Watching Closely" it's a nice little piece. Very smart, very clever, very cool.

Which brings us to these photos. The top photo is Cesar Romero as The Joker in the Batman TV series.

The second photo is Heath Ledger's character as The Joker wearing a clown mask during a bank robbery in which he hijacks a school bus full of kids. Notice the similarities of the two clowns? Again, Nolan is making a small and seemingly insignificant nod to previous work. He knows Batman. He has a sense of history, and he is methodical, detailed and one hell of a filmmaker. I cannot wait to see how Nolan and Ledger make this Joker work. I know if will be the opposite of Nicholson's Joker, and I am ok with that. That Joker would never work in the Batman universe that Nolan has and is creating. I hope the trailer has some live action of Ledger. I want to see that smile. I want to hear that laugh. I want goosebumps and fear. Joker is nasty. Joker is evil. Joker is crazy. I want my already high expectations to go through the roof. I am still somewhat skeptical if Ledger can pull it off, but if Nolan says he can, I believe in Christopher Nolan. I have no reason not to.

The bottom photo is Heath Ledger as The Joker on set of "The Dark Knight".

No comments: