The great thing about reunion movies like The Prestige is that you can grill several people about their blockbuster franchise. If Christian Bale won’t talk about the Batman Begins sequel (which he won’t), you can still press Christopher Nolan and Michael Caine. Nolan wasn’t so much forthcoming as he was philosophical.
Bale, Nolan and Caine Talk The Dark Knight
“I mean, it's a pretty dumb thing of me to do, to go back and try and do it again,” said the director. “But you like the challenge. I just found the world and the characters pretty fascinating. And we felt that you just wanted to push with on the story really. But it'll be a huge challenge. We were very happy with the way the first film worked out and then was perceived. So yeah, it's an enormous risk. That's really what you have to be doing as a filmmaker, I think, is taking enormous risks.”
Caine had a fairly risky idea, courtesy of Bob Kane’s widow, which he hopes Nolan will entertain. “She said, ‘He wrote a marvelous thing that you should do in your next movie. He wrote a sequence where Batman was trying to get the bad guys and he wanted to use the butler dressed as Batman as a ruse and go back around behind them.’ So I said to Christopher, I don't know whether he’s done it because he won’t tell you anything about the script, I mentioned this to him because I thought this was a great idea. I think if he dresses me as Batman it could be one of the funniest sequences in the history of movies. Could you imagine what I would make out of that trying to get into the Batman suit? And then running around the woods while he’s going around the other way to get the bad guys? See, you’re already laughing. In those films, they’re very serious and my job is to bring the humor of the sort of ordinary person in that situation, which is what I am.”
Nolan would neither confirm nor deny the rumor that Jake Gyllenhaal was up for the role of Two Face/Harvey Dent. “[He’s] not very close at all,” said Nolan. “I mean, I haven't thought about casting at all. Other than Heath, [who] was a particular case in point because he just became a possibility and I jumped on that because he was the guy I needed. I didn’t particularly think he’d be interested but I asked him and he luckily really got it. Really got what we were trying to do. But I haven't finished the script yet. There'll be plenty of time for that.”
At least he’s got his Batman, Alfred, Commissioner Gordon and Lucius Fox nailed down. “There are certain things that obviously you're not having to worry about and spend time on. We've already made the Batmobile. We already have the main members of the cast. So, yeah. But frankly, the new film poses all kinds of new challenges so it'll be just as tricky in its own way.”
What does Christian Bale think of all this? “Listen, I’m sure we’ll be making it better,” he said. “We’ve got the confidence now of the people behind us that it really works and people embraced it and liked it. But beyond that, it’s got more secrecy than the NSA.”
Production is set to begin on The Dark Knight in early 2007.
Stay tuned for updates.