‘The Dark Knight Rises’ To Have 50 Minutes of IMAX-Shot Footage. G’damn.

It’s quickly becoming clear where we should all be seeing The Dark Knight Rises. With nearly 50 minutes of IMAX-shot footage, seeing it on anything less than an IMAX screen is depriving yourself of the true thunderous glory of Nolan’s work.


Tonight at the Hollywood presentation of The Dark Knight Rises prologue, I got an opportunity to speak briefly with director Christopher Nolan. He reiterated part of his introduction, stating that film is very special to him and that the 70mm IMAX presentation replicates the magic of going to movies from his childhood. After seeing the first 6 minutes of Rises in IMAX, I wouldn’t recommend that anyone see the movie any other way (and I haven’t even seen one twentieth of the movie).

And that is when I decided to ask Nolan: “just how much of his film will be presented in IMAX?” He told me that the finished film will likely have around 50 minutes of IMAX shot-and-projected footage. 50 Minutes!

To give you some perspective:

In addition to the opening 6-minute Joker introduction, there was another 20-or-so minutes of IMAX footage in The Dark Knight.
Brad Bird’s Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol has 23-minutes of IMAX-shot footage.

Fifty-or-so minutes is roughly double the amount of IMAX footage seen in The Dark Knight. I can’t stress how amazing the IMAX footage looked in the prologue. If you saw The Dark Knight in huge screen IMAX, then you might remember the feeling. I thought I remembered, but I didn’t. It could be that the lackluster films which have since featured IMAX-shot footage (Transformers 2) may have slightly tainted my memories. Seeing Batman again, on the huge screen, in the crystal clear resolution, was like seeing 3D for the first time.

The director told me that he shot as much as the movie as he could with the IMAX cameras regardless of the issues it presents. Filmmakers have been wary to use IMAX cameras during close-up sequences due to the extremely loud noise caused by camera. Any dialogue-featured footage shot with an IMAX camera surely needs ADR (the actors need to rerecord the dialogue to tape again in post production). It is clear from the prologue footage that this issue did not scare Nolan. And it could just be me, but I got the impression that Nolan was being conservative with his estimate – I wouldn’t be surprised if the final count is higher.

I’ll be there in the IMAX-Heaven next summer. Props to Nolan for not giving a fuck about the specifics or nuances or nuts, and even many crannies when it came to shooting in IMAX. My only tears are reserved for everyone who doesn’t have such a theater near them. They’ll have to suffer for the scrunched projection on an ole regular screen.