Warner Bros takes ‘The Dark Knight’ to Imax

MUMBAI: Director Christopher Nolan is filming four sequences in the next instalment of Warner Bros Pictures’ Batman franchise, The Dark Knight, with extremely high resolution Imax cameras using the giant 15/70 film format.

While it is not unique for a feature lensed on traditional 35mm film to be re-mastered to screen in Imax theatres, this marks the first time ever that a major feature film has been even partially shot using Imax cameras, marking a revolutionary integration of the two film formats. The announcement was made today by Jeff Robinov, President of Production, Warner Bros Pictures.

The marriage of footage filmed with Imax and 35mm cameras in the final feature will have a major impact on the audience’s viewing experience, whether seeing The Dark Knight in an Imax or traditional theatre. When the scenes shot on Imax cameras are shown in Imax theatres, the aspect ratio will morph to 1.43 to 1, expanding the image to fill the entire screen and magnifying the overall effect, both literally and figuratively.

The first of the scenes, including a prologue that introduces Batman’s arch-nemesis The Joker, was shot in April, several weeks in advance of the actual start of principal photography. Additional selected scenes are being filmed with Imax cameras during the course of production on The Dark Knight, it is learnt.

This is not the first time that Warner Bros has set a new standard in its association with Imax. Christopher Nolan’s 2005 blockbuster Batman Begins was the first action feature to play on Imax screens in museums as well as multiplexes, after being digitally remastered for the Imax Experience with proprietary IMAX DMR technology.

In 2006, Superman Returns became the world’s first live-action feature to have selected segments converted from 2D into Imax 3D. Most recently, the mega-hit 300 obliterated all previous attendance records at Imax theatres in its record-breaking opening weekend in March.

The follow-up to the action hit Batman Begins, The Dark Knight reunites director Christopher Nolan and star Christian Bale, who reprises the role of Batman/Bruce Wayne. In the new film, Batman raises the stakes in his war on crime. With the help of Lieutenant Jim Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent, Batman sets out to dismantle the remaining criminal organizations that plague the city streets. The partnership proves to be effective, but they soon find themselves prey to a reign of chaos unleashed by a rising criminal mastermind known to the terrified citizens of Gotham as The Joker.

The Dark Knight is being produced by Emma Thomas, Charles Roven and Christopher Nolan, with Kevin De La Noy, Benjamin Melniker and Michael E Uslan serving as executive producers. Nolan is directing the film from a screenplay written by Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan, story by Christopher Nolan and David Goyer. The Dark Knight is based upon Batman characters created by Bob Kane and published by DC Comics.

The Dark Knight will be presented by Warner Bros Pictures in association with Legendary Pictures. The film will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros Pictures.