Known as one of not only the greatest comic book movies, but also one of the best narravtives of all time, The Dark Knight raised the standards for action movies all around. One of the first comic book movies to make $1 billion at the box office, the Christopher Nolan feature was surrounded with praise for its direction and its visual effects, and even more so for the final performance of Heath Ledger as the Joker.
In anticipation of the final film in Nolan’s trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises, Empire Magazine sat down with some of the biggest names in Hollywood to talk about the cultural and inspirational significance of Dark Knight. From Marvel Studios‘ Kevin Feige and director Zack Snyder, to 1989 Batman director and generally strange human being, Tim Burton – just a few of the names from the Empire article.
Check out what the Hollywood elite had to say in the jump.
“I like Chris Nolan’s Batman movies. It kind of makes me laugh because I got so much shit for being too dark and now, with him, it’s like, ‘Lucky you.’ But that’s the way it should be. I wish I hadn’t had to go through quite so much torture. They weren’t used to that mood then. Comic books were supposed to be light. I did what I wanted to do and it seemed different at the time. And what he did has become normal.”
“When I’ve watched The Dark Knight more analytically, as a filmmaker, I’ve noticed things that go against the way we’re supposed to do them. Like there’s music throughout that movie, yet they pull it right out during the really intense chase scenes and it has a strange effect of making those moments really grounded and believable and more exciting. It’s stuff like that that really sets it apart from other blockbusters. And I’m really pleased the movie was such a success because never again can a studio underestimate the audience.”
“The success and quality of The Dark Knight was just as important for Marvel as it was for all the people involved in that movie. I look back at the summer of 2008 as a two-hander between Iron Man and The Dark Knight, and I think they both really announced, ‘Okay, this is not a fad, this genre is here to stay.’ After The Dark Knight, we didn’t fall into a trap of saying, ‘Woah, audiences like dark and gritty! Make Thor dark and gritty, make Captain America dark and gritty!’ But I think it showed how diverse these movies can be. I root for ever single one of the comic book movies that aren’t ours. I hope every one is great and when they’re not, it’s disappointing, because people don’t always make the distinction between DC and Marvel.”
“The greatest villain of all time is The Joker – he always has been and I don’t know anyone who’s not going to have Heath Ledger’s performance burnt into their brains for the rest of their lives. And the thing about Chris that I admire so much is that he’s not afraid to talk up to the audience, rather that down to the audience. He makes a gorgeous film; he makes an elegant and intelligent film, and that’s the sort of thing that they didn’t used to do with the superhero genre.”
“What Chris did with that movie was he made our mythology mean something to us. Batman is no longer a man in a suit. He’s us. But it’s not a repeatable thing, as far as tone and mood go. The Dark Knight Rises can be that again, but other superhero movies can’t because they don’t have the balls. That tone is transcendent. That’s a movie anyone can see and say, ‘I understand that mythology instantly'”
“I think audiences, especially at that particular moment in time, were facing a certain reality check. Foreign wars, a crumbling economy – and the actor who played the villain met a really, premature, tragic death before the movie came out. All of those things combined to make a very zeitgeist film. I referenced it all the time during the making of Apes, in terms of my hopes for people understanding the idea was to make a film that really dealt with our world. Warner Bros. has done a huge amount, especially with that particular film and Christopher Nolan, to make other studios give other filmmakers the opportunity to tell really intelligent, well thought-out character dramas on that kind of scale.”
To see what others had to say, including Wes Anderson, Peter Berg and David Koepp, be sure to pick up the latest issue of Empire Magazine on newsstands now. The Dark Knight Rises, starring Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Anne Hathaway and Tom Hardy, hits theaters everywhere July 20th.
Source: Empire Magazine