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THE DARK KNIGHT RISES: Record IMAX Footage

The Dark Knight Rises Batman movie Christian Bale
Christian Bale, The Dark Knight Rises

The Dark Knight Rises will have more IMAX footage than any other Hollywood movie in history. As per a Wall Street Journal report, Christopher Nolan’s third and last installment in his Batman trilogy will offer more than one hour of scenes filmed with those cumbersome IMAX cameras. For comparison’s sake, The Dark Knight, the biggest 2008 blockbuster at the domestic box office, had 40 minutes of IMAX footage.

But what’s the big IMAX deal? After all, movies such as Tim Burton / Johnny Depp / Mia Wasikowska’s Alice in Wonderland, James Cameron / Sam Worthington’s Avatar, Gary Ross / Jennifer Lawrence / Josh Hutcherson’s The Hunger Games, and Bill Condon / Robert Pattinson / Kristen Stewart’s The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 were all shown on IMAX screens.

And upcoming IMAX releases include Joss Whedon / Chris Evans / Chris Hemsworth’s The Avengers, Ridley Scott / Noomi Rapace / Michael Fassbender’s Prometheus, and Marc Webb / Andrew Garfield / Emma Stone’s The Amazing Spider-Man.

Well, "the big deal" is that, as mentioned above, a large chunk of The Dark Knight Rises was filmed with an IMAX camera. Those other movies were (or are being) converted so they can be presented on IMAX screens. Though not exactly the same, it’s something akin to shooting a movie in 3D — say, Avatar, Martin Scorsese’s Hugo, or Ang Lee’s upcoming Life of Pi — or converting a 2D movie to 3D, e.g., Alice in Wonderland, The Avengers, or Louis Leterrier’s Clash of the Titans.

Alluding to the fact that IMAX cameras are huge, heavy, and noisy, Nolan is quoted as saying in the Wall Street Journal that "there was a huge irony that we were told it would be too difficult to shoot a Hollywood movie on IMAX, when we had this gigantic camera department, grips, electric, hundreds of people working for us. These were cameras that had been to the top of Mount Everest, to the bottom of the ocean and into outer space, but people thought we couldn’t make a feature film. It was absurd."

In North America, the Dark Knight Rises trailer — along with the Amazing Spider-Man trailer — will be screened prior to The Avengers on May 4. The Dark Knight Rises opens July 20.

Co-written by Nolan and his brother Jonathan Nolan, TDKR features Terminator Salvation / Public Enemies’ Christian Bale, Les Misérables / Love and Other DrugsAnne Hathaway, La Vie en Rose / Rust & Bone’s Marion Cotillard, This Means War / Wettest Country’s Tom Hardy, Latter Days / Inception’s Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and The Man Who Would Be King / AlfieMichael Caine.

Also: Dolphin Tale / Invictus’ Morgan Freeman, Reuben Reuben / Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence’s Tom Conti, and Birdy / Full Metal Jacket’s Matthew Modine, The Social Network / Battleship’s Josh Pence, Lovelace / Atonement / Juno Temple, Gone / One from the Money’s Daniel Sunjata, The Lost City / Killer Movie’s Nestor Carbonell, Family Weekend / Battle Los Angeles’ Joey King, Brett Cullen, Chris Ellis, Josh Stewart, Christopher Judge, Aidan Gillen, Adam Rodriguez, and Rob Brown.

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