Christopher Nolan Brought Lessons From Inception And The Prestige To His Dark Knight Trilogy

No one is more prepared than Batman. Everyone's favorite billionaire goth boy has backup plans for his backup plans, which include everything from drafting a "How to Kill Your Justice League Buddies for Dummies" guide, to a trusty can of Shark Repellant. In a very literal sense, Bruce Wayne is the DC equivalent of a doomsday prepper, except for the fact that the DC equivalent of doomsday is Doomsday and ... well, we all know how that turned out, don't we? At any rate, it's only fitting that a successful Batman adaptation would be helmed by creatives who took this same kind of reactionary mentality to the filmmaking process.

Enter Christopher and Jonah Nolan, the brothers behind "Batman Begins," "The Dark Knight," and "The Dark Knight Rises." More easily known as "The Dark Knight" trilogy (because we collectively imprinted on Heath Ledger's second to last film), the sequels weren't only shaped by what the Nolan brothers wanted to write but also by what they created outside of the DC space. Here's the story, as shared by Empire

The Prestige shaped The Dark Knight

As shared by Empire, The Nolan brothers utilized their experiences creating other films, namely "The Prestige" and "Inception," to better build "The Dark Knight" trilogy. For starters, Jonah Nolan expressed a thematic deviation from "Batman Begins" to "The Dark Knight" that found its roots in "The Prestige," where Nolan found that moving his crew around from location to location envigorated them creatively. Nolan shared how he took that approach to "The Dark Knight":

"When we made 'The Dark Knight' we quite specifically moved around. We started in Chicago, went to London, went back to Chicago which is a massive production no-no; you're never supposed to go back to the same place. But it meant we constantly challenged people to work in a new environment on a daily basis."

When you're sporting the kind of budget that a Nolan film is (in the case of "The Dark Knight," just a little under $200 million, by the way), you've got the wiggle room to make a few extra flights across the globe to get those creative juices flowing. 

Inception opened the doors for The Dark Knight Rises

Jonah Nolan went on to tell Empire that "Inception" eased his worries about writing "The Dark Knight Rises," the final installment in "The Dark Knight" trilogy. Nolan explained that, before his brother wrote "Inception," he was worried that audiences wouldn't be able to handle the sheer quantity of characters and depth of exposition that were necessary to tell the end of Bruce Wayne's narrative. But after "Inception" was received well, even without a clear-cut conclusion, Nolan began to trust that "The Dark Knight Rises" could match his vision. Nolan said that:

"In returning to Gotham I wasn't worried about how many characters it was gonna be. I wasn't worried about those kinds of complexities because I knew after 'Inception' we could trust the audience to go with us on this journey."

Interestingly, while the dialogue in certain circles regarding "The Dark Knight Rises" might suggest that it was received poorly, it currently possesses a near-identical Rotten Tomatoes score to "Inception," which beats Batman's audience rating by a meager single percent. It just goes to show that Nolan's confidence in the public was well-placed. In a funny sort of way, that matches the message in Robert Pattinson's "The Batman." Go figure.