The Brothers Nolan on The Dark Knight

ComingSoon.net/Superhero Hype! talked to “The Prestige” director/co-writer Christopher Nolan and his brother (and co-writer) Jonathan about their anticipated Batman Begins follow-up, The Dark Knight, coming to theaters in June of 2008:

ComingSoon.net/Superhero Hype!: You said you don’t think about casting until you’ve finished a script, but you cast Heath Ledger [as Joker], so does that mean that “The Dark Knight” script is actually finished?

Christopher Nolan: Umm, no it doesn’t, what it means is that we finished constructing that character and so we were able to sorta think about that. You know, his casting was a series of fortunate events, he expressed an interest. I hadn’t really thought that he would be interested in doing it but it was worth a try so it was actually a very early conversation. Then, you know, we realized we were seeing the same character.

CS/SHH!: You also said that Harvey Dent will be in the new film, but does that mean that Two Face will be in the film?

Christopher: I couldn’t say, you’ll find out.

CS/SHH!: How much have you written?

Christopher: You want to know what page I’m on? I wouldn’t tell the studio that, I’m not going to tell you that (laughter). What I will say is it’s coming along.

CS/SHH!: Christian [Bale] has said that even he hasn’t had a conversation about what the next [Batman] movie is going to be about. How important is it to keep it with [David] Goyer, your brother and yourself before releasing it to executives?

Christopher: We keep it very close to the chest. I mean, we, it’s part of the process. We’ve been working on the script for a long time, over a year now one way or another with David Goyer and my brother, but it has to be right. We are almost finished.

CS/SHH!: Are we going to see the detective side of Batman in this one?

Christopher: I can’t really say any more about it (laughter).

CS/SSH!: It will be darker than the first one?

Christopher: To be honest, I really don’t think in those terms, the story will be what the story is and it will be for you guys to say whether it is or not. I honestly don’t think of it like that.

CS/SHH!: How close are we to hearing who Harvey Dent is going to be?

Christopher: I don’t know who is going to be him and I am the only person who would know so…I don’t know.

CS/SHH!: Are we a couple months away?

Christopher: I don’t know. We’ll have to know fairly soon I suppose is what you are asking. We’re shooting in February so…

CS/SHH!: So who is the bigger comic book fan prior to Batman was it you or [Christopher]?

Jonathan Nolan: You know it’s funny, I have told this story a couple of times at the risk of sounding like I am repeating myself, when I was 14 years old, my brother, I was not a big comic book fan when I was a kid, a little bit of this a little bit of that, but Chris gave me a copy of Dark Knight Returns for my birthday when I was 14 and that was it. That was the only superhero that I was interested in. Fifteen years later to the day, last year we went to the premiere of “Batman Begins,” which I worked on sort of on and off, not as a writer but as a consultant. It was really, really cool to be there because Batman is really the only, well, as you know he’s the best superhero. For me he was the only superhero, so to work on that sort of material doesn’t happen often but when it does happen you just feel very, very lucky.

CS/SHH!: How much of “The Dark Knight” are you involved in, are you heavily involved as a co-writer?

Jonathan: I wrote my draft, now Chris is…

CS/SHH!: What can you tell us about your draft?

Jonathan: There’s actually a Warner Brothers team of ninjas that will double execute me if I say anything about the script.

CS/SHH!: Is it darker than the original one?

Jonathan: The name says it all.

CS/SHH!: Batman is a detective in the comic books, are we going to see that side of him in the next film? Are you hoping to see the detective side?

Jonathan: Wouldn’t that be great. That would be fantastic. I would love that, that would be wonderful. (smiling)

CS/SHH!: I was curious; you turned in your draft, now how does it work when the two of you write together? Is it very much a question of, you turn in a draft, he looks at it, rewrites and comes back to you and then you come up with other ideas?

Jonathan: The way it’s worked on all the films, we tried at one point for like a day to try and write together and that wasn’t working. We tend to work on…separate drafts, both Chris and I think of writing as a sort of tortured solitary existence which is probably how you arrive at the best material but then the process that we found that works very well is you go off and lose your mind and write the draft and come back in and then the other guy says, this sucks, you know, and you have to sort of fight for the ideas that are good. It tends to be the case that the best stuff from each of the films are the ones that we argued about, the ones that went back and forth, but yeah, I’ll write a draft, he’ll write a draft…

CS/SHH!: Now David Goyer is also a part of this writing team isn’t he?

Jonathan: Yes.

CS/SHH!: So is he also coming up with a draft or is he just putting notes in?

Jonathan: At this point, Dave’s a really busy dude, a really busy guy, we’re very lucky to be able to get him to collaborate with Chris on the story. So those guys gave me the s….I wish I could tell you all about it because it’s awesome, they gave me this awesome story…

CS/SHH!: Which is what (laughing)?

Jonathan: My job was really easy because they just gave me this fantastic story and I just sort of put it together. But we were lucky to get David [Goyer] but he’s been super, super busy so I don’t know how it’s going to work from here on out.

CS/SHH!: So Chris writes, David writes and they both direct. When are we going to see you crossover and direct a comic book?

Jonathan: Yeah, right? I am still concentrating on, I think I still have a lot to learn about the writing and I do have an interest in directing but I really want to nail the writing part first.

Source: Heather Newgen