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Nolan & Bale Talk 'Dark Knight Rises,' Joker Off Limits, Peter Jackson Envy & More with EW

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood July 12, 2012 at 3:17PM

Entertainment Weekly recently sat down with Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale to talk -- what else? -- "The Dark Knight Rises." A quote for franchise fans? Nolan says: "I will cop to this: The 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy was in the back of our minds the entire time we were making these." Five more notable quotables below!
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Dark Knight Rises 2

Entertainment Weekly recently sat down with Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale to talk -- what else? -- "The Dark Knight Rises." A quote for franchise fans? Nolan says: "I will cop to this: The 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy was in the back of our minds the entire time we were making these." Five more notable quotables below!

1. Nolan on the problem with trilogies: "There are very few great third films. I think in some cases dissatisfaction with third films comes from the sheer exhaustion of the people making it."

2. Nolan on Peter Jackson envy: "What Peter Jackson did was completely different. He had the whole story for all three films; he was physically capable of shooting it all at once. I can’t imagine doing it myself. It’s one of the great achievements in movies.”

3. Nolan on not mentioning the Joker in TDKR: "I felt very strongly that the Joker was off-limits. I don’t want to trivialize a tragedy like that by explaining it away in some fashion. I made the choice, immediately, that talking about the Joker was off the table. It’s just the way I feel about it, based on my relationship with Heath."

4. Bale on Bruce Wayne's many identities: “It was playing the idea of there being three Bruce Waynes. The public, vacuous billionaire. The private Bruce Wayne who is still a child. And then the vengeful one who is a monster. Remembering that, I was no longer playing a guy who was dressing up and looking silly. It was a man playing multiple parts, and a man who dressed up as a monster for a reason, because he feels monstrous, and so he must become a monster in those moments.”

5. Bale on his yearlong hiatus between "The Machinist" and "Batman Begins": “People are always very generous in the way that they put that: 'Oh, he took a year off.' It sounds wonderful when people say, 'Oh, he just didn’t find anything he liked.' Yes, that may well have been true, but there’s also the fact that you’re not being offered anything that you like."

The new issue of Entertainment Weekly hits newsstands July 13.

This article is related to: Entertainment Weekly, Christian Bale, Christopher Nolan, Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight Rises


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.