The Dark Knight to be Shot on IMAX, First Look at the Joker?

It seemed like only yesterday that Christopher Nolan managed the impossible: he resurrected the Batman franchise with “Batman Begins” and actually made Bats cool again. Two years later, Nolan is back in the batcave with “The Dark Knight”, and he’s determined to make it bigger and better — by shooting four scenes from the upcoming sequel in IMAX, including the introduction of The Joker (played by Heath Ledger), says USA Today. So what the heck is this IMAX thing, and why is this such a big deal?

Typically, the feature films that play in IMAX theaters are simply stretched out to fill the enormous screens. That can dilute the picture quality and give the movie a wide, squat look.

Shooting on IMAX, Nolan says, will have a twofold effect. The four scenes will fill the IMAX screens, some of which are eight stories high. And in traditional theaters, the scenes will appear more vivid (think high-definition television over standard).

And shooting in the format is difficult. IMAX film, which is 10 times the size of standard film stock, is costly and must be shot using bulky cameras.

And “they’re loud,” Nolan says. “We had to figure a way to eliminate the sound so we could shoot dialogue.”

Hmm, sounds hard! Maybe he should just stick to making a good movie? But hey, what do I know. Maybe he can do both. As I hear it, Nolan can walk and chew gum at the same time.

Anyways, the USA Today article also had a brand spanking new “Dark Knight” still with it, apparently a “scan shot” for the IMAX stuff. I don’t know if it’s the Joker, or if that’s Heath Ledger behind that clown mask, but probably, since as promised, the introduction of the Joker (re: Heath before he became the Joker) was supposed to be shot in IMAX.