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Film Studies 101
Feature
How Christopher Nolan Rebuilt Batman
The five aspects that shaped the Dark Knight's world

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How Christopher Nolan Rebuilt Batman | 4. The City
4. The City

“No whimsy” was the mantra for Batman Begins, according to Nathan Crowley, meaning that the dark-fairy-tale Gotham of previous years had to be reassembled from the ground up. To that end, Crowley set about mapping the town onto real locations.“I wanted to impose the geography of New York as the story demanded it,” says Crowley. “I spent a long time working out where everything is. I wanted to know what actual street Wayne Industries is on; I decided Arkham Asylum is on Roosevelt Island.”

Still, director of photography Wally Pfister concedes that Batman Begins has elements of the fantastical. “We were aiming for that grittier style, but I still felt an obligation to the studio to put a sort of polished, big-budget look on it. By the time we did The Dark Knight, though, we could do whatever we wanted to!”

“Everything — Wayne Manor, the train — was destroyed at the end of Begins,” says Crowley, “so we threw out the Gothic. Everyone works in these van der Rohe buildings in this modern city. I don’t think you’ll find a single circle in Dark Knight. It’s all squares and straight lines. That’s the structure that The Joker is fighting.”
 

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1 Gordon/Batman
establishing a key element of the comics that was ignored by the burton/schumacher bat films was key as well. More

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