Early on in the "Inception" preproduction process, director Christopher Nolan and director of photography Wally Pfister had a conversation that dragged on for weeks: After shooting a portion of "The Dark Knight" in IMAX, would they also shoot their Leonardo DiCaprio-starring thriller in the large-scale film format?
"Finally I had to tell Chris that the way he was describing the film, so much of it wanted to be with a handheld camera and kind of running around," Pfister told MTV News. "That's just not physically possible with the IMAX camera. We ruled out shooting in IMAX."
Their thinking on how to shoot "Batman 3," however, might turn out to be vastly different. "I can't say until I read the script, but it would certainly be my preferred, amazing goal to shoot the whole movie in IMAX," Pfister said.
That sentiment jibes with rumors from last summer that suggested the next "Batman" could indeed be shot all in IMAX. At this point, though, Pfister is waiting to get his hands on the script and to find out when the threequel will shift into production. When it does, he's hoping to work with IMAX cameras and hoping to avoid 3-D ones.
"I must say I'm a huge IMAX fan. I like IMAX more than I like 3-D," he explained. "Chris' films are so densely layered and have so much going on visually in every way that IMAX helps enhance that because of the scope and the scale of it — it becomes a much larger canvas to paint on. That's what we found on 'Dark Knight.'
"I'm not a big fan of 3-D," he continued. "I liken it to my View-Master I had 40 years ago. Are you really getting more out of the story with 3-D? When you separate those different planes and you're creating artificial depth, it looks phony to me."
Nolan hasn't jumped on the 3-D bandwagon either, saying in June, "I'm not a huge fan of 3-D." Still, any decisions about how to shoot "Batman 3" will ultimately involve Warner Bros. and will certainly wait until Nolan and Pfister sit down and have a discussion similar to the one they had in the run-up to "Inception."
"We usually have lunch and he asks me, 'Tell me what your thoughts are,' " Pfister said. "It's very casual. It's not very technical. And then we start to build toward, 'How are we going to shoot this? Where are we going to shoot this?' My preproduction is about four months long before principal photography begins.
"I can't imagine how we're going to step it up [after 'Inception']," he added. "But we will."