The new Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises, is perhaps the most anticipated movie of the summer. It's the last film in the Batman trilogy that writer-director Christopher Nolan has crafted over the past 7 years.
Nolan wanted The Dark Knight Rises, which will be released in theaters July 20, to feel like a historical epic. As he tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz, he looked to films like Fritz Lang's Metropolis, David Lean's Dr. Zhivago, and Ridley Scott's Blade Runner.
On what inspired him to be a film director
"The films of Ridley Scott, particularly Alien and Blade Runner. Watching those films and realizing that even though the stories were different, the actors were different, something was connecting these films, the same mind was behind them. And realizing that, 'Oh, that's this guy, Ridley Scott, he's the director. He's getting to really define those movies.' I think that really inspired me to want to specifically be a director."
On why Batman is his favorite superhero
"For me the character of Batman is the most human and relatable of superheros. He doesn't have super powers — base level he's just a guy who likes to do a lot of push-ups. He's a self-created hero."
On the state of Bruce Wayne and Gotham at the beginning of The Dark Knight Rises
We have to be seeing a Gotham where — at least superficially — Batman's not needed. Because the sacrifice that Gordon helps him make at the end of The Dark Knight has to mean something. So we're finding a Bruce Wayne who's living in self-imposed isolation for eight years, he's locked himself up in a wing of Wayne Manor, very much in the manner of Howard Hughes in his sort of Las Vegas period.
On the villain, Bane
"He represents almost a flip-side of Bruce Wayne, somebody Bruce Wayne might have become in a parallel universe or something."
On what he will miss most about ending his Batman run
"The thing I'm going to miss the most about the great privilege of working with these characters is the built-in connection they have with the audience. That lets you tell a story in this incredibly-heightened fashion, what I call this "operatic-style," and I will miss that enormously because you can't do that with characters you make up, you can't assume that investment on the part of the audience."