How The Dark Knight Trilogy Prepared Christopher Nolan For Dunkirk

the dark knight is like dunkirk

Christopher Nolan has been the man behind the camera on a lot of stellar films, including the well received Dark Knight trilogy, Inception, Interstellar and more. He's most recently spent time producing the upcoming war film Dunkirk, and during press promotion for that movie at CinemaCon, he revealed that his work on the three Batman films he was responsible for actually influenced the way Dunkirk was shot quite a bit. Here's what Christopher Nolan had to say:

I think the time I spent making large scale entertainment --- with respect to entertainment, this is suspenseful entertainment. My 10 years of working with the character [of Batman] is essential to understanding imagery and sound, and push-and-pull in a particular direction.

Christopher Nolan is known for making pretty expansive and complex films, but he says it was his former work in The Dark Knight trilogy that got him to a place as a director where he was able to master both "imagery," "sound," and all the little details that come with making a large scale, effects-driven feature film, as compared to making a smaller film with a smaller budget and less action.

dunkirk versus the dark knight trilogy

Of course, when we think of Christopher Nolan these days, we don't think about his smaller budget movies, including Memento, as much. Instead, we think about large and excellent action movies with intriguing sounds, thanks to all kinds of different components. The Batman movies brought a superhero to life in a crime-ridden town. Inception dealt with manipulating the subconscious. Interstellar dealt with space travel and tesseracts. They are all big concept movies with a slew of beautiful set pieces, and while they all have different subject matter, they are connected thanks to Nolan's deft touch. Apparently, Dunkirk should be the same way.

We've already seen plenty of footage from the upcoming war movie, as Dunkirk is set to be released into theaters this summer. The new movie is set to focus on WWII and Operation Dynamo, which saw Allied soldiers get evacuated from the beaches of Dunkirk, France in 1940. It won't be light on the suspense, either, as Christopher Nolan also waxed on about the attributes of the Dunkirk story in the interview with the LA Times.

It's the story of being trapped and surrounded by the enemy at the town of Dunkirk and having the impossible choice of annihilation or surrender. And the fact that the story does not end in annihilation or surrender is why it's one of the great stories.

Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance and Kenneth Branagh prominently star in the film, which will officially premiere on July 21. To take a look at what other big summer blockbusters are coming, please take a look at our full upcoming movies guide.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.