“Even though I’ve always been a fan of Batman,” Christopher Nolan famously said, “I am by no means a comic book expert.” Given the success of The Dark Knight, it’s ironic to think that Nolan felt that way. Yet somehow, Nolan created a story that will stand as a powerful addition to the Batman canon. In a video for Behind the Curtain, Nolan explains The Dark Knight.
The video is an exploration of all the themes and messages behind the Batman story. Nolan explores the relationship between the Joker and Batman, explaining, “We like to think of our heroes, our heroic figures as being immune to those kind of mind games, but of course we all know that Batman is the most tortured and psychologically unbalanced, in a way, of these heroes. So he’s very vulnerable to the threat that the Joker poses, and we try to continually remind the audience of that throughout the film.”
The Joker played a pivotal role beyond as a foil for Batman. He also increased the tension by being completely unpredictable. “Very much what drives both the film and the novel is the terrifying idea of the absolutely lawless and yet somehow attractive anarchy that teenage rebellion could present taken to its absolutely most appalling extreme. We really wanted to get a little bit of that into this idea of who the Joker is. We wanted a very youthful sense to the Joker.”
Harvey Dent also played an important role, serving as the protagonist of the film in lieu of Bruce Wayne. Dent starts as a heroic figure, but one that is riddled with a germ of darkness. Hiding that truth from Gotham in the end leads to a tragic story.
Throughout the video, Nolan shares insights into The Dark Knight that shed light into why the story is so compelling, ultimately leading to its success.