This morning there was a press conference with Christopher Nolan and the rest of the production and cast members. One of the questions was why did Nolan compare the movie to Charles Dickens’ book, The Tale of Two Cities, and how did the theme of the book relate to The Dark Knight Rises. If you have been on the site, you would know that there have been DKN Fan Roundtables where fans and I have discussed the themes of this book and how it might relate to the movie. Well, now we can finally know how the book inspired the movie:
“When Jonah showed me his first draft of his screenplay, it was 400 pages long or something,”says the director (Nolan). “It had all this crazy stuff in it. As part of a primer when he handed it to me, he said, ‘You’ve got to think of ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ which, of course, you’ve read.’ I said, ‘Absolutely.’ I read the script and was a little baffled by a few things and realized that I’d never read ‘A Tale of Two Cities’. It was just one of those things that I thought I had done. Then I got it, read it and absolutely loved it and got completely what he was talking about… When I did my draft on the script, it was all about ‘A Tale of Two Cities’.
Chris and David started developing the story in 2008 right after the second film came out,” he says (Nolan). “Before the recession. Before Occupy Wall Street or any of that. Rather than being influenced by that, I was looking to old good books and good movies. Good literature for inspiration… What I always felt like we needed to do in a third film was, for lack of a better term, go there. All of these films have threatened to turn Gotham inside out and to collapse it on itself. None of them have actually achieved that until this film. ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ was, to me, one of the most harrowing portrait of a relatable, recognizable civilization that completely folded to pieces with the terrors in Paris in France in that period. It’s hard to imagine that things can go that badly wrong.”
The inspiration of the story was based on how Gotham City will ultimately destroy itself. It’s self destruction could not be done by someone forcing them to be destroyed, it had to be done over time. Bane is the right guy to do so because “This guys methodical, exacting, and worst of all – patient.” I had to put that in there, from Se7en, because Bane reminds me of that the most. Anyway, there are two other reasons for Nolan’s use of Dickens’ book and those are the themes that surround the book. The last reason is this:
“What Dickens does in that book in terms of having all his characters come together in one unified story with all these thematic elements and all this great emotionalism and drama, it was exactly the tone we were looking for.”
If this does not describe the movie, then I do not know what does. The movie can be related to anyone in the audience and it holds a place that will stand the test of times. If this movie does not win a Best Picture or give Nolan a Best Director. I will be highly disappointed.