nolan’s bat­man comes to life

Con­cept artists dis­cuss adapt­ing The Dark Knight for a more mod­ern movie-go­ing au­di­ence

ImagineFX - - Imagine Nation -

Go­ing from comic book to sil­ver screen is any­thing but easy for a Golden Age hero, and what works for film-go­ers doesn’t al­ways im­press hard­core fans of a given comic book char­ac­ter.

Christo­pher Nolan’s re­cent run of films – Bat­man Be­gins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises – has cer­tainly been a suc­cess. The Scot­tish comic book artist Jock, who’s worked on nu­mer­ous De­tec­tive Comics cov­ers, was drafted in for some con­cepts for the first film. “My brief for that was to imag­ine a real guy in a bat suit, and what he might look like in a Gotham en­vi­ron­ment. I hadn’t seen Chris­tian Bale’s cos­tume or any­thing, so I had to­tal free­dom to come up with dif­fer­ent shots. It was to show Christo­pher Nolan where the comic artists were com­ing from, to in­form his de­ci­sions with the suit. It was in­ter­est­ing ap­ply­ing a comic aes­thetic to a more real-world ap­proach.”

Mov­ing on to The Dark Knight, it was Rob Bliss who con­trib­uted to the film’s most no­table char­ac­ter, The Joker. “You just start draw­ing, pro­duc­ing as much of it as you can with the hope that some­one above you in the food chain likes some of it,” says Rob, whose main comic book in­flu­ence was Si­mon Bis­ley. “It changes ev­ery time depend­ing who you are work­ing with. The ideas just come out of your head or con­ver­sa­tion as you’re talk­ing it over.” He continues: “My ap­proach with The Joker was to try and pro­duce some­one who looked crazy, like a per­son who was half hyena. I was mainly in­ter­ested in him from the neck up. The Joker was a great char­ac­ter in that film, but I’m not sure how close mine is to the one in the film. Heath Ledger’s is prob­a­bly more func­tional. The one in my head was

barely hold­ing it to­gether.”

GAR­GOYLE Con­cept artist Jock brought the gar­goyle pose, so favoured in the comics, to his con­cept art for Bat­man Be­gins.


GED Con­cept artist Rob Bliss helped di­rec­tor Christo­pher Nolan set­tle on a look for the Joker and his bank-rob­bing goons.

mak­ing Two-Face An­other Rob Bliss piece, this con­cept of the cre­ation of Bat­man’s arch foe Two-Face set the feel for the movie bad guy.

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