Chris Nolan Promises More Batman Escalation

The Dark KnightWhen I was at ShoWest in Vegas last week, I learned quite a bit. Eddie Murphy's next movie has changed titles from "Starship Dave" to "Meet Dave," for instance, and has a disturbing poster with a tiny Eddie peeking out from big Eddie's ear. Dustin Hoffman has a romantic film coming up called "Last Chance Harvey," and something called "Traitor" still manages to look uninteresting despite boasting both Don Cheadle and Guy Pearce.

Other things, I didn't need to learn. For instance, when "The Dark Knight" hits theaters in July, it's gonna be bigger than Victor Buono as King Tut.

"In this case, literally, we were able to directly carry on and explore the idea that Gary Oldman brings up at the end of 'Batman Begins,' which is the idea of escalation," explained director Chris Nolan. "We have seen the rise of Batman, we have seen his rise to power, now what are the criminals going to do? How are they going to fight that? That's the jumping off point for this film, and we just ran with it as far as we could."

Be sure to check out the story we just took live for more details on the film, and one of Heath Ledger's final performances. But, as Nolan told me in a ballroom at the Paris hotel, the escalation idea doesn't just hit the bad guys.

"Batman’s got a lot of gizmos and gadgets and things," director Chris Nolan explained. "The Bat Pod [motorcycle] being the largest of them, the most apparent. He also has this very cool sticky bomb gun that fires mines with timers on them, that he uses to set off explosions in sequence, and it folds up in this very peculiar manner and fits on the belt."

"The utility belt is one of the great things about Batman," he gushed. "You just never know what is going to come out of that thing next, and that’s one of the things I loved as a kid about the character. We tried to preserve that, that sense of fun about those gadgets, in the film."

If you had your own utility belt, which Batman gadget would you most want in there?