Book Review: The Dark Knight Trilogy

Reviewer Note: I was given an advanced review copy for review purposes.

If you are a serious fan of the Batman mythos or a serious student of film, The Dark Knight Trilogy will be a welcome addition to your collection. Part of the Opus Screenplay series, The Dark Knight Trilogy presents all three of the film’s complete screenplays along with selected storyboards.

The collection opens with a bit of a panel discussion between the power players of the trilogy: Christopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan, David S. Goyer, and Jordan Goldberg. It is an entertaining, but not particularly enlightening, conversation. Much of the subject matter of the discussion has been addressed in other widely published interviews with these gentlemen, but it does serve as a good introduction to the screenplays and provides a bit of a refresher on some of the key elements of the films. I found myself slightly amused when the topic of Batman’s “non-lethal” approach to dealing with criminals (I suppose I should believe that those missiles that shoot out of the Batmobile are non-lethal concussion damage that just knocks the bad guys out?) But that has always been a bit of an odd point for me, even in the comics themselves. But the point segues into the general thought processes at play as the trilogy developed over time.

Actually reading the screenplays after watching the trilogy is an interesting academic activity. But more interesting to me are the storyboards. I’m a bit of a project junkie. I like following a project from start to finish. In this case, reading this collection and seeing the storyboards after watching the films is almost a reverse-engineering exercise. The storyboard selections are generous and well chosen. For Batman Begins, we get the opening sequence of the film. For The Dark Knight, we get the amazing truck chase sequence with the Joker. Finally, for The Dark Knight Rises, we see the opening commuter plane sequence.

I enjoyed this little peek behind the scenes of one of my favorite trilogies, and fellow fans of the franchise no doubt will as well.

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