Saturday, April 21, 2007

More From The Dark Knight Script

After yesterday's first look at some scenes from the Dark Knight script, here's... well, today's second look at some scenes from the Dark Knight script.


Remember the scene towards the top of Tim Burton's Batman, in which the criminals discuss their fear of The Bat? There's something similar here - downplaying the supernatural element discussed in Burton's film, therefore toning down any idea that superstition plays a part in fear, but not removing it completely:

A DEALER and a BUYER are in the middle of a transaction.

I want eighty for the bag.

Eighty? It was sixty last week.

Inflation. Ain't it a bitch.

The Buyer digs in his pocket. The Signal appears in the air. The Dealer spots it and steps back.

No, man. I don't like it tonight.

What're you, superstitious? You got more chance of winning the powerball than running into him...

Inflation? Come on. Couldn't this simply pass without the padding? Or couldn't they at least have something less predictable and insipid to say. Clearly not an important scene, but as clearly not an interesting one either. We'll see when the movie hits if either the buyer or the dealer do run into Batman, but if they don't... well... I'm at a loss as to what other point this may have. Maybe Batman is about to intervene here and then spots the signal? Who knows.

Batman does turn up in another scene. A 'babbling junkie', complete with the stereotyped' "bugs crawling all over me" hallucination, is being violently interrogated by a mobster's bodyguard:

Who sold you the stash?

They're going to eat my insides! PLEASE!

The Bodyguard whips out a gun.

Come closer. I'm gonna unscrew your brain.

DOGS START BARKING. The Bodyguard looks around, scared.

He's here.

This being a Batman film, we also take a trip to Arkham Assylum. Cheer now. There we meet a prisoner that, I believe, is The Joker:

THE PRISONER sits, smiling, content. Stephens guards the door.

I want my phone call.

That's nice.

The Prisoner looks at his hands, which have been cuffed again.

How many of your friends have I killed?

I'm a twenty year man. I can tell the difference between punks who need a little lesson in manners... (crack his knuckles) And the freaks like you who would just enjoy it.

Stephens folds his arms. Turns away.

And you killed six of my friends.

...if that prisoner isn't The Joker, I'll be very surprised. The Joker is definitely the subject of a conversation between Commissioner Gordon and a 'terrorized cop'. In that scene, some cops have been stripped and bound, and The Joker and his crew made off with their uniforms and guns. Does this tie into the bank siege? Does The Joker pull a switch, putting the hostages into the clown masks with him and his cohorts disguising themselves as cops? Possibly. Pure speculation.

Part of The Joker's plan does seem to involve drugging folk. Witness the fate of a Thug in a holding cell:

One of the men, walks over, clutching at his belly.

I don't feel good.

You're a cop killer. You're lucky to be feeling anything below the neck.

Please. My insides hurt.

Step away from the bars.

The boss said he would make the voices go away. he said he would go inside and replace them with bright lights. Like Christmas.

That's great. Please step-

The Fat Thug COLLAPSES. The Detective grabs his radio.

I need a medic in holding.

Bright lights? Like Christmas? Either a) this Thug is a weird simpleton; b) his dialogue is drug induced; or c) there's some dodgy writing afoot. A little bit of a) and b), perhaps?

This film is quite the cop film, in many ways. Prisoners, cells, uniforms abound. Compare this to Batman Returns, say, in which the police play no real part. The more I read, the more The Dark Knight is coming across like a redo of 70s police/detective dramas, this time with a great hulking, rubber suited lunatic at the heart of it. And a man with green hair.

Not a bad approach at all, and a clear continuation of Batman Begins which was, truth be told, rooted both in Burton's first Batman and a whole heap of comics.

So, is The Dark Knight going to compare favourably to The Taking of Pelham 123, Night Moves, Dog Day Afternoon, Klute, Assault on Precinct 13 or Dirty Harry?

Not the best of them, I'm sure.

More later. Watch this space. And check out the first installment in the meantime, if you haven't already done so.

[EDIT: There are/is a newer installment(s) of this script report now online. Come in the front page to see everything, or dabble with the labels below]


Anonymous said...

These sides are ANCIENT news, man.

They were posted at SuperHeroHype by a friend of mine weeks ago.

And, your self-important, obviously affected air of sophisticated cynicism is pretty damned silly, too.

But that's okay. Until yesterday I'd never even heard of your site, so I guess as long as being a silly dink is getting you a tiny bit of publicity, you're doing alright for yourself.

Or something.

-- Keyser Sushi

Brendon said...

Okay, King Rawfish, or whatever your name is:

Sophisticated cynicism? Sure beats unsophisticated cynicism.

You haven't heard of this site. And that reflects on me how? What makes your knowledge, or lack thereof, on any subject at all relevant to anyone other than you are your circle?

I bet I could name a thousand wesbites you haven't heard of. You're not some kind of web directory, are you?

So, maybe these sides were at SuperHeroeHype some time ago, maybe they weren't - either way, they're still news to plenty of people, and fair subject of discussion.

And don't assume I don't like any scripts (or excerpts) I read. Check out the script review of We3 from last week. That was much more positive.

Specifically because that script really was much better than these sides.

Anonymous said...

he just wanted to point out his friend had originated these and he'd seen them before

whoopsy fuckin' doo

so, sushi, what have you got to say about these sides any way?

film ick is a great blog keep up the good work!

Taylor said...

You're starting to judge the film based on out of context sides?
That's sad.

Brendon said...

Taylor, if it truly is silly to a judge a film in ANY way on the basis of these sides, then nobody should EVER walk out of a film early, or make a judgment on whether or not they'd enjoy a film from the trailer, or from a book, perhaps that the film is based upon.

Here are the pieces I have: an understanding of Christopher Nolan's previous work, and his approaches to mise en scene, his blocking of scenes, his tendencies in montage and so on; an understanding of his brother's previous scripts; these pages.

They indicate something. Something inconclusive and sometimes vague, sure - but it is an indicator, for sure, of the final film.

Much like looking at somebody's grades before you hire them for a job. These grades simply do not and never can attest to this individuals abilty to do this job, but they DO indicate a likelihood of success or failure in certain, specific areas. Vaguely indicate, maybe - but indicate nontheless.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I bet this isn't really even the real script for "The Dark Knight" because it just doesn't feel like Christopher or Jonathan Nolan. The writing is cheesy, and it feels more like a Joel Schumacher Batman, which sucked by the way. Even though it is only a couple scenes I doubt it is the real thing. My guess is that it is some idiot trying to get some recognition, like the fake joker picture posted on the internet the other day. Also, I very highly doubt that this will be a movie like Dog Day Afternoon like you were speculating. That kind of a movie would not fit into Christopher Nolan's style and it would not create a relationship where Batman and the Joker could Truly become archenemies. Even if these are real clips from the script, they don't give away any plot lines or concrete detail on what the movie will actually be about. But I guess we will have to wait and see when the movie comes out.

nepy said...

this page reminds me, I need to change my tampon

Anonymous said...

I would bet these "sides" aren't specific and exact pages from the shooting script as not to give too much away as "sides" are generally used to audition actors for minor supporting roles.

If these are official sides for the film, for actor auditions, character names were probably made generic as not to reveal details that can leak. The bank robbery stuff matched what was filming in Chicago which makes me feel that these were leaked from a local casting agency that was auditioning supporting roles for when they shot there.

Did you notice the big black magic marker like writing on the tops of the pages? That's common when sides are given out to actors in a mass "cattle call" audition arranged through casting agencies for supporting roles.

Like I said, they may not be exact pages from the script but they probably represent things in the script for casting purposes and the names have probably been changed for secrecy (as in that courtroom scene with the PROSECUTOR i.e. Harvey Dent)

Anonymous said...


Again ... wow.

The sides, whether from the film or not, look like connection scenes that play no significance in advancement of the plotline, character development, or story. That's probably why you have access to them, because they are not that important.

Here's the real skinny: whether the sides paint a rosy picture or not, you're going to see the film. That's all WB cares about. They'll release more and more "secret" scenes and plot points as the counter tallies down the minutes, just to help hype the film. And cave-dwelling fanboys will stay up until the wee hours of morn to debate whether or not the movie (which they already knew they would pay to see when Batman Returns opened) will be any good.

Congratulations, you have joined the sheep.

Brendon said...

They're scenes with minor character because they were used to cast minor characters.

When I see the film it will be only one in a very, very large number. WB can't really count having me see their film as a victory. I'll watch anything.