The Batman was inspired by this surprising Japanese film: exclusive interview

The Batman presented an all-new look at the world of Gotham, and the film’s production designer reveals where he drew inspiration from to create the legendary sanitarium that houses the Dark Knight’s enemies.

Before embarking on The Batmandirector Matt Reeves has won acclaim for his work on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and War for the Planet of the Apes. Reeves used the same production designer for both of these movies and brought him in to create a Gotham that hasn’t been shown on screen before. James Chinlund was up to the task, turning Gotham City into a dark, dreary, and sometimes neon-soaked hub for crime and debauchery.

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Chinlund was not only tasked with building Gotham, but also some of Batman’s most iconic locations such as the Iceberg Lounge and Arkham Asylum. As for Arkham, Chinlund used a specific film to shape his design and exclusively spoke to The Illuminerdi about how that setup played into the reveal of the Clown Prince of Crime’s latest iteration.

THE BATMAN INTERVIEW – HOW JAMES CHINLUND CREATED ARKHAM ASYLUM

The Illuminerdi: Now, among other new recreations, we see a new version of Arkham Asylum. How did you achieve the feeling of claustrophobia and madness while still leaving the audience wondering who or what was just around the corner in the next cell?

“There is a Japanese movie called Up down. It was very inspiring for Matt where there’s kind of a revelation, the screen goes up and they’re in this interrogation room. So I think we were really looking for different ways to reveal the characters. We knew we wanted the Joker, for example, to be there, but not there, and kind of layers of glass and mesh and shadow and light. So a lot of the design came from there. For example, how could we reveal the characters in different ways while maintaining mystery? »

James Chinlund, The Illuminerdi Interview

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The Illuminardi: Speaking of The Joker, what did you have to consider for those scenes in your design?

“It was just what I said in terms of showing him, but not showing too much what is a reveal and what isn’t a reveal because we knew we wanted to keep that a secret for as long as possible. So it was kind of like unboxing the diapers for the audience in terms of how they found out who he was.

James Chinlund, The Illuminerdi Interview

The look and feel of Arkham, and Gotham as a whole, became instantly iconic in The Batman, and it’s a world that fans will see more of. After grossing over $768 million worldwide, a sequel to The Batman has been greenlit and will hopefully hit theaters in the near future. Now that Reeves has worked with him three times, and since helping create Gotham’s look in The Batman, Chinlund will most likely return for the follow-up to maintain the same aesthetic throughout the franchise. Since there are also a few spin-off series in the works for HBO Max.

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It will be interesting to see if Chinlund will also be brought in to help design these shows. After working on The Batmanthe two monkeys movies, The Avengersand 2019 The Lion KingChinlund certainly has the pedigree to succeed.

the batman hbo max

The Batman is available now on HBO Max and Digital and will be available on 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD on May 24. Have you watched The Batman since it was added to HBO Max? What do you think of Arkham Asylum’s design? Be sure to let us know in the comments and follow us on social media for more!

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Marie A. Evans