20 December 2009

Coincidental...or Subliminal?? INCEPTION's Intention Is to Make Leonardo A Joker

While we've already mentioned Christopher Nolan's Inception has its shares of ties to The Dark Knight, we were talking about its cast -- and, of course, the legion of Batman fans waiting for word of his next project. We hadn't taken into account Inception's marketing campaign -- and although the movie's first teaser was made public just days ago, something about it seemed a little...familiar. Maybe too familiar. So we did a little digging, and here's what we found:
Coincidence? We don't think so. The similarities between Heath Ledger's Joker at the mouth of Gotham's steely maw and Inception's Leonardo DiCaprio standing poised at the orifice of its fraternal twin - and from almost the exact same perspective - are too striking to dismiss. If similar imagery were to be used by any other director or studio to promote their project, we're certain that comparisons would be quickly drawn and disputed. Warner Bros, if not Nolan himself, along with the media and the aforementioned legion of Batman fans, would settle for nothing less than a cease and desist. But since the same folks are responsible for the marketing campaigns of both movies, the only questioning voices will be those of media - and the comics blogosphere.
It's impossible to even entertain the notion that Warner Bros and Nolan wouldn't have noticed the similarities between the two, because no one else has can help but to notice it. Thus, the decision was an intentional one. And that intentionality then begs the question as to why the similarities exist. Abbracadabbling isn't the only place this query is being pondered today, but as far as we're aware, no one's come up with - or been given - an answer.
Needless to say, we've derived one of our own. But before we support our claim that Warner Bros purposefully intended one movie's promo poster to mirror the other, we couldn't help but wonder what part, if any, would Christopher Nolan have played in bringing both visuals to market. After all, if a movie's poster work and ad campaigns are created outside the auspices of a film's director, the overall 'picture' of this predicament does somewhat skew.
Movie Maker, a site geared toward film industry professionals, has a very interesting 2004 article by David Konow entitled The Art of The Poster, in which he interviews three illustrators about the declining state of movie poster art. Drew Struzan, one of Konow's interviewees and the artist responsible for several of the Star Wars posters, answered our question right off the 'bat'. Not only does Struzman offer great insight into the development of a film's advertising and promotional campaign, he removes any and all doubt that Nolan wouldn't have been involved with Inception's. Konow's entire article on this subject is worth your time; if you'd like to read it in full, go here.
Knowing now that both Nolan and Warner Bros must have been involved and also knew what they were doing with Inception's teaser is one thing; why they did is another. There's a third lingering question as well, and that's Does It Matter? Should we care that Inception's first teaser seems like its a recycled image from Dark Knight?
We think we should, if only for the fact that it's obvious that Warner Bros and Christopher Nolan cared enough to parallel the two films in the first place. Beyond that, any of us should care only to the extent that we care if Christopher Nolan will be returning to Wayne Manor post-Inception. This being a comicsblog and all, not to mention the aforementioned, aforementioned legion of Bat-fans frenetically waiting on that very news, it's pretty darn obvious that people do care -- a lot.
Abbracadabbling contends that Nolan and Warner Bros have taken their first subtle, subliminal step to address their hungry Batman fans. So as to why their two teasers bear more than just a slight resemblance to each other -- Christopher Nolan's next project is going to be Batman 3. That's why.
And that's one hell of a teaser.
Dabblers, are we completely out of our minds or do you think our conclusions here would make even the Dark Knight Detective proud of us? Do you think these parallel posters really are just a coincidence, or is there something else at work? If so, what do you think it is if it's not Batman 3??? We'd love to hear anything and everything you've got say about Inception's possible deception. Leave us your Back Issues tonight -- and get every Bat-fan you know involved in the discussion, too. We've got a feeling that things have only just begun!