Top directors talk about their biggest challenges

Today’s Variety Eye on the Oscars: Director spread features 20 of 2012’s top directors talking about their biggest challenges and how they met them — along with a feature offering director perspective on some of the year’s biggest scenes.

A sample:

NolanChristopher Nolan had long resisted the idea of featuring Selina
Kyle, aka Catwoman, in “The Dark Knight Rises,” wary that the
character’s campy mythology might clash with the film’s intended tone.
Eventually his brother/co-writer, Jonathan, persuaded him otherwise.

finally clicked that she’s just a femme fatale,” the director says.
“And the femme fatale is a film-noir conceit that all my films have
embraced in some way. Once I realized Catwoman could be a con woman, a
grifter, I embraced it.”

The challenge, as with other elements of
Nolan’s Batman trilogy, lay in rendering Bob Kane’s comicbook
iconography in plausible real-world terms. For Catwoman, that meant
developing a uniquely deadly fighting style and a sleek, functional
costume that subtly incorporated feline characteristics (high-heeled
boots equipped with defensive blades, mask goggles shaped like cat
ears). But the puzzle wasn’t complete, Nolan says, until the casting of
Anne Hathaway.

“I realized this is somebody who can give you the
realistic dramatic characterization of this person. She has this
incredible physicality, but she can also tell you who this person is.”

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