04/23/2012 01:51 pm ET

'Dark Knight Rises' IMAX: Christopher Nolan Shoots Over An Hour Of Footage In Large-Screen Format

"The Dark Knight Rises" IMAX bona fides are already strong -- after all, the first eight minutes of the film debuted in front of IMAX screenings of "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" last year -- but if you had any doubt about Christopher Nolan's dedication to the format, consider this: the director shot over an hour of footage in IMAX, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Nolan has long been a fan of IMAX -- he filmed 40 minutes of "The Dark Knight" using IMAX cameras -- because he says it allows the audience to become "immersed" in the film. (Shooting an entire feature in IMAX is still not totally feasible, as the equipment is heavy, loud and expensive.)

He isn't the only director to embrace IMAX: Brad Bird used the cameras for "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol," instead of the more en vogue 3D.

"3-D was never a choice for us, so the matter never really came up," cinematographer Robert Elswit told Movieline about "Ghost Protocol" back in March, before later adding that “Brad wanted to use IMAX right from the start, and that was mainly due to Chris Nolan’s success in using it for sequences in his 'Dark Knight' film."

The IMAX trick worked for "Mission: Impossible," which earned $46.1 million in ticket sales from IMAX screens during the holiday season. (IMAX tickets are routinely more expensive than regular tickets.) Expect "The Dark Knight Rises" to top even those lofty grosses when it debuts on July 18.

For more on the IMAX craze, head over to the Wall Street Journal. Check out the newest "Dark Knight Rises" trailer in front of "Marvel's The Avengers" on May 4.

[via WSJ]

Stills From 'The Dark Knight Rises'