Christopher Nolan Refused to Use This Song in 'The Dark Knight' Trilogy Trailers

Music is an important part of movie trailers, and that's especially true for the trailers for Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy. The uses of Hans Zimmer's compositions were perfect for those early looks at the films as well as the films themselves. However, there was another specific song that The Dark Knight co-writer Jonathan Nolan tried to get his brother to use -- and was repeatedly shut down.

During a recent Reddit AMA (via Batman News), Jonathan was asked about who selects the music for various projects and in a follow-up answer to the original question, he revealed that Christopher was never interested in using popular music for projects, including refusing to use the iconic Rolling Stones song, "Paint it Black", for anything related to the Dark Knight.

"I worked in the movies for years with my brother and he was never very keen on using popular music," Nolan wrote. "Which I totally get. The music he was creating for the films with Hans was so beautiful and purpose-built for each moment that it didn't need any help. But I would always have suggestions and thoughts for what music we could be using. I write listening to music (Lisa doesn't — every writer is different) and I would have these extensive lists of things I thought would work. One example — I tried for ten years to convince Chris to do a trailer for one of our Batman films using Paint it Black. It's an iconic song, and it's been used before, and I understood why he wasn't interested."

The idea that Christopher Nolan was entirely against using "Paint it Black" may not come as a huge surprise for fans of the filmmaker. He regularly works with Zimmer to provide scores to his films and Zimmer, along with James Newton Howard, even won a Grammy Award for the soundtrack to The Dark Knight. However, that certainly hasn't stopped fans making their own trailers for the trilogy over the years utilizing "Paint it Black" as it seems like a fitting song for the black-clad Caped Crusader.

Fitting or not, there's something to be said about sticking to Zimmer's work for the trailers. The films in The Dark Knight Trilogy all have a specific and realistic feel to them that may not have meshed as well with "Paint it Black". The Dark Knight in particular, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, stands out in this regard, though there were a few things in the film that were a little too real and required some changes. Actor David Dastmalchian, who played the abducted schizophrenic Thomas Schiff in The Dark Knight, told The Hollywood Reporter earlier this summer that Christopher Nolan had to tame his character's encounter with a frenzied Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) to maintain the film's PG-13 rating.


"[Christopher Nolan] told me a funny anecdote," Dastmalchian said. "He said he really liked the scene, but he said when we were shooting it, I was pushing my head against Aaron's gun and he was pushing the gun back. I remember for a few weeks after I had a big welt on my head and a little goose egg and black bruise. He said that was one of the moments the MPAA asked him to go back and he had to cut out the indent from the gun barrel on my head."

Do you think "Paint it Black" would have worked for trailers to The Dark Knight trilogy? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.