Christopher Nolan
Credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/GettyImages

Christopher Nolan will leave big shoes to fill when it comes to future silver screen interpretations of the Batman story, but for now he’s letting his shoes leave their mark — in Hollywood’s most famous cement courtyard, that is. The Dark Knight Rises director was honored during a hand and footprint ceremony at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles today.

Nolan joins 261 other Hollywood luminaries — including Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, Julie Andrews and Steven Spielberg — immortalized in the Forecourt to the Stars since 1927.

“This is all a bit surreal for me,” Nolan told the crowd, which included his family, cast members of The Dark Knight Rises, frequent collaborators Wally Pfister and Hans Zimmer, and an assemblage of eager Batman fans. The director — who is also behind such mind-benders as Inception, Memento and The Prestige — then recalled his first visit to Grauman’s at the age of 16.

Michael Caine — who had his own hand and footprint ceremony shortly before the release of The Dark Knight in 2008 — was on hand to speak about his director.

“I’m saying these wonderful things about him, but I want you to know I’m not trying to get into the next Batman [film] because there isn’t one,” Caine insisted. Nolan, known for casting a core group of actors on multiple projects, assured the actor that he’s still his “lucky charm” and should expect to work with him again.

“I remember sitting here watching [Caine] honored and thinking, ‘Wow, that’s really the pinnacle of a great career and legend,’ so for me to be honored in the same way, I feel extremely unworthy but very grateful for the honor,” Nolan told EW after the event.

Did Caine offer Nolan any advice on making his imprints in the fittingly pitch-black cement?

“You never give [Nolan] any tips. You assume he knows better than you at everything, and he does,” Caine told EW.

Also in attendance at the ceremony were Dark Knight Rises stars Gary Oldman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anne Hathaway, Morgan Freeman and Batman himself, Christian Bale.

Caine, Hathaway and Bale took time to sign autographs for fans, some of whom had staked out spots more than five hours before the event began. As Bale walked back to his car, he waved to the crowd gathered across Hollywood Blvd., flashing a smile and giving the thumbs-up to two fans dressed in full Batman garb.

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The Dark Knight Rises
  • Movie
  • 164 minutes