Christopher Nolan Production Design: A Visual Retrospective of Every Christopher Nolan Film

Christopher Nolan is one of the most critically acclaimed directors of the past decade. His  latest movie, Inception, is nominated for eight Oscars and won the Art Director’s Guild award in the Fantasy Film category last Saturday. I find it very inspiring to see the visual metamorphosis from his early work to his more recent films that dominate the box office.

Christopher Nolan Production Design: A Visual Retrospective of Every Christopher Nolan Film Click To Tweet

The Christopher Nolan Production Design Aesthetic


Following (1998)

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A young writer who follows strangers for material meets a thief who takes him under his wing.

Director: Christopher Nolan
Production Designer: Tristan Martin


Memento (2000)

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A man with short-term memory loss attempts to track down his wife’s murderer.

Director: Christopher Nolan
Production Designer: Patti Podesta
Set Decorator: Danielle Berman


Insomnia (2002)

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Two Los Angeles homicide detectives are dispatched to a northern town where the sun doesn’t set to investigate the methodical murder of a local teen.

Director: Christopher Nolan
Production Designer: Nathan Crowley
Art Director: Michael Diner
Set Decorator: Peter Lando


Batman Begins (2005)

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After training with his mentor, Batman begins his fight to free crime-ridden Gotham City from corruption.

Director: Christopher Nolan
Production Designer: Nathan Crowley
Supervising Art Director: Simon Lamont
Set Decorators: Paki Smith and Simon Wakefield


The Prestige (2006)

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After a tragic accident, two stage magicians engage in a battle to create the ultimate illusion while sacrificing everything they have to outwit each other.

Director: Christopher Nolan
Production Designer: Nathan Crowley
Art Director: Kevin Kavanaugh
Set Decorator: Julie Ochipinti


The Dark Knight (2008)

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When the menace known as the Joker wreaks havoc and chaos on the people of Gotham, Batman must accept one of the greatest psychological and physical tests of his ability to fight injustice.

Director: Christopher Nolan
Production Designer: Nathan Crowley
Supervising Art Directors: Kevin Kavanaugh and Simon Lamont
Set Decorator: Peter Lando


Inception (2010)

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A thief who steals corporate secrets through the use of dream-sharing technology is given the inverse task of planting an idea into the mind of a C.E.O.

Director: Christopher Nolan
Production Designer: Guy Hendrix Dyas
Supervising Art Director: Brad Ricker
Set Decorator: Larry Dias and Doug Mowat


The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

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Eight years after the Joker’s reign of anarchy, Batman, with the help of the enigmatic Catwoman, is forced from his exile to save Gotham City from the brutal guerrilla terrorist Bane.

Director: Christopher Nolan
Production Designers: Nathan Crowley and Kevin Kavanaugh
Supervising Art Directors: James Hambidge and Naaman Marshall
Set Decorators: Mike Huffman and Paki Smith


Interstellar (2014)

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A team of explorers travel through a wormhole in space in an attempt to ensure humanity’s survival.

Director: Christopher Nolan
Production Designer: Nathan Crowley
Supervising Art Directors: Dean Wolcott
Set Decorators: Gary Fettis and Helen Kozora


Dunkirk (2017)

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Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire, and France are surrounded by the German Army, and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II.

Director: Christopher Nolan
Production Designer: Nathan Crowley
Supervising Art Directors: Toby Britton (UK Unit), Kevin Ishioka, and Eggert Ketilsson
Supervising Set Decorator: Gary Fettis


Tenet (2020)

An action epic revolving around international espionage, time travel, and evolution. Possibly about a man trying to prevent World War 3 through time travel and rebirth.

Director: Christopher Nolan
Production Designer: Nathan Crowley
Supervising Art Directors: Toby Britton, Rory Bruen, Eggert Ketilsson, and Jenne Lee
Set Decorators: Emmanuel Delis and Kathy Lucas


Do you agree with Inception winning the Fantasy Film category at the ADG Awards this week? What is your favourite Nolan movie?

Posted by Alison Hickey

Alison Hickey is a set designer based in Toronto. Her credits include 'Schitt's Creek', 'The Good Witch', 'Remedy', and 'Spun Out'.

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