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The Interstellar And Batman Begins Connection You Probably Didn't Notice

There is no auteur in contemporary cinema with more latitude, cultural cachet, and passionate fans than Christopher Nolan. The British filmmaker has become his own high-end brand over the course of his 23-year career, with a trajectory that both informs and reflects the industry's many changes in that time. In fact, some would say that at least two major blockbuster trends have been started by Nolan: the straight-faced, adult-oriented superhero movie, and the philosophically outreaching, effects-heavy sci-fi drama —  two trends which he arguably kicked off, respectively, with "Batman Begins" and "Interstellar."

"Batman Begins," which considers the tragic weight and thematic complexities behind the action movie thrills of the Caped Crusader's story, and "Interstellar," which uses hard space travel and time-warping concepts to tell an emotionally grounded story about our place in the universe, are kindred projects, in that sense. Being Nolan movies, they also share a lot of DNA in other places, such as the unconventional chronology, the heavy use of symbolism, the intense Hans Zimmer score, and the touching supporting performance by Michael Caine. But there is one particular connection between "Batman Begins" and "Interstellar" that may surprise even diehard fans of the director.

Scenes of Batman Begins and Interstellar were shot on the same glacier in Iceland

The world-building of "Interstellar" is so thorough and inventive that you'd be excused for genuinely believing that the movie takes place on other planets. But, of course, it was all shot on Earth, with minimum CGI, as per Nolan's preference, which required the filmmakers to find exactly right otherworldly-looking locations. For the frozen planet in which the Endurance crew go to find astronaut Mann (Matt Damon), Nolan's past experience was of great service: he'd previously shot on a glacier in "Batman Begins."

In that movie, the Vatnajökull glacier in Iceland stood in for the Himalayan country of Bhutan, where Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) is recruited into Ra's al Ghul's sinister League of Shadows by Henri Ducard (Liam Neeson) during his travels around the world. The biggest ice cap in all of Iceland, Vatnajökull includes several contiguous "outlet glaciers," and it's one of those, Svínafellsjökull, that attentive viewers can spot in both "Batman Begins" and "Interstellar."

This stunning, distinctively bleak glacier worked perfectly for "Interstellar," as it provided all the requisite eeriness and grandeur while also being one of Vatnajökull's most accessible "tongues," according to Amusing Planet. This also helps explain why, per Movie-Locations.com, Svínafellsjökull served as the site for several "Batman Begins" Bhutan sequences, as well as parts of "Game of Thrones." Though it doesn't specify whether it was on Svínafellsjökuls or one of the movie's other locations around the ice cap, Movie-Locations.com also informs that the swordfight scene in "Batman Begins" was shot on location, which raises the possibility that Bruce Wayne and Ducard went at it in the exact same place where Coop (Matthew McConaughey) tussled with Mann.