Director Christopher Nolan is shooting four sequences from the forthcoming Batman franchise picture The Dark Knight using IMAX cameras, according to the giant-screen company.

While the reformating of conventional feature films into IMAX is commonplace, IMAX says the move is 'unprecedented' and marks 'a revolutionary integration' of 35mm and 15/70 formats. The company claims the impact of the IMAX sequences will be apparent in both conventional and IMAX environments: the large-aspect scenes on giant screens will shift to an aspect ratio of 1.43:1, expanding the image to fill the entire screen.

The first of the scenes, including a prologue that introduces Batman's arch-nemesis The Joker (played by Heath Ledger) was shot in April, in advance of principal photography.

Said Nolan in a statement: 'In continuing the story of such a great icon I'm thrilled to be able to expand the scope of the film, not just in terms of its story, but in giving Batman and the Joker the largest possible canvas on which to face off. No existing technology compares with the IMAX format in terms of its ability to throw the audience into the action, and we're very proud and excited to use this technology in a way that no one has before.'

Nolan is directing the film from a screenplay written by Jonathan Nolan and Nolan from a story by Nolan and David Goyer. Christian Bale reprises as Batman, alongside Michael Caine as Alfred and Gary Oldman as Lieutenant Gordon. Aaron Eckhart plays another arch nemesis, Two-Face. The film opens on July 18, 2008.