The director revealed that the events of The Dark Knight will weigh heavily on the third instalment of his Batman films.
"There's a lot about being true to where we left things and where we left the characters at the end of The Dark Knight," Nolan told MTV News.
"[We really tried] to push that forward, saying, 'Okay, where would that really go if we carried that story on?'" he explained.
Nolan went on to describe the theme of The Dark Knight Rises, saying that two particular elements will a play a big role in the movie.
"Yeah, in a way," he said when asked if pain could be considered a motif for the film. "Or consequences. There's a lot about the consequences of actions [in The Dark Knight Rises]."
Nolan recently added his handprints to the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles.
The Dark Knight Rises opens in cinemas worldwide on July 20.
Watch the trailer for the film below: