Christopher Nolan Speaks! Updates on DARK KNIGHT Sequel and SUPERMAN MAN OF STEEL

by     Posted 4 years, 224 days ago

Christopher Nolan image slices.jpg

Christopher Nolan is notoriously coy about his upcoming moves, but interest in said moves has reached a fever pitch as of late, once it was announced that the auteur director would not only return to follow up on mega-success The Dark Knight, but he would “godfather” the new Superman reboot (tentatively titled The Man of Steel) as well.  Although Nolan still shies away from utter transparency, he spoke with LA Times, and shared more on what the future holds for Batman and Superman than I ever thought he would at this stage.

After the jump, look for quotes from the man of the hour on the genesis of his involvement in the Superman franchise, how the third film will likely be his last entry in the Batman franchise, and how Mr. Freeze will not make an appearance in the sequel.

Christopher Nolan.jpgThe best news is that Nolan seems genuinely excited about the Dark Knight sequel.  We all speculated that he would only return to the franchise if he found a story that piqued his interest enough.  Still, it’s good to hear it so earnestly from the horse’s mouth:

“It’s very exciting, we have a fantastic story, and we feel we can do it right. We know the milieu, if you will, we know the genre and how to get it done right.”

But after Nolan completes his Batman trilogy, it sounds like he’s done with Gotham, which is probably for the best:

“Without getting into specifics, the key thing that makes the third film an great possibility for us is that we want to finish our story. And in viewing it as the finishing of a story rather than infinitely blowing up the balloon and expanding the story . . . I’m very excited about the end of the film, the conclusion, and what we’ve done with the characters. My brother has come up with some pretty exciting stuff. Unlike the comics, these thing don’t go on forever in film and viewing it as a story with an end is useful. Viewing it as an ending, that sets you very much on the right track about the appropriate conclusion and the essence of what tale we’re telling. And it hearkens back to that priority of trying to find the reality in these fantastic stories. That’s what we do.”

I can’t say I’m too disappointed in this news.  It sounds great in theory to have Nolan telling the tale of Bruce Wayne in perpetuity, but in reality a saga with a beginning, middle, and end is the way to go.  Batman Begins is a great origin story, and The Dark Knight casts Batman’s world into chaos, presumably to set up the redemptive arc of the third film.  I hope that this approach lends the story and its director a sense of purpose that will really wow us whenever it makes its way to theaters.

Christopher Nolan image (1).jpgSpeaking of which, that still may be a couple years away.  Nolan has yet to officially confirm that he will direct the Batman sequel, though the article treats it as a foregone conclusion.  Speaking to the development process, Nolan reported,

“My brother, [Jonah Nolan], is writing a script for me and we’ll wait to see how it turns out…he’s struggling to put it together into the epic story that you want it to be.”

These things take time, of course.  Nolan was unwilling to reveal which villain–or more likely, villains–would challenge the caped crusader in the next film, though he did definitively eliminate one name from contention:

“It won’t be Mr. Freeze.”

Mr. Freeze is one of my favorite Batman villains, if only for his portrayal in the nineties cartoon.  However, I understand the trouble of fitting Freeze into Nolan’s depiction of Gotham, and relent that there are probably much better choices.  I trust the man to select the right villain to parallel the themes of Bruce Wayne’s redemption, even if he misses out on all sorts of ice-related puns in the process.

The genesis of Nolan’s involvement in the Superman reboot is relayed here, and it is rather interesting.  Apparently, Nolan and screenwriter David Goyer had hit a roadblock in developing the Batman story.  To take their minds off things, Goyer fantasized about how Nolan would take on the iconic story of Clark Kent.  Nolan recalled,

“He basically told me, ‘I have this thought about how you would approach Superman.’ I immediately got it, loved it and thought: That is a way of approaching the story I’ve never seen before that makes it incredibly exciting. I wanted to get Emma and I involved in shepherding the project right away and getting it to the studio and getting it going in an exciting way.”

superman_image_2__1_.jpgAgain, it’s great to hear Nolan excited about a project.  It’s possible that Superman has been in the back of his mind for awhile, as the original Richard Donner Superman informed his own casting of Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson, Gary Oldman, and Tom Wilkinson in smaller supporting roles.

“I went to the studio with the analogy of ‘I want to cast the way they did in 1978 with Superman‘ where they had Brando and Glenn Ford and Ned Beatty and all these fantastic actors in even small parts, which was an exotic idea for a superhero movie at the time. It really paid off, too. As a kid watching Superman it seemed enormous and I realized later by looking at it that a lot of that was actually the casting, just having these incredibly talented people and these characterizations. And Marlon Brando is the first guy up playing Superman’s dad. It’s incredible.”

Not that Nolan will stay as true to Donner’s version as Bryan Singer insisted upon in Superman Returns.  This Metropolis will be decidedly Nolanized:

“A lot of people have approached Superman in a lot of different ways. I only know the way that has worked for us that’s what I know how to do.”

And really, when you hire Christopher Nolan, that’s exactly what you want: the Nolan stamp of originality.  Hiring Nolan for two of cinema’s biggest superhero franchises speaks volumes to the objectives of Warner Bros.  It’s hard not to get really excited for these films, neither of which is likely to appear before 2012 or so.  To tide us over until then, we have Inception, whose July release date can’t arrive fast enough.

Christopher Nolan image - Chirs Nolan (1).jpg




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  • junierizzle

    I get goose bumps whenever NOLAN does anything.

    • shizzle

      omg me 2..

  • jordan

    OMG Nolan is a BEAST im so pumped for these releases!!

  • jordan

    OMG Nolan is a BEAST im so pumped for these releases!!

  • Brandon

    I pumped for theses releases too but a little disappointed at the same time. I wanted more than a trilogy. I understand you have to stop somewhere but there are still so many characters left to include…

    • Robin

      Dat klopt……

  • Brandon

    I pumped for theses releases too but a little disappointed at the same time. I wanted more than a trilogy. I understand you have to stop somewhere but there are still so many characters left to include…

  • Nunegro

    It's great to hear that there is some sincere movement here. I have not been disappointed by the Nolan Brothers yes and am confident this finale will work very well… Also getting Superman to go for the look and feel of reality craved by this director/producer will help shape an extraordinary Justice League movie in the future…

  • Mike Hawke

    Wow, I didn’t think Nolan would be doing the Superman franchise. I thought the recent one was pretty good. I really hope they have the Joker in the 3rd, and not a cameo, along with the Riddler, or at least have Two Face get finished off for real this time. My role choices for possible villains in Batman: Joseph Gordon Levitt = Joker; Michael Shannon = Joker; Guy Pearce = The Riddler; Thoughts? Mabye Nolan should do the Spiderman reboot, which I think is really stupid that they would just cancel the 4th one.

  • Mike Hawke

    Wow, I didn’t think Nolan would be doing the Superman franchise. I thought the recent one was pretty good. I really hope they have the Joker in the 3rd, and not a cameo, along with the Riddler, or at least have Two Face get finished off for real this time. My role choices for possible villains in Batman: Joseph Gordon Levitt = Joker; Michael Shannon = Joker; Guy Pearce = The Riddler; Thoughts? Mabye Nolan should do the Spiderman reboot, which I think is really stupid that they would just cancel the 4th one.

  • faustapp

    I dunno, for me 4 or 5 films would be ideal, the origin, the repercussion, the redemption, the test, and the finally. Theirs a feeling in the second one that things are just getting going, a revving up. But the mark of anything extraordinarily good is you will always, always want more, and I’m sure once I see it not many people will be able to argue that it wasn’t the right choice. Would love to see him direct something Marvel at some point, or better yet something Alan Moore, but that might just explode my head.

  • faustapp

    I dunno, for me 4 or 5 films would be ideal, the origin, the repercussion, the redemption, the test, and the finally. Theirs a feeling in the second one that things are just getting going, a revving up. But the mark of anything extraordinarily good is you will always, always want more, and I’m sure once I see it not many people will be able to argue that it wasn’t the right choice. Would love to see him direct something Marvel at some point, or better yet something Alan Moore, but that might just explode my head.

  • aaronsullivan

    Really like the prospects of the Batman news. It would be very hard to bear Dark Knight for me, but the added push from this being a type of finale in the story could do it.

    I’m actually more interested in Inception than Batman and Superman, though. Nolan(s) come up with these original films that are far enough off-center in their genre that they keep you off balance and really feel new. That’s a rare treat.

    The Following, Memento, Insomnia, and The Prestige. Great stuff.

  • aaronsullivan

    Really like the prospects of the Batman news. It would be very hard to bear Dark Knight for me, but the added push from this being a type of finale in the story could do it.

    I’m actually more interested in Inception than Batman and Superman, though. Nolan(s) come up with these original films that are far enough off-center in their genre that they keep you off balance and really feel new. That’s a rare treat.

    The Following, Memento, Insomnia, and The Prestige. Great stuff.

    • Glass

      His only original (not based on a previous source) film to date is Following.

  • http://ciclotimia.blogspot.com [A]

    Nolan is the man.

  • http://ciclotimia.blogspot.com [A]

    Joseph Gordon Levitt for the Joker, huh? Please disconnect from the internet, throw your computer away and leave.

  • Glass

    His only original (not based on a previous source) film to date is Following.

  • Glass

    The ONLY good story Mr. Freeze has had is the B:TAS episode “Heart of Ice”. Other than that, he has NO good stories. But, strangely, I still love the character.

  • Glass

    The ONLY good story Mr. Freeze has had is the B:TAS episode “Heart of Ice”. Other than that, he has NO good stories. But, strangely, I still love the character.

  • Shawn

    It’d be so great to have another Superman movie! While I think Singer did a great job on “Returns” it needed to set up and followed quickly by an action-packed sequel to keep fan interest.

    Nolan could base the sequel on what Superman was up to during the 5 years he was gone from Earth…perhaps running into Darkseid…and the bad blood it created coming back to haunt him. Maybe introduce Supergirl or other DC characters leading to a Justice League movie? In any event, Brandon Routh should return as the Man of Steel, he was great and I think it’s good to keep the link to the original Donner films.

  • Shawn

    It’d be so great to have another Superman movie! While I think Singer did a great job on “Returns” it needed to set up and followed quickly by an action-packed sequel to keep fan interest.

    Nolan could base the sequel on what Superman was up to during the 5 years he was gone from Earth…perhaps running into Darkseid…and the bad blood it created coming back to haunt him. Maybe introduce Supergirl or other DC characters leading to a Justice League movie? In any event, Brandon Routh should return as the Man of Steel, he was great and I think it’s good to keep the link to the original Donner films.

  • http://www.collider.com/author/brendan-bettinger/ Brendan Bettinger

    I like the arc you laid out, but it seems like three films to me. Batman Begins was the origin. The Dark Knight shows the repercussion of his decision and tests his commitment. Batman 3 gives him a chance for redemption and a whiz-bang finale.

    Really, I feel like a Star Wars fan circa 1980. Empire Strikes Back was awesome, and I think George Lucas should keep making Star Wars films until the end of time, but . . .

  • http://www.collider.com/author/brendan-bettinger/ Brendan Bettinger

    Apparently “Heart of Ice” is sufficient. It's the only Freeze story I vividly remember, but it was enough to make me voice my support for the character in the article.

    Glad to know I'm not alone.

  • Gray

    I think I stand alone, in saying Routh sucked as Superman. Like come on, there are better choices out there!

  • kor

    now superman goes dark, he's fuckin amazing one of the best directors of our time, i'm so pumped in these two! i hope they'll get daniel day-lewis or johnny depp for riddler (only if riddler is a villain in the dark knight sequel)

  • michael

    A third and final Batman film by Christopher Nolen would be a nice memento.

  • Glass

    I'd place it more on unispired writing. Christopher Reeves is and always will be Superman. You can't imitate him and come off as unique. The whole problem of Superman Returns was that it was so obsessed with Donner's movies that it didn't establish itself as it's own distinct entity. To put it in perspective, it'd be like Heath just imitating Jack's Joker for The Dark Knight. There's no point in it.

  • Glass

    Bloody agreed!

  • grapenutsrbt

    He's not Tim Burton. Memento was based on a short story by his brother, and the Batman stories, while technically adapted, are original stories. and Inception is completely original as well. What were you implying anyway?

  • m3chu

    oh yeah, that dude can't act for shit

  • dimebag

    man i have no clue about how he is gonna be able to pull of the sequel to TDK.. im hoping for depp playing riddler… but seeing as to how he intends to round it up as a trilogy my guess would be that it would include the joker.. chris nolan is one of the most outstanding directors of all time.. cant wait for inception..

  • Connor

    Johnny Depp as Riddler is a great idea! They could possibly introduce a brooding, sadistic Harley Quinn into the mix as well. The Mad Hatter was one of my favorite characters from the animated series, but as much as I'd like his accompaniment in the next one, I can't really picture a Christopher Nolan version of him that isn't contrived.

  • Glass

    No one said he couldn't.

  • Glass

    It was intended to be a reply to aaronsullivan but my computer messed up.

    Don't twist definitions. An original film is a film not based on any pre-existing source. Until Inception, Following is his only original film. Things like that are just fact. I'm not saying his movies are unoriginal, but not original films.

  • batmanfan

    daniel day lewis for joker. he has never been in a huge “popcorn movie” his presence would amplify the movie. i believe two things a joker character needs:great acting and a voice with incredible range. johnny depp would go good as well. both actors have powerful voices. but i in the end i go with lewis because he isnt played out like a hit song on a radio like depp. matter of fact lewis is quite the opposite. for whatever reason he hasn't been in that many movies. but he is an A list actor.

  • Glass
  • StevieT

    Yes, Brandon, you have lots of characters but look at what Joel Schoemaker did with the Batman franchise… destroyed it! They ran out of ideas. Best to have 3 amazing ideas ,instead of 6 really dull one. Nolan will make the 3rd Batman film so well they won't make another for 25 years. watch.

    • Chris

      I CAN’T WAIT 25 YEARS! BAHHHHHHHH.

  • Collin V.

    I'd love to see Black Mask and Riddler in the next Batman

  • XXXYXX

    Let me break it down for all of you amateurs. The finale of the Nolan/Batman series (which I think should be named: “Gotham City”) will continue to approach the story in the context of reality but needs to follow up on subplots created in The Dark Knight. For instance, what happened to Two-Face? No doubt he is still alive but continues to enforce his brand of justice upon the underworld from the shadows of Gotham. The police continue to hunt Batman (who is being blamed for all of Harvey Dent's executions) and the Joker is content to sit in Arkham Asylum as he watches the Batman struggle to deal with his new public persona. How will the Batman deal with mess that the Joker set into motion? In the meantime the mob stills needs a leader to rise up and take the reigns with an iron fist. Who is up to the task? Will the Batman clear his name and finally give the residents of Gotham City a reason to believe that good will always triumph over evil? Who will win the battle over Gotham's soul?

  • newyorknix

    Well put XXXYXXX and what you suggested isn't a good idea, its a spectacular idea the title of the movie is wonderful not only should the movie be about the characters but the city as well. We got to see how the citizens of gotham, police force & batman alumni deal with the hero's tarnished image after the events of The Dark Knight. But i don't see how Two face could be alive after that fall its better that he remain dead because you dont want to many elements from the previous films to oversaturate onto the sequel taking away from the potential. Now heres my suggestion the police continue to hunt Batman (who is being blamed for all of Harvey Dent's executions) and the Joker is content to sit in Arkham Asylum as he watches the Batman struggle to deal with his new public persona. How will the Batman deal with mess that the Joker set into motion? In the meantime the mob stills needs a leader to rise up and take the reigns with an iron fist. Who is up to the task? Two individuals come to mind beacause both films dealt with the mob and the organized crime Rupert Thorne (your suggestions on who should play him cause im bad at casting aslo for you guys unfamiliar with the Batman mythos look him up on wikipedia) & Black Mask (the actor i suggest should play this role is Leonardo Di Caprio (also look up him up on wikipedia for character background) with the two wanting to take reigns of the mob or mobs it will start a power vacuum and war that will spill into the streets of Gotham hurting and taking the lives of the innocent. But dont be surprised if the film is named “The Caped Crusader” Ohh and a few more things i really want to see Phillip Seymore Hoffman play the British arms dealer named the Penguin but instead of making him a mojar role like the joker make it minor like Scarecrow in The Dark Knight and to Mike Hawke your suggestion above was just utterly stupid they might need you over at Marvel help them out……..

  • stephenpbell

    XXXYXX,

    You have no idea what you're talkig about. If you read the screenplay it clearly states that Dent is dead. The end. If they CHANGE what DK had going for it, fans across the world (including me) would throw a fit. That said, if they finished with the Arkham Asylum graphic novel (with TwoFace and Joker) it would blow my mind and they would be forgiven.
    SPB

  • Alien American Artillery Amen

    Whats the story with The Phantasm, or are they only going for originals at first?

  • Glass

    You absolutely lost any credibility when you said Two-Face was alive.

  • Glass

    Daniel Day-Lewis has unfortunately stated that he has no interest in starring in a blockbuster. My guess? Less Oscar chances.

  • Glass

    You absolutely lost any credibility when you said Two-Face was alive.

  • Glass

    Daniel Day-Lewis has unfortunately stated that he has no interest in starring in a blockbuster. My guess? Less Oscar chances.

  • http://www.youtube.com/kashirwin KAI Productions

    Beattle Juice, Pee Wees Big Adventure, and Nightmare Before Xmas(even though he didnt direct, was very involoved with this I believe[!]) were original productions.

  • Insanemohawk

    Yeah Two Face is dead. Chris Nolan confirmed right after the Dark Knight released and even told Aaron Eckhart.

  • Hasan

    Bane would make a great villain

  • Jonas

    Nolan is the Charlie Parker of revolutionizing jazz (or in this case comic book heroes) in to powerful dramatic somewhat twisted films. The Nolan brothers have been blessed with a great gift. Personally, although most Batman addicts dont realize, the best villain (HANDS DOWN) is the ventriloquist. He's a split personality disorder who uses a puppet to carry out master mind criminal acts. Knowing the Nolans, they could make this villain become greater than the joker himself. It would be tough, but I think the Ventriloquist can do teh best job. It would take caution and psychology research to carry out a succesful image and perhaps intimidating persona of the ventriloquist, but that to me would be the greatest Dark Knight villain for the 21st century Batman.

  • blah

    Have you ever seen Brick?

  • Fastbreak99

    I'd like to see them use part of Frank Miller's Dark Knight trilogy for inspiration.
    In Miller's 3rd chapter, Batman has disappeared for 10 years and Gotham has fallen into total chaos. Bruce Wayne has become a suicidal alcoholic and the Joker is released from Arkum as a “rehabilitated” man, with his shrink blaming Batman for creating the Joker in the first place. Of course, the Joker begins his reign of terror again, and Bruce Wayne now approaching middle-age dusts off bat suit to finally finish him off. It could work. (My vote is Jude Law to play the Joker)

  • X___

    So Nolan wants to put his permanent stamp on the Batman franchise by ending it here. Based on this information, I'm not even going to watch it. There's no excuse or justification for doing this. James Bond has been going strong for 50 years, sequel after sequel, and it worked because each film was its own self-contained story. It also worked because many of the Bond films were entertaining. I'll be back when the next director reboots it and decides to take the fans that made this franchise into consideration.

  • Aaron72887

    Personally, i think they need to do two things with the 3rd film. #1 – Introduce the Riddler as the main villain, who i think should be either Michael C. Hall, Hugh Jackman, or Daniel Day. Hugh worked well as an enemy to Bale in Prestige, which was another great movie of Nolans, and as we all know, Nolan likes to 'keep it in the family' so to speak. I think that Depp or Gordon-Levitt would be awful ideas for Riddler since i can never take Depp seriously and Levitt simply isnt a polished actor. #2 – Batman needs to both be exposed as to his true identity, and needs to die in his efforts to save Gotham. This would be the only way to appropriately end the trilogy, as i cant see him ever going to jail, moving away, or simply retiring once his identity is revealed. The way in which this should happen is not something that would be easily accomplished by Nolan, but i trust that he will not let as down.

    As for the title, i think either Gotham City, The Battle for Gotham, The Caped Crusader, or The Batman would all suffice.

  • Six-feet-under

    Black mask would be better, he goes after Bruce Wayne, rather than batman, looks similar to Two face so could ignite the fears Gordon had at the end of the Dark knight and still be the Jokers 'ace in the hole'
    Riddler as a batman villain who is hired by black mask would also make sense.

  • Six-feet-under

    Despite what Nolan says….no female love interest anymore…..Catwoman maybe, especially if she was the murderous vigilante to Batmans good guy heroics. Technically Dark knight had more than three villains, Joker, Scarecrow, two face and the main criminal gangs, so there would be space for such a trio of characters. Riddler CANNOT be someone like Tennant or Depp, it would be pointless. Taylor Kitsch would make a great Riddler and isnt a familiar face

  • Seanwillis79

    adrian brody as the riddler ?

  • warbreaker13

    That's stupid it's not like Christopher Nolan is not allowing anyone to ever make another batman he just wants to finish his version of it. It's not like all Bond films have had one director and continuous story that flowed through every movie

  • Connor

    cant wait for theese films and i reckon after this new batman insttead of having BATMAN films they should continue it but set in 25 years ahead and make it BATMAN OF THE FUTURE the series are actually great and would love to see it as a carry on film after batman to keep the legacy going

  • Afowler_10

    i think johnny depp would play a good villian, not sure who, a new one perhaps?

  • Afowler_10

    i think johnny depp would play a good villian, not sure who, a new one perhaps?

    • AceEvans

      Johnny Depp was actually already approached for the role as the Riddler, which im very excited about. Depp always adds an eerie and dark feel to a character. You can look it up just about anywhere on the internet.

  • Red Robin

    i wanna see a young Dick Grayson in the third Batman movie.

  • Red Robin

    i wanna see a young Dick Grayson in the third Batman movie.

  • http://riflery1.php0h.com/mykalai-kontilai.html Mykalai Kontilai

    That’s stupid it’s not like Christopher Nolan is not allowing anyone to ever make another batman he just wants to finish his version of it..

  • http://www.economystory.org/partner-projects/nbr/ Nightly Business Report

    Technically Dark knight had more than three villains, Joker, Scarecrow, two face and the main criminal gangs, so there would be space for such a trio of characters….

    • The bat guy

      Harley Quinn and The Mad Hatter. The two villains, and not anymore than that, you don’t want to overload the script.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/mykalaikontilai/ Mykalai Kontilai

    the very thought of the broth ers mak ing a super man movie is unbe liev able as they have grown up in the world of comic books and they would be ideal for the project

  • http://www.kqed.org/tv/programs/index.jsp?pgmid=6487 Nightly Business Report

    I personally believe that Tom Welling should be Superman in the new movie. That way they can reboot without telling an ORIGIN story. People can just watch Smallville if they wanted that. At least cast Welling and Erica Durance as Supes and Lois Lane. If they don’t cast Welling as Superman then I want Routh back.

  • Mudluck

    I heard rumours of casting Megan Fox as Catwoman? Not Only is Catwoman an incredibly dull & typical choice but having an ‘actress’ like Megan Fox just ruins it all. People don’t see a good actress when they see Megan Fox, they don’t see her as having the power to jerk any sense of emotion except lust. Megan Fox = bad choice. & Johnny depp someone said? No. Don’t get me started. Scarecrow, Joker, Two face and Ras al ghul. All incredibly original and interesting characters. Penguin would lift sincerity, So hes out. Freeze would Evict realism. But I do believe Bane or Riddler would be exceptional choices. Of course There have to be two villains and those two dont click. I’d say Joker & Bane. Obviously finding someone to match Heith Ledgers excellence will prove trying, however not impossible for the Nolan brothers. Keep it up.

  • http://www.streamlineps.com.au/ window cleaning services

    Christopher Nolan gave the Updates on Dark Knight Sequel and SUPERMAN – The Man Of Steel. The director said that he would not like to follow up on the mega-success of The Dark Knight.I’m very excited about the end of the film, the conclusion.

  • http://www.streamlineps.com.au/ window cleaning services

    Christopher Nolan gave the Updates on Dark Knight Sequel and SUPERMAN – The Man Of Steel. The director said that he would not like to follow up on the mega-success of The Dark Knight.I’m very excited about the end of the film, the conclusion.

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