If Marvel Studios and Iron Man is responsible for influencing one half of the current superhero movie climate, then Christopher Nolan and Batman Begins can take credit for the other half. How many times have you heard “gritty reboot” and Batman Begins name-checked when describing a potential new project or an updated take on an existing property? Nolan brought a grounded and serious tone to the superhero genre with his Dark Knight trilogy, specifically The Dark Knight, and many imitators have surfaced in his wake. Nolan closed out his Batman adaptation with The Dark Knight Rises, but many fans of the franchise would no doubt love to see Nolan put his spin on another superhero.
So what does Nolan think about returning to the superhero genre? Well he’s not particularly crazy about it, but he won’t entirely rule it out either. Hit the jump for more, including how Nolan figured into Warner Bros.’ delay in getting its DC Movie Universe off the ground.
“I think I had a great experience with the superhero genre and got to explore a lot of things, but it was a good decade of my life and I find it hard to imagine returning to it. But never say never.”
In other words, don’t hold your breath. So what does Nolan think about the fact that he spawned an entire tone of superhero movies?
“I love working in that field and hopefully I’ve added something to it. I know to some extent we encouraged more of it. You don’t want Hollywood to hit saturation point with those things. But then Zack Snyder is now doing his part by bringing Batman and Superman into one film [for 2016’s Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice], so that limits the number!”
With regards to superhero adaptations hitting a saturation point, Nolan says the audience dictates what kinds of films the studios produce, but he hopes that doesn’t limit other kinds of films in the process:
“But yes DC Comics have just announced an enormous number of movies. Well, you know, as long as that’s the ride people want, the studios will continue to offer it. I don’t see it as a limited genre. If I did, I never would have worked for almost ten years in that genre. I think like any genre, like the Western, it has limitless opportunities. It’s just about the audience’s appetite. What’s very important is that the studios be open to making other sorts of films at the same time.”
While Nolan was very involved as a producer on Man of Steel, he’s billed as an executive producer on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and will have no involvement in Warner Bros.’ upcoming slate of DC Comics adaptations. But if WB had it their way, Nolan would’ve been much more hands on. In a recent profile of the director in the Wall Street Journal, it was revealed that WB pressed hard to have Nolan involved in its other superhero franchises:
Retaining Mr. Nolan for its key franchises has been a top priority at Warner. One of the reasons its slate of DC superhero films have rolled out more slowly than rival Marvel’s comic-book movies was the studio’s lengthy pursuit of him to produce a Justice League film and Batman reboot. He declined, though he did produce last year’s Superman movie Man of Steel.
Indeed, as The Dark Knight Rises was winding down it was initially revealed that Nolan and his wife/producing partner Emma Thomas would be involved in producing a new Batman reboot, but obviously that did not come to pass. While I’m a big fan of Nolan’s approach to Batman, he’s one of the only directors who really has carte blanche with a major studio, so I’d personally like to see him continue to use his clout to get original ideas produced on a massive scale.
What do you think, readers? Would you have liked to have seen Nolan remain intricately involved in Warner Bros.’ DC movies, or do you think it’s better that a fresh creative voice spearheads their future comic book movies? Sound off in the comments below.