Dark Knight Director Has 'Super' Plans

Supernan- painted by Alex Ross (DC Comics)
On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times blog, Hero Complex, posted an article by Geoff Boucher that will probably be quoted and referenced for months. In the piece, Boucher interviews director, Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight, 2008), about Batman 3 and his involvement in the Superman reboot. The article is also a concise but thorough history of Superman on film, including some great quotes by Nolan about his admiration for Superman: The Movie (1978).

Boucher's article is required reading for anyone interested in the superhero genre, so I won't regurgitate the entire piece here. However, there were a couple of statements by Nolan that I found especially interesting. They revolve around his vision of how Batman and Superman should be presented on the screen.

Of the new Superman movie and a possible tie-in with Batman, Nolan says:
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. Each serves to the internal logic of the story. They have nothing to do with each other. Christopher Nolan to Geoff Boucher
That statement immediately answered my question regarding Nolan's long-term future with Warner Brothers and his involvement with a Justice League of America movie. When it was announced that Nolan was guiding the Batman and Superman projects, I speculated that he might oversee the inevitable JLA movie. After reading the above quote, it sounds like he has no plans to go in that direction. Now, I'm starting to think the JLA movie might exist in a totally different film universe than the ones in which Supes and Bats reside. Perhaps Warner is content to have the Big Two be the serious, more adult oriented films and give the JLA movie more of a kid-friendly tone.

The other quote I'm highlighting puts to rest speculation about Nolan's involvement in any future Batman installments beyond number three:
Without getting into specifics, the key thing that makes the third film a 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. Christopher Nolan to Geoff Boucher
I completely understand Nolan's reluctance to continue his involvement with the Batman franchise. If the third installment is on the same level as the first two, he will have created a perfect story arc and there would be nowhere else for him to go with the character. However, I believe there are almost limitless story possibilities that could be explored with the character of Batman. Just as a new creative team takes the reigns of the comic book version of Batman every couple of years, I'd love to see interpretations by some of the other brilliant directors working today. Warner will probably have to wait about four years before restarting the post-Nolan Batman franchise, but the demand for a new movie will still exist.

Given the above statements from Nolan and other news surrounding future Warner superhero movies, I have one more thought.Ten years from now, which studio will fans and movie experts alike think handled their cape franchises more wisely and effectively. Although Nolan's Batman run has been wildly successful, it looks like it will be done in three with no chance of a tie-in with other superhero movies. Whereas Marvel Studios is building a foundation with its collection of Avengers characters that could produce a string of blockbusters for years. I wonder, is there the slightest possibility that Warner might regret the decision, despite Nolan's success, to having made their top two properties exist in separate film worlds?


  1. Great linked article and good blog thoughts. I'd have to do a little research into when SM and BM first teamed-up but here are my thoughts. Supes and Bats were created in different universes. They eventually merged but that's not how they started. In addition, DCU tends to have fictional cities (Gotham, Metropolis, Star City) and that lends an otherworldlyness to the DCU. Marvel, OTOH, was grounded in the real world (NYC, etc.) from the get-go. There was an obvious melding of those super heroes from the start. It was a shared universe and always has been.

    Ultimately, Warner might regret the decision. But they are merely conforming to what happened in 1938 and 1939.

    I'm a DC man myself but I'm really looking forward to the Avengers movie.

  2. Thanks for the compliment, Scott. You make a good argument in favor of Warner's strategy. I hadn't considered the differences in the two universes. Interesting how the film versions are closely mirroring the comic book worlds.


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