Few directors have left a legacy on the comic book movie genre as much as Christopher Nolan has. The critically acclaimed writer-director’s The Dark Knight Trilogy is without a doubt one of the best superhero sagas to date, reestablishing Batman’s role in the mainstream. Nolan’s involvement in the DC Universe did not end there, however. He produced Man of Steel, which officially kicked off a DC Cinematic Universe, and he is attached as an executive producer to its follow-up, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Warner Bros. still wanted him to continue his involvement, however, as Nolan was approached not only to produce the Justice League film, but a Batman reboot as well. He has since turned those roles down, but has he left the genre behind for good?
During an interview with Time Out, Nolan discusses the extreme increase of comic book movies following the release of The Dark Knight, which many believe is the best in the genre to date. The director acknowledges his role in this trend, and he goes on to comment on Warner Bros.’ DC Cinematic Universe plans. “Yeah, 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! 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.”
After his hand in the comic book movie genre being at its highest point, will Nolan ever tackle another film in this genre? Naturally, he says that he doesn’t see a return happening anytime soon, but he doesn’t entirely rule out the possibility. “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.” Finally, Nolan weighs in on whether or not he believes he “raised the bar” when it comes to superhero films. “I would love to think so. It’s not really for me to say, but it was the ambition for the films, definitely. When you work in any genre, you’re looking to transcend it. You don’t make a genre film wanting to make a re-tread or parody or satire. You’re working in a particular constraint but you’re looking to force that box to be a little wider.”
For Time Out’s full interview with Nolan, click the link above.
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