Superhero films have long been a part of cinema but there's no denying that it achieved huge mainstream success following the launch of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the DC Extended Universe. In fact, ever since the inception of the two franchise juggernauts, theaters have somewhat been overcrowded with such films and some people believe it has become an unhealthy trend.
Now, one of the most celebrated comic book film directors ever Christopher Nolan feels a sense of relief knowing that he was able to direct superhero movies before the MCU and DCEU reached their peak. Appearing on 92Y's virtual discussion about Tom Shone's latest book "The Nolan Variations", the director of the groundbreaking The Dark Knight Trilogy sounded off on the current state of cinema and superhero films in particular.
Talking about his Batman films, Nolan said: "It was the right moment in time for the telling of the story I wanted to do. The origin story for Batman had never been addressed in film or fully in the comics. There wasn’t a particular or exact thing we had to follow. There was a gap in movie history. Superman had a very definitive telling with Christopher Reeve and Richard Donner. The version of that with Batman had never been told. We were looking at this telling of an extraordinary figure in an ordinary world."
Nolan also talked about the advantages of doing such films with no pressure from the studio. "The other advantage we had was that back then you could take more time between sequels. When we did ‘Batman Begins,’ we didn’t know we’d do one and it took three years to do it and then four years before the next one. We had the luxury of time. It didn’t feel like a machine, an engine of commerce for the studio. As the genre becomes so successful, those pressures become greater and greater. It was the right time."
As much as I love the current superhero film landscape, Nolan does make some pretty valid arguments about the film climate over the last couple of years. While going back to directing comic book movies doesn't seem to be in his list of priorities, I don't think he has anything to prove at this stage in his career.
Christopher Nolan's latest film Tenet was released this year.
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