Christopher Nolan’s interpretation of Batman in The Dark Knight trilogy stands as a benchmark in terms of superhero movies and to many DC fans, flaws included, represents a high standard of how cinematic adaptations of graphic novels should be implemented. Though these movies are, for the most part, revered by fans, Nolan made some comments recently that has people wondering if the process of making these superhero movies has changed forever…and perhaps for worse.
In a long-form interview with the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), Nolan commented on how the “luxury of time” will probably no longer be afforded to filmmakers involved in superhero movies. Nolan states that time between each of the Batman movies he worked on ( in 2005, 2008, and 2012) allowed him to refine his ability to create films and tell stories.
He then went on to say that the current climate of movie development is dictated by timelines and schedules. Movies are now planned several years in advance with some being planned almost a full decade before they are released. Creators are no longer allowed to gestate ideas and concepts. Now it’s a matter of towing the company line. Nolan stated:
“That’s a privilege and a luxury that filmmakers aren’t afforded anymore. I think [The Dark Knight Trilogy] was the last time that anyone was able to say to a studio, ‘I might do another one, but it will be four years’. There’s too much pressure on release schedules to let people do that now but creatively it’s a huge advantage. We had the privilege and advantage to develop as people and as storytellers and then bring the family back together.”
Nolan’s words carry weight in the industry, and with fans, so it’s safe to say that his observations are indicative of what many movie goers feel about the state of superhero movies. Many of today’s films could benefit from more time to write, edit, etc, but whether or not that will happen, we’re going to have to wait and see.
Genres in film increase and decrease in popularity throughout the years so it wouldn’t be implausible to imagine a time in which superhero movies are no longer popular or we just become over-saturated with them. At that point, it will be up to talented filmmakers to ensure that comic book movies are around for a really long time. Hopefully, studios will remember Nolan’s words when that time comes.