It’s sad day in the DC Universe, my fellow nerds.
According to CinemaBlend, Christopher Nolan, the famed director of sophisticated science fiction blockbusters like Batman Begins, Inception, The Prestige, and the sure-to-make-bazillions The Dark Knight Rises, told the Associated Press that he won’t be involved in Justice League.
Specifically, he said…
Oh heavens no, not in a million years, I won’t be doing a Justice League film. I mean, have you seen any of my movies? They’re so good, they approach a cinematic masterpiece level that you don’t typically find in science fiction films, much less superhero science fiction films. Yes, I’ve done the Batman films, but lookie here…
THOSE films were about a tragic character whose adventures I used to explore big philosophical and topical issues like crime, poverty, and classism. Batman, as a disturbed man with a scarred past and a psychological need for vengeance and rage, is the perfect vehicle to do artful storytelling that transcends a film that’s simply about people in costumes hitting things with big action pieces and special effects…
Like Justice League would be. Yes, I know The Avengers is making tons of cash and pleasing critics, but honestly, could you see me, Christopher frickin’ NOLAN, of all people, directing a film full of little one-liners that’s two biggest emotional beats involved a bunch of people in silly outfits arguing on a floating ship and the death of a measly supporting character? Where’s the Shakespearian drama? Where’s the social commentary? Where’s the mothaf**ing Nolan touch?
Nowhere, dammit, which is why I wouldn’t sully my refined fingertips with such drivel. Hmph! And good day!
Well, ok, you got me. That’s not what he REALLY said, but you know that’s what he was thinking when he told The Associated Press that was done with Batman and wouldn’t do a Justice League adventure. See below for the exact quote (and I mean it this time):
We’re finished with all we’re doing with Batman. This is the end of our take on this character…I’ve got no plans to do anything more, and certainly, no involvement with any Justice League project.
So basically, Christopher Nolan, a director whose reputation with sci-fi audiences is arguably impeccable, won’t lend his cinematic genius to what could be the most important film DC’s got in development right now, the movie that fans will think of decades later when they think, “DC superhero movie.” In other words, Justice League is the movie that DC NEEDS to be good in order to stave off an embarrassing rep for being unable to make decent superhero movies that don’t star Batman. (Which, unfortunately, they’ve already earned thanks to Green Lantern tanking at the box office.).
Warner Bros., DC’s parent company, must maneuver the movie-making waters carefully now to find the right directing and producing team to lead Justice League’s development, or else.
DC’s cinematic luck with non-Batman-related movies hasn’t been great in the past five years or so. Superman Returns and Watchmen underwhelmed financially and critically, and Green Lantern was a failure. Meanwhile, most recent movies based on Marvel characters have been successful, like the aforementioned Avengers as well as Thor, Captain America, and the X-Men, Spider-Man, and Iron Man movies. Marvel has made so many superhero films that were at least decent that they could run multiple movie marathons on TV filled with them, and likely have at this point.
So the time for DC to bring its A-game is now. Sure, Nolan’s producing Man of Steel for next year, which stars Superman, but it looks like that may be the extent of his interest in doing more DC films.
Which sucks, really, because his continued involved with DC movies would likely guarantee that something like the Justice League would be done right in theater. Unless Nolan changes his mind (which he likely won’t), DC’s battle to find a director who’ll strengthen audience faith in its superheroic cinematic adventures will be a tough one.