Christopher Nolan – His Last Batman Movie & His Other Works – A Personality Focus

by on December 2, 2010

in Entertainment

Christopher Nolan

The Dark Knight Rises lq

What started out as a single paragraph piece on Christopher Nolan doing his last Batman movie, something erupted from my brain apparently needed out.  Then again, Nolan has an incredible knack to translate any material, any subject, any franchise into a wonderfully digestible film-form that has converted many a film-goer into fans of his work.  Work is the wrong word…  his art.

First the Batman 3 News

Yes, as it has been said or conjectured, Christopher Nolan finally came out and made it official by saying that Batman 3 (The Dark Knight Rises) is his last chapter of the Batman saga that he has helmed through the years.  He also confirmed that Tom Hardy will have some role in the third chapter of Nolan’s Bats franchise.  As far as this being the last film, Christopher Nolan said in an interview, “to be embarking on the last chapter of our Batman saga without any sense of obligation or duty to the studio.

Also of note is that Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas swatted down this premature idea that Heath Ledger footage being the Joker will be in Batman 3.  Nolan added that the script isn’t even finished yet.

Pfft… at this point, who will start believing the Google results that say this or that site already has Batman 3 up for free?

Some Christopher Nolan Thoughts

This is officially a sad day to be sure for anyone who is both a Batman fan and a Nolan fan with this being his last film in the DC Franchise of Bruce Wayne.  For me, Nolan brought the mythology of Batman into a film-realm that dealt a serious tone to the franchise, giving it validity in the eyes of other genre movie fans.

What Tim Burton did with his vision of Batman was fine for the day, but his interpretation of the enemies of Batman diluted the chance for some fans to become new genre fans.  He tread the line between the campy Adam West Batman and The Dark Knight chapters of the franchise.  The blend of a serious hero and campy, doofy criminals just didn’t work for me but I had to tolerate it because it was all I had of one of my favorite DC characters.  Yet  I don’t think what Burton did, did the franchise any justice.  And when actors wouldn’t stay on to reprise the role of Bruce Wayne,  a message was starting to appear on the wall.

When Keaton backed out of his contract, all I felt was frustration with Keaton.  I had a personal boycott of his movies for a while.  (It’s how I work… speak with my wallet.) But as other actors came and went, I couldn’t help but catch the writing on the script (wall) and had to take a step back and wonder why.

Christopher Nolan, Christian Bale and Ken Watanabe in Batman Begins

A Serious Batman Franchise

When Christopher Nolan’s vision of Batman came along and he introduced the somber and fully serious atmosphere of Batman Begins, then The Dark Knight, my answer became clear with the clarity of a bell tower bell going off right next to me.  There was no contrasting interpretation of good and bad…  all parties represented were dark and real.  Their motivations were extreme but not stretched.  They were the outliers of the mental norm of society.*

When Nolan took Batman Begins and focused on the origin of Bruce Wayne becoming Batman, it was engaging.  To skip the premise of the Joker until the next movie was brilliant and it was daring to pull in Ducard, Crane & Ra’s Al Ghul.  All gritty, dark and realistic enemies.

Christopher Nolan and Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight

Nolan then took it a step further when Nolan and his team wrote the Joker for The Dark Knight in such a way that helped Heath Ledger portray the Joker as he did.  And again, Nolan pulled in dark, reality-based characters to face Batman in the Joker, the origin of Harvey Dent / Two Face and other bit crime bosses.  It was here that Nolan took potentially campy and turned it into a riveting and frightening experience!

Keeping It Under One Roof

The other aspect the lends strength to Chris’s visions of a franchise is his perspective on resisting the urge or desire of the fans and not pull in other characters from the DC universe.  At first I didn’t like this premise but I’ve come to appreciate his perspective on the issue and now, it makes perfect literary sense.  His characters stand alone in their fight.  The story is about his protagonist.  Not his protagonist and his super-powered team members.  So not seeing Superman/Clark Kent, Wonder-Woman or any other characters from the DC world, though frustrating to some, is what makes his projects so powerful and help them stand on their own accord.  Plus the movie can be focused on this story and not any potential cross-marketing of any other upcoming movie.  (That’s not a knock to Joss Whedon’s The Avengers.  It’s just reaffirmation of Nolan’s successful business practices.)  In other words, there’s no water in the ketchup at this snack shop buddy!!!

Christopher Nolan and Aaron Eckhart on set in The Dark Knight

Incredible Batman Casting

Not once has Christopher Nolan missed a beat when casting his roles.  Christian Bale is near flawless as the dark, haunted and driven vigilante who’s willing to take the blame for the greater good.  (There must be something about folks named Bruce!)  Michael Caine brings an unusual depth to Alfred that I’ve never felt before and I don’t think I could ever envision anyone but Morgan Freeman as the crux character to much of Batman’s support as Lucius Fox.  And Gary Oldman playing Gordon, though at first I didn’t quite feel it, has grown on me in such a way that again, I can’t see anyone else pulling the role off.

Speaking of pulling the role off, who ever plays the Joker again, down the road in the inevitable next set of Batman movies, is totally screwed by what Ledger did.  Joker should be retired from any future movies and be left alone.

Christopher Nolan and Hugh Jackman on set in The Prestige

With Christopher Nolan moving forward with this last Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises, we’ll be seeing the last of his interpretations of the franchise comic.  I’ll miss his vision of the darkness of Gotham City but have full faith that he will not disappoint.  Plus he’s said that with the success of Inception, Warner Bros has made it so he’s able to more freely go out with a bang in this third installment.

Superman Will Be More Realistic

And with Nolan helming the upcoming Superman movie, titled Superman: Man of Steel, well, I can’t wait to see what Nolan does there.  His stories are always set in a very realistic and compelling tone… not always dark, but if you see dark in many things, you can find it in his works.  If you like being mind-twisted with surprises you didn’t see coming, I can’t wait to see what twist he has in store for Superman.

[Cripes: An Update While I was Writing Found Right After I Publish!]

Christopher Nolan as stepped away from the Superman project, leaving it in the hands of Zack Snyder!  WB didn’t like Nolan’s take on the Kryptonian!  Wow, that’s a mistake, imo!

In Closing

Christopher Nolan and  Hilary Swank in Insomnia

And to think, Nolan has many years ahead of him.  His first film project, as noted under IMDb was the 1998 movie, Following, with Lucy Russell and Jeremy Theobald.  Nolan has his hand in all aspects of this movie as he wrote, directed, produced, cinematographer, editor.  (Cripes, sounds like a one man army.)  After that, he has been very careful in what he’s done.  2000’s Memento (Guy Pearce), Insomnia in 2002 starring Al Pacino and Robin Williams, Batman Begins in 2005.  In 2006 the most excellent Hugh Jackman & Christian Bale movie called The Prestige came out, the The Dark Knight in 2008.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Christopher Nolan on set in Inception

Of course, in the off chance you missed it, Nolan pulled off an incredible mind-bender with Leonardo DiCaprio in Inception.  Holy crap, what a wonderful movie! (Inception Movie Review)

This looks like this is the first time that he’ll have two movies coming out in the same year with Batman 3 and Superman umpteenth!  His pattern has been to create some form of a masterpiece every two years, but Warner Bros, under legal obligatory duress to get out a Superman flick or lose their rights to it, must have put up a huge teaser of a fee for Nolan to break his timing pattern with his movies.

Still, I can’t imagine it won’t suck and I wish that Nolan had been at the reigns when Brandon Routh was Clark Kent.  Routh wouldn’t have had such a stigma on his name if he had.  Then again, would Nolan have picked him?  We’ll see how it goes.

All I know is that when ever I see news about a Christopher Nolan movie coming up, a few things come to mind:

  • It won’t suck,
  • It will be awesome,
  • He’ll keep us in the dark guessing for as long as possible
  • and it won’t suck!

Did I mention mind-bending or awesome in that list?


Inspiration for this mental burst:

Superman movie update:

hitfix via ScreenRant.

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