Chris Nolan Breaks His Silence; Talks About the Cinematic Future of Superman & Batman
There's been a lot of speculation regarding the Batman director's involvement with future Warner Bros comic book films; here, he finally addresses the rumors.
Geoff Boucher, of the LA Times' Hero Complex, recently spoke with Batman Begins & The Dark Knight director Chris Nolan in his Hollywood home. The fan favorite director chose to talk for the first time about was the 'other' superhero movie Warner Bros. is developing: Superman.
"It’s very exciting, we have a fantastic story. And we feel we can do it right. We know the milieu, if you will, we know the genre and how to get it done right."
Nolan's wife, and production partner for the past two Batman films, addressed the internet buzz surrounding an 'insider' story that the next Superman film will be titled 'Man of Steel' and feature Lex Luthor and Brainiac as the antagonists.
"I don’t know where this stuff comes from," she laughed.
The biggest question fans have pondered over is whether the next installment of the Superman franchise will follow Brian Singer's Superman Returns. Nolan said that, while he admired Singer’s film and the connection to Donner's original vision of the character, the next movie will stand all on its own.
"A lot of people have approached Superman in a lot of different ways. I only know the way that has worked for us that’s what I know how to do."
Nolan's stance that Batman exists in a world where he is the only superhero around hasn't changed; and it seems he's leaning in the same direction for Superman, "Each serves to the internal logic of the story. They have nothing to do with each other."
Nolan's involvement with the Superman film was apparently not a planned move by the studio. It turns out when Nolan and Goyer were at an impasse for formulating a sequel to The Dark Knight, Goyer suggested he try his hand at another comic character. Nolan said,
"He basically told me, 'I have this thought about how you would approach Superman.' I immediately got it, loved it and thought: That is a way of approaching the story I’ve never seen before that makes it incredibly exciting. I wanted to get Emma and I involved in shepherding the project right away and getting it to the studio and getting it going in an exciting way."
Nolan says he has no idea who might direct the Superman film; but regarding casting he wants to incorporate the same dynamic he used for the Batman films; renowned actors throughout the cast, even in the supporting roles,
"I went to the studio with the analogy of 'I want to cast the way they did in 1978 with Superman, where they had Brando and Glenn Ford and Ned Beatty and all these fantastic actors in even small parts, which was an exotic idea for a superhero movie at the time. It really paid off, too. As a kid watching Superman it seemed enormous and I realized later by looking at it that a lot of that was actually the casting, just having these incredibly talented people and these characterizations. And Marlon Brando is the first guy up playing Superman’s dad. It’s incredible."
When asked if Superman, as a franchise, has to overcome what many people believe to be a a deficiency of memorable villains (especially compared to Batman), Nolan stayed neutral, “That’s a very sly way of asking a question I’m not going to answer.”
Though Nolan won't confirm that he will be helming the next Batman film, it's pretty obvious the director's chair is his, especially since he's hard at work with the script,
"[Goyer] is writing a script for me and we’ll wait to see how it turns out...he’s struggling to put it together into the epic story that you want it to be."
"We’re approaching it in a not dissimilar way in terms of trying to find an incredible story in a way that audiences can engage with it the way they engage with contemporary action films. I think David’s approach is a very good way of doing just that."
Get ready for this shocker, Bat-fans, it sounds like Nolan will be wrapping up his Bat-verse by the end of the next film:
"I’m very excited about the end of the film, the conclusion, and what we’ve done with the characters. My brother has come up with some pretty exciting stuff. Unlike the comics, these thing don’t go on forever in film and viewing it as a story with an end is useful. Viewing it as an ending, that sets you very much on the right track about the appropriate conclusion and the essence of what tale we’re telling. And it hearkens back to that priority of trying to find the reality in these fantastic stories. That’s what we do."
The director didn't go into any detail about the characters he and Goyer are considering for the next film, but he did shoot down a rumor that has circulated for some time:
"It won’t be Mr. Freeze."
For the full interview, follow the link to the LA Times' blog Hero Complex
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