Christopher Nolan concluded his triumphant Dark Knight trilogy in 2012, but his involvement with Warner Bros. and the DCEU didn’t end there. He wrote the story for Man of Steel alongside David S. Goyer, and was also on board as a producer for that film. Since Christian Bale hung up the mask he has directed Interstellar and Dunkirk for the studio, projects upon which he was allowed carte blanche due to the success of his Batman movies.
This freedom, or lack of it, according to Nolan, appears to be what’s hindered recent DCEU iterations such as Justice League and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Speaking to The British Academy of Film & Television Arts in London, Nolan had the following to say about the time afforded to him on his genre-defining epics:
“That’s a privilege and a luxury that filmmakers aren’t afforded anymore. I think it 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 went on to discuss his abandoned Howard Hughes project, which was put on the back-burner due to Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator. Originally a project with Jim Carrey attached as the reclusive ladies-man come millionaire, Nolan used the experience to influence Batman Begins, telling BAFTA, “A lot of what I put into the script, which I do intend to make one day, I put into Bruce Wayne. There’s been many films that have addressed different aspects of his life but not the whole thing.”
Do you think Nolan is correct in pointing fingers at time constraints and release windows, or is he speaking from a well-earned position of directorial privilege? Marvel manage to work to their decades spanning release schedule with little fuss, and DC have allowed Snyder multiple attempts to get it right. Let us know what you think in the comments section.