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Christopher Nolan Once Wasn’t a Fan of Comic Book Movies, But There Was 1 Exception



Although Christopher Nolan reinvented comic book movies with his Dark Knight trilogy, the filmmaker asserted he wasn’t a fan of them himself. But there was one superhero film that had everything he wanted to see in the genre.

Christopher Nolan didn’t want his Batman to be in a shared universe with other superheroes’

Nowadays, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has delivered an experience where audiences can see multiple comic book superheroes onscreen. The Marvel heroes teaming up for the first time in 2012’s The Avengers marked a significant shift in cinema. But before The Avengers, Nolan took a different approach with his Batman films by making the caped crusader the only superhero in his world.

“I don’t think our Batman, our Gotham, lends itself to that kind of cross-fertilization,” Nolan once told the LA Times. “It goes back to one of the first things we wrangled with when we first started putting the story together: Is this a world in which comic books already exist? Is this a world in which superheroes already exist?”

This was a conscious decision on Nolan’s part, who felt creating a shared universe might have undermined Batman’s originality.

“If you think of Batman Begins and you think of the philosophy of this character trying to reinvent himself as a symbol, we took the position — we didn’t address it directly in the film, but we did take the position philosophically — that superheroes simply don’t exist,” he continued. “If they did, if Bruce knew of Superman or even of comic books, then that’s a completely different decision that he’s making when he puts on a costume in an attempt to become a symbol.”

Christopher Nolan wasn’t a fan of comic book movies, but there was 1 exception


Nolan dabbled in his fair share of comic books back in his younger years. But when it came to comic book film adaptations, the filmmaker often felt they came up short. Especially compared to the source material they were based on.

“I’m not a real big fan of comic book movies generally because I felt like I really wanted to see a film that conveys the experience of reading a comic book. That is to say the mental pressure you go through when you get into the stories. You are not looking at the page as a flat surface,” Nolan once said according to Black Film.

But Nolan believed Richard Donner’s 1978 movie Superman stood out in this regard.

“The only time I have seen a film do the right thing was the 1978 Superman film that Richard Donner directed. They treated that film like an epic scaled film and this amazing cast like Marlon Brando and Gene Hackman and Ned Beatty and Glen Ford,” he added. “I thought that was a spectacular film and I felt that Batman deserved that type of storytelling.”

Why Christopher Nolan decided to direct ‘Batman Begins’

Despite not being a fan of comic book movies most of the time, Nolan chose to direct his own. He felt that he could translate his vision for Batman into the kinds of films he grew up enjoying.

“Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Spy Who Loved Me, the first Star Wars,” Nolan once said in an interview with Scott Holleran. “These are the films when I was seven years old that came about, and they created entire worlds that you believed in, and they had a very tactile, realistic, concrete sense of place and texture and, though they were all dealing with fantastic, outrageous material, they were all extreme exaggerations with idealistic heroes, but they had a recognizable taste and smell—we believe in the reality of what we see for two hours.”


Nolan was confident he’d be able to emulate that kind of storytelling with Batman Begins.

“It’s the reason I made it—because I loved these movies growing up and I felt like it’s been a very long time since I’d seen that type of film,” he said.

Source: Cheat Sheet

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