Director Christopher Nolan spoke to Hero Complex recently and shared some thoughts on all things superhero, including his part as Warner Brothers new “Godfather” to the reboot of Superman, and of course the third film in his reboot of the Batman franchise.
When it comes to Superman, Nolan says “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.” This is clearly a good sign for fans of the Man of Steel, and also a sign that Nolan has a fairly significant say in what goes and what dies. It will be really interesting to see how things go when there’s a director, and who will have the final choice there. They could always avoid this by hiring someone close to Nolan to captain the film, but who knows how it will all play out.
Nolan then talked about how they were actually having issues figuring out how to approach their follow-up to The Dark Knight, which is about as tough an act to follow as you’ll ever find. Writer David Goyer came up with a strategy on how they’d approach a Superman movie. This idea impressed Nolan so much, that he immediately wanted to get he and his wife, producer Emma Thomas, involved in “shepherding” the project for WB.
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. Each serves to the internal logic of the story. They have nothing to do with each other.
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.
This of course lead to discussions of that third Batman film, which is currently being worked on by Chris’s brother Jonathan Nolan and Goyer. The surprising thing is that Nolan shared that this will be last Batman film by his own direction.
Without getting into specifics, the key thing that makes the third film a great possibility for us is that we want to finish our story. And in viewing it as the finishing of a story rather than infinitely blowing up the balloon and expanding the story.
We have a great ensemble, that’s one of the attractions of doing another film, since we’ve been having a great time for years.
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 things 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 harkens back to that priority of trying to find the reality in these fantastic stories. That’s what we do.
While this is surprising to hear, it’s not at all shocking; no one was even sure if Nolan would make the third film in the series. Trilogies seem to be the best way to maintain quality while not taking things too far, so this does seem to be the perfect path.
Now we just wait for the casting bonanza to begin. With Nolan saying he wants a bunch of great actors in small roles in Superman, and with how wacky things get when it comes to Batman casting rumors, I’m so very excited for the waste pile of B.S. we’re about to have dumped on us!