Chris Nolan Talks About the Superman Reboot and Batman 3
Earlier today, the LA Times' Hero Complex published a big new update from Christopher Nolan covering all things Superman and Batman. I know our readers have been anxiously waiting to hear our thoughts on all that he had to say, so let's get right down to it. It's a meaty article with lots of juicy new quotes, but Nolan does confirm that he is developing the big new Superman reboot and is also working on the final Batman movie. In fact, the way he ended up working on Superman is that he came to a point where he couldn't agree with David S. Goyer about the story on the third Batman and took this temporary detour as a "distraction."
It was announced a month ago that Chris Nolan would be "shepherding" the new Superman and that it will indeed be a reboot, technically an entirely new trilogy. Where did the idea come from to begin with? Nolan says it originated with his colleague David Goyer, who worked on the Batman scripts with Chris and his brother Jonathan. "He basically told me, 'I have this thought about how you would approach Superman,'" Nolan says. "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." There really couldn't be a better inception (no pun intended) story than that, because I know Goyer's idea is probably awesome.
As for what we can expect with this new Superman, Nolan (known for never revealing anything early) delves into some interesting areas, talking about how great it will be, without actually revealing any major details. "It's very exciting, we have a fantastic story," Nolan boasts. "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." So although we won't see this new movie until 2012 or 2013, if even that, they've at least fleshed out an idea that Warner Brothers likes. He goes on:
"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 said, emphasizing the idea that Batman exists in a world where he is the only superhero and a similar approach to the Man of Steel would assure the integrity needed for the film. "Each serves to the internal logic of the story. They have nothing to do with each other."
Another fascinating idea that he talks about regarding the Superman movie is casting and how important it is to put together a complete cast, including all the supporting characters, of the most talented actors (which is exactly what he's done for all of his movies anyway). Nolan talks about the importance of doing just that:
"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 is why I totally love Chris Nolan. This guy gets it. And his movies, some of the best of this decade, show it, too. As excited as I am to see Nolan shepherd this new Superman franchise, he's not going to be directing it. He won't confirm whether the rumors about his brother Jonathan Nolan directing it are true or not, but I have a feeling they're not (Jonathan is apparently satisfied with the position he's in). So while we wait to find out who's going to direct the Superman movies, let's bring our focus back to Batman. That sequel is officially "picking up steam as well," which is damn good to hear, but Nolan won't say much about it either.
He does confirm one thing, though - this will be the end of his Batman trilogy. "I'm very excited about the end of the film, the conclusion, and what we’ve done with the characters." And you know what, I'm totally fine with that. If he can wrap it up in a brilliant way, then let's see it. Apparently Jonathan Nolan took that story idea that Goyer came up with and is now writing a full screenplay based on it (so please don't disturb him while he's working). And if you're excited simply at the idea that there is a screenplay being written for Batman 3 or whatever it will be called, just wait until you hear what Nolan has to say about his work so far.
"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," he said. "And in viewing it as the finishing of a story rather than infinitely blowing up the balloon and expanding the story."
"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."
As beautiful as all of that sounds, it's no easy task. "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." Just like James Cameron, Christopher Nolan is one of those directors that I aboslutely love hearing quotes from, no matter what it is he's talking about. And when it's Superman and Batman, that gets to the fanboy inside me and I get pretty excited. I consider Christopher Nolan to be one of the best directors working today. Like everyone else, I can't frickin' wait to see the third Batman movie in his trilogy, and I'm glad they're making some progress. Despite knowing nothing about the story, I already feel like it's headed in the right direction. At least from what Nolan says, it sounds like it is!
Head to Hero Complex to read the entire article if you haven't yet. I have so much faith in Nolan it's actually probably a bit ridiculous, but that's fine with me. I'd let that guy take over almost any franchise if he wanted it. But I couldn't be happier knowing that it's both Superman and Batman that he reigns over. Thoughts?