Star Wars? Bond? Christopher Nolan on Interest in Other Franchises
With Christopher Nolan's sci-fi Interstellar now playing in theaters worldwide, the director finally gets to breathe a sigh of relief and take a break from all the production work. In the meantime, he's still out talking with press and recently spoke with Marlow Stern of The Daily Beast. Since it's still rare that we get to hear Christopher Nolan talk openly about interesting topics, there are some quotes from this interview that are worth highlighting, specifically where we talks about Star Wars and James Bond and his response to the criticism of his movies. I wish we could do back-and-forth discussions with Nolan for an entire month.
Up first, in the beginning Nolan mentions that going to see Star Wars as a kid opened up his mind to the possibilities of sci-fi cinema. We've heard him talk about this before, but Marlow followed up and asked him about his interest in the new trilogy and this latest iteration filming now with J.J. Abrams directing. His answer is pretty much the response we expect from most filmmakers: no way! They're too nervous to want to work on something like Star Wars, which has a special place in his heart as it showed him the "possibility of the screen opening up, sucking you in, and taking you to a different galaxy." Excerpt from the interview:
You mentioned Star Wars, and J.J. Abrams's Star Wars: The Force Awakens is coming out. Were you interested in directing that film? And were you approached?
I’m pretty excited to see what J.J. is going to do with that. I’m excited to see that he’s shooting on film and actually built the Millennium Falcon. As far as whether or not I would have ever done it, the truth is I think I’d be afraid to touch it! He’s boldly going where he went before in Star Trek, and it takes colossal balls. I’m a lot more comfortable trying to do my own thing than carrying the weight and expectation of the entire world—particularly 40-somethings like me who live and die with each new bit of information about Star Wars. But I’m very excited to see what he does.
Next up, jumping to the end Nolan comments on the James Bond franchise and about his interest in making a Bond movie, which seems like a possibility even though he says for now they're set with Sam Mendes (who is currently directing Bond 24). It's still good to hear him talk about potentially directing. Maybe one day.
I’ve heard that you’re a big fan of the Bond films, and I think it would be great to see you direct one of those.
I love James Bond and I’ve talked with the producers over the years, but nothing’s ever worked out. They do a great job—they don’t need me right now, and Sam [Mendes] is an extraordinary talent. I will absolutely be first in line to see the next Bond film as I have been for all of them.
Finally, the last quote that's worth pointing out is his response to the criticisms of Interstellar, specifically complaints about plot holes and the science being a bit flimsy. Nolan shoots down the nonsense quite deftly, and doesn't seem to worry about the critics. Of course not everyone will agree. Excerpt from the interview:
People online have been attempting to poke holes in the science of Interstellar. Do you find that literalness a bit silly? This is a movie, after all.
To be honest, I haven’t read whatever holes people are trying to poke so I can speak to the validity of it. My films are always held to a weirdly high standard for those issues that isn’t applied to everybody else’s films—which I’m fine with. People are always accusing my films of having plot holes, and I’m very aware of the plot holes in my films and very aware of when people spot them, but they generally don’t. But what were some science issues people had with the film? That was Kip’s domain.
One thing I see being brought up is the time dilation on the planet that they land, where one hour equals seven years (or a factor of 60,000), and to get that time dilation you’d have to be literally skimming the surface of the black hole.
Like “a basketball on the rim,” which is a phrase we use! That’s completely accurate, so there’s no hole there at all. Those issues are all buttoned-up, and Kip has a book on the science of the film about what’s real, and what’s speculation—because much of it is, of course, speculation. There have been a bunch of knee-jerk tweets by people who’ve only seen the film once, but to really take on the science of the film, you’re going to need to sit down with the film for a bit and probably also read Kip’s book. I know where we cheated in the way you have to cheat in movies, and I’ve made Kip aware of those things.
For more, I suggest reading the entire interview on The Daily Beast. It's fantastic, and it's another great follow-up to the profiles on Nolan we've already featured previously. It's always fun to hear more from him.
As a fan of Christopher Nolan and his movies, I'm on his side with most of these points. In general I'm just fascinating with Nolan, the why of who he is, how he makes choices, what interests him and what doesn't, how he lives his life (no e-mail?!), and how this influences his ability to make movies. I would love to see him one day make a James Bond movie and I have a good feeling that in a few years, after another original project or two, they may convince him to direct one. In the meantime, someone find me his phone number as I'd love to figure out how I can convince him to let me be second in line with him for the next Bond. Cool?