Christopher Nolan Contrasts 'Man of Steel' from 'Dark Knight' Trilogy

December 4, 2012
Source: The Playlist

Man of Steel / Christopher Nolan

With The Dark Knight Rises Blu-ray hitting shelves this week, it's no surprise that Christopher Nolan is in the news again. The director of the acclaimed Batman trilogy recently did an excellent in depth retrospective about his superhero trilogy in New York City, and with rumors of Joseph Gordon-Levitt maybe (or maybe not) donning the Batsuit in the upcoming Justice League, it's safe to say that Batman has been on the brains of fanboys recently. But Nolan is also producing Zack Snyder's Man of Steel, and he spoke to The Playlist about some of the differences we can expect from the two films once Superman hits in 2013.

When asked if Zack Snyder's Man of Steel would fit in with Nolan's established brand of standalone superhero films, the director offered some insights about the approaches to the two iconic characters:

“Well, somewhat. But I wouldn’t want people to think we're doing for Superman what we did for Batman…Superman is a completely different character than Batman. So you can't in anyway use the same template. But David Goyer had this, I thought, brilliant way to make Superman relatable and relevant for his audience. Zack has built on that and I think it's incredible what he's putting together. He's got a lot of finishing to do on that. Superman is the biggest comic book character of them all and he needs the biggest possible movie version which is what Zack's doing. It's really something.

That's an interesting answer, considering the teaser trailers and the footage from Comic-Con seem to indicate a Superman film that looked very similar to what Nolan did for Batman, taking a fantastical character and embedding him into a more "realistic" universe. Co-writer David Goyer even spoke about how the filmmakers plan to "trying to bring the same naturalistic approach that we used adopted for the Batman trilogy" for Man of Steel. So who's right? Could we be in for a different type of film than what we've been sold so far? We'll have a better idea when the new trailer attached to The Hobbit arrives next week.

Additionally, Nolan is among a select few working directors today who actually value secrecy in marketing (J.J. Abrams being another obvious member of that club), so it's also no surprise that he expertly dodged some questions about the upcoming Justice League film when the topic came up near the end of the interview. When asked if Warner Bros. might want him to take on a Joss Whedon-style godfathering role over all of their DC Comics superhero films, the director said:

"Well, as I’ve said, and I’ll say definitively again, I am done with the Batman films, the trilogy is completed. It ended in the manner we had envisioned."

That's a pretty evasive response, but when he was pressed a bit further and The Playlist asked if he's done with superhero films for good, Nolan only smiled and said:

"Well, I’m producing Superman now and I’m enjoying time off and taking a break."

Okay, we get it. If someone is going to spill the proverbial beans about Nolan's potential involvement with another superhero franchise, it sure as hell isn't going to be the director himself. The future of the DC stable of comic book characters is still a bit uncertain pending how well Man of Steel performs at the box office, but we're definitely excited to see a new era of comic book movies ushered in and watch how the genre continues to evolve. Let's just hope that talent like Nolan, or someone with an equally strong vision, is there to guide it every step of the way. Thoughts?

Find more posts: Hype, Movie News



This guy and Peter Jackson have gotta be 2 of my favorites.

Christopher Philip Cinquegrano on Dec 4, 2012


I think when he's saying that you can't use the same template he's referring to the back stories of the characters and where they come from and why they are who they are. They are obviously bringing a more modern and real world approach to superman, but that is probably the only similarity, along with what seems to be a mature take on the story.

Dan W on Dec 4, 2012



Scopedog on Dec 4, 2012


I really do hope Nolan oversees the entire Operation for the Justice League movie. I feel this whole Justice League things is being so rushed and I have a feeling it's gonna flop if someone like Nolan doesn't take the controls.

Rain Spider on Dec 4, 2012


If Superman turns out to be a big hit and widely acceptable amongst audiences and fans alike then there is no doubt in my mind Zack Snyder will be the director for the Justice League he has already directed Watchmen and I feel the studios are just waiting to see how the upcoming film plays out in theatres. I do feel though that Nolan is done with directing super hero movies and probably feels most comfortable just producing and giving insight on each character on how they should be portrayed.

BinaryChaos on Dec 4, 2012


Hmmm...makes sense. Batman was perhaps the one superhero that Nolan felt he could do justice to (and he most certainly did). I had no problem with him handing the rains to someone else, and I feel that he chose wisely with Zack Snyder. Besides, as you said, Snyder directed WATCHMEN, and for doing that (and doing a great job) he's got my respect.

Scopedog on Dec 4, 2012


Superman and Batman are a lot more alike than most realise; Batman creates fear among criminals who see his signal and worry he may be lurking in the shadows... and Superman tells the world on live television that he can see through walls and hear a pin dropping miles away. Different approaches with the same result. Making their films in as similar a tone as possible highlights their differences

Richie G on Dec 4, 2012


It was once said their fundamental difference is this: "Batman brings justice to the wicked, and Superman protects the innocent."

Kev on Dec 5, 2012


If Man of Steel does prove to be a hit, then i can see nolan maybe taking on yet another producing role in the Justice League project. As for Zack Snyder, i think they will probably keep him on as a consultant or executive producer, but not a director. But ultimately, i'd love to see warner just go ahead and plan the JLA movie regardless of the outcome of Man of Steel. They should try and take a swipe at Marvel and their Avengers, even though we ALL know deep down inside that DC will never top Marvel's blockbuster Avengers Movie....never.

kash on Dec 5, 2012


I think it has potential to be bigger if done right. If the general audience flocks to see Batman like they do, then imagine what the audience will be like when it comes to Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman etc .... Insane amount of cash.

This Guy on Dec 6, 2012

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