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Christopher Nolan Never Loved Superhero Movies Except 1 Before Building $2.4 Billion Franchise With Christian Bale’s Dark Knight Trilogy

Christopher Nolan Never Loved Superhero Movies Except 1 Before Building $2.4 Billion Franchise With Christian Bale’s Dark Knight Trilogy

To a director of the caliber of Christopher Nolan, not every aspect of filmmaking comes easily. It is not simply about the story, its artful execution on the screen, or the critical acclaim that matters but whether or not a film is being loved by the masses defines if one has been successful in fulfilling their purpose as a director. 

To Nolan, acceptance came swiftly and knocked the wind out of Hollywood in a rush of genre-defying sci-fi movies. But before Nolan’s obsession with time took hold over him, his Dark Knight trilogy marked a significant shift in the then-rising CBM industry.

Christian Bale as the Dark Knight
The Dark Knight trilogy star, Christian Bale

Also read: Christian Bale’s $1.2 Billion Masterpiece Was a “Disaster Movie”, Christopher Nolan Was Hesitant to Make The Dark Knight Rises

Christopher Nolan Feels Ambiguous About Superhero Films

Before picking up the manual handbook explaining the makings and functionality of a superhero film in modern cinema, Christopher Nolan built his reputation on the back of films like Following (1998), Memento (2000), and Insomnia (2002). Then came one of the greatest works of art to exist in the history of comic book movies: the Dark Knight trilogy.

Never has a single superhero film been able to generate as much of an immediate cult following while simultaneously being considered a classic, apart from Richard Donner’s Superman (1978). But what stood out with Nolan’s trilogy is that his sequels kept on getting better. In an interview with Black Film, the director commented on how Donner’s movie inspired him to make something of a similar scale:

“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. 

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 [had] this amazing cast like Marlon Brando and Gene Hackman and Ned Beatty and Glen Ford. I thought that was a spectacular film and I felt that Batman deserved that type of storytelling.”

Heath Ledger and Christopher Nolan on the sets of The Dark Knight
Christopher Nolan with Heath Ledger on the sets of The Dark Knight (2008)

Also read: “He understands the power of iconic images”: Christopher Nolan Reveals Why He Chose Zack Snyder To Direct Man of Steel, Says He Knows How to Deconstruct Mythology

Christopher Nolan forever changed the landscape of how audiences perceived superhero movies with his Dark Knight trilogy. Equipped with Christian Bale’s inimitable performance and Hans Zimmer’s electrifying soundtrack, the director made history with 2005’s Batman Begins, won an Oscar with 2008’s The Dark Knight, and concluded on a terrifically epic scale with 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises.

Christopher Nolan Recalls Why He Made Batman Begins

2005 was not a time that witnessed the rise of the CBM industry. The few grand attempts that were made with Superman ’78 and Batman ’89 were obvious box office hits and yet these movies failed to keep up the pace with their subsequent sequels. To Christopher Nolan, that wasn’t necessarily an issue because he had a very clear vision of what he wanted and why he was making a live-action Batman standalone trilogy on a never-before-attempted scale. In an interview with Scott Holleran, Nolan claimed:

“Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Spy Who Loved Me, the first Star Wars – 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. 

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.”

Batman Begins (2005)
Batman Begins (2005)

Also read: Batman can be anybody: Christopher Nolan Doesn’t Want to Make Another Christian Bale Batman Movie Despite $2.4 Billion Success With the Dark Knight Trilogy

Not only did Nolan succeed in what he set out to create but fulfilled his goal so spectacularly that despite the rise of Marvel and the recent DC films with their multiple Batman movies, the Dark Knight trilogy remains a holy grail in the overflowing assortment of CBM series and adaptations.

The Dark Knight trilogy is available for streaming on HBO Max.

Source: Black Film

Written by Diya Majumdar

Having graduated with honors in literature from Miranda House, Diya Majumdar now has more than 1200 published articles on Fandomwire, and her passion and profession both include dissecting the world of cinema. She happens to be a liberally opinionated person with an overbearing love for Monet, Edvard Munch, and Van Gogh, and an obsessive collection of Spotify playlists