In today’s superhero movies there’s no such thing as a finite ending. Everything feeds into a sequel, spin-off or remake within Marvel and DC’s larger cinematic universes. Superhero franchises have become giant movie making machines where endings become teases for the next installment. But the one outlier of that cyclical trend was Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy, which began before Marvel dominated movie screens.
This week, an interview with Bryan Cranston made the rounds in which the actor compared the new Power Rangers movie to Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. Baffling as that analogy may seem, it’s far from the first time that we’ve heard an actor, filmmaker or producer compare a forthcoming project to Nolan’s Batman films — something that’s become shorthand for “gritty reboot.” Here, we’ve collected a brief history of the many, many, MANY times that people have compared their films to Nolan’s Batman. As you can imagine, most — if not all — of these things were nothing like those Batman films.
Though Christopher Nolan executive produced Batman v. Superman, he didn’t have much involvement in the film and took a backseat after being highly active as a producer on Man of Steel. But the Dark Knight director did have some input on the newest Batman movie, including one of the film’s most crucial scenes...
Christopher Nolan delivered a solid trilogy of Batman films (okay, two really good Batman movies and a competent sequel we begrudgingly accept) and inspired a wave of gritty blockbuster imitators. His Dark Knight trilogy gave us the best Batman movies since Tim Burton’s time with the iconic superhero, which made fans feel a little skeptical about Zack Snyder and Ben Affleck’s plans for the character. In an attempt to soothe your fears — however reasonable and totally justified they may be — Snyder has revealed that he received Nolan’s blessing for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. So that’s something, right?
A live action remake of the beloved 1988 anime Akira, based on Katsuhiro Otomo's hugely popular manga of the same name, has been floating around Hollywood for over a decade, attracting and dropping actors and directors at a shocking rate (at one point, Garrett Hedlund and Kristen Stewart were set to star). For whatever reason, this film doesn’t want to get made. But Warner Bros. isn’t giving up on this project and if a new rumor is to be believed, they’ve officially reached out to one of the most powerful and popular filmmakers in their regular employ to make it happen. So, how do you feel about not one, but three Akira films produced by Christopher Nolan?
Anne Hathaway memorably played Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises, but she very nearly played another catty superhero. The Oscar-winning actress was set to play Black Cat in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 4, which would have also featured John Malkovich as Vulture. That film was canceled shortly before filming and Sony eventually decided to reboot the whole franchise. That’s just one of the facts packed into the latest episode of You Think You Know Movies, which goes completely batty with The Dark Knight Rises!
As ‘Batman’ goes, so goes comic-book movies. When Tim Burton turned the Dark Knight into a retro-gothic hero, Hollywood followed suit with a slew of heavily stylized pulp throwbacks. (See: ‘Dick Tracy,’ ‘The Phantom,’ ‘The Shadow,’ etc.) And when Christopher Nolan turned the Dark Knight into, well, ‘The Dark Knight,’ it sparked a wave of “grim and gritty” movies, with serious superheroes doing and saying serious things in outrageous spandex costumes that had been reimagined as biker gear or body armor. (See: ‘Man of Steel’ [Or maybe don’t.]) There’s been some pushback, but we’re really only now coming out of the trend toward ultra-serious, uber-dark comic-book movies.
Like so many major films released these days, ‘Interstellar’ has a comic book tie-in. But unlike most comic book tie-ins, this one is actually written by the original film’s director and is premiering online. And yes, you can read the whole thing right now, free of charge. We’re going to jump straight into spoilers right at the end of this sentence, so if you haven’t had a chance to see Christopher Nolan‘s science fiction adventure yet, you may want to consider turning around.
The last time Christopher Nolan released a movie, film critics got death threats. That was back in 2012, when Nolan released ‘The Dark Knight Rises,’ and the first writers who dared to stray from the positive consensus about the film received waves of overwhelming backlash. After Marshall Fine published his pan, his site and his page on Rotten Tomatoes were both bombarded with angry comments politely requesting he “die in a fire” and hoping someone would beat him into a coma with a “thick rubber hose.”
'The Dark Knight' is one of the most popular superhero movies ever. Heck, it might even be one of the most popular movies of any genre in the past 10 years. But, even if you think you've seen and read all there is on 'The Dark Knight,' you still might not know everything there is to know about one of the biggest movies of all-time.