Christopher Nolan is no stranger to the DC universe. His Dark Knight Trilogy was a highly-acclaimed piece of work that did as much for cinema in general as it did for comic book movies. With The Dark Knight, Nolan not only created a great comic book movie, but a compelling crime thriller, often compared to classics such as Heat. Even back then, Nolan understood what Marvel has only discovered recently with Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians Of The Galaxy: Audiences are willing to accept unique genre interpretations from their comic book movie adaptations.
On the heels of DC’s big movie schedule announcement (and in advance of the release of Nolan’s upcoming film, Interstellar), Christopher Nolan spoke with Time Out and gave his opinion on his time in the comic book spotlight, and the upcoming DC shared universe.
“I love working in that field and hopefully I’ve added something to it. I know to some extent we encouraged more of it. You don’t want Hollywood to hit saturation point with those things. But then Zack Snyder is now doing his part by bringing Batman and Superman into one film [for 2016’s ‘Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice’], so that limits the number!”
With over 40 Marvel/DC comic book flicks hitting the cinemas between now and 2020, the idea of saturation is a huge concern among fans, studios, and filmmakers. As mentioned earlier, the idea of comic book movies not being restricted to a single genre is something that Christopher Nolan first explored in creating his crime thriller Batman movies, and is an opinion he claims to this day, several years later.
“I don’t see it as a limited genre. If I did, I never would have worked for almost ten years in that genre. I think like any genre, like the Western, it has limitless opportunities. It’s just about the audience’s appetite. What’s very important is that the studios be open to making other sorts of films at the same time.”
With the saturation point fast-approaching, it is a valid concern that studios will ignore the dozens of other potentially profitable genres in filmmaking. Nolan’s Interstellar is a good example of the type of film that could fill such a void, and there are enough talented filmmakers to help if the industry were truly to grow tired of these comic book movies.
Sadly enough, DC is at quite a disadvantage as it is. With Marvel already 10 films into their shared universe, they’ve had the pleasure of establishing viewer expectations, as well as filling the market with more comic book movies in the past six years than it has ever seen before. At this point, mainstream audiences may already be half-full, and coming into the game in 2016 may be too late.
Regardless, 2016 marks DC’s “official” entry into the world of shared universes (at the time of Man of Steel, their commitment was dubious, to say the least), and only time will tell if things will work in their favor.