With what seems like a new superhero movie being released weekly, it is easy to forget that the last movie in Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” series was released almost five years ago. Five years! Nolan suggests that it’s not just time and quality that separate his movie from those that are being released in an unrelenting fashion. In fact, Nolan describes his films as a “luxury of time”. This is what Nolan had to say:
“That’s a privilege and a luxury that filmmakers aren’t afforded anymore. I think it was the last time that anyone was able to say to a studio, ‘I might do another one, but it will be four years.’ There’s too much pressure on release schedules to let people do that now, but creatively it’s a huge advantage. We had the privilege and advantage to develop as people and as storytellers and then bring the family back together.”
Does Nolan have a point? All of the Batman movies that he has created have certainly been a passion project. If you can’t remember, he started with Batman Begins, followed by The Prestige, which was followed by The Dark Knight and then Inception. Then came the last movie The Dark Knight Rises. That time away from the movies is shown in Nolan’s style and filmmaking methods but also in the mood, tone, and narrative of the films. Each one, despite continuing the same story, feels incredibly distinct from one another, drawing on a development of ideas and opinions that likely couldn’t have happened without that extra time.
Nolan’s first three films launched before this overlap of comic book characters that we have now. And that we’re seeing in the theatres almost weekly as I said before. (That’s likely an exaggeration, but you can see where I’m going with this.) Is there anything really wrong with that? I would say no, but it seems that Nolan is criticizing this phenomenon. I will say this – it can get confusing if you have different movies and TV shows based on the same character living in seemingly different universes. But when the same studio produces one show, which brings in all the characters from one comic book universe, I’m ok with that. I just don’t want to see 5 different versions of Batman doing the same thing.
This phenomenon got started back in 2008 when Marvel brought us, Iron Man. But these movies are coming out at an accelerated pace. Maybe that is what sets Nolan’s version of Batman apart from others. It seems that people are eating up the superhero movies and TV shows, so perhaps Nolan is wrong? He thinks that time is what sets these movies apart, and while they were good movies, is that really the best way to test movies now? He is also implying that time allows for a better storyline and will also draw people to see the movies. But I think people are just so excited about another superhero movie that they don’t look at the films as critically as we used to when we only got one every 2 or 3 years.