Christopher Nolan revealed that one of the things that his Dark Knight trilogy got that superhero films don’t really get anymore was the luxury of time.
We’re currently in an age when we get at least 4 or 5 comic book movies a year. Think about how many we’ve had in 2017. It all started off with Logan, then we got Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, followed by Wonder Woman, then Spider-Man: Homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok and finally Justice League. That’s a lot of comic book movies in one year, and I didn’t even mention films like Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets and Kingsman: the Golden Circle which are part of the comic book movie genre.
One thing’s that’s very clear these days is that there are far more superhero movies coming out than ever before and this could very well be a detriment to their overall quality. Christopher Nolan, the director of the critically acclaimed Dark Knight trilogy (which was also a box office smash hit), took the time to explain in an interview The British Academy of Film and Television Arts in London (via Deadline) that he was given the luxury of time on his movies. Something which a lot of directors do not have nowadays.
“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.”
Not only did Warner Bros. give Nolan time on his Dark Knight movies, but they also let him do other projects in between. In between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight Nolan made The Prestige (arguably one of his best ever movies). In the time between The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, Nolan gave us Inception, yet another incredible blockbuster. This is something that today’s superhero movie directors are not allowed to do. After they finished one comic book movie project it’s on to the next, and so on until the end of time.
Take James Gunn for example. After directing Guardians of the Galaxy he started work straight away on Vol. 2. Once Vol. 2 was complete he then started working on Vol. 3’s script. The same could be said for the Russo brothers and Zack Snyder. These directors are eternally tied to their comic book movie franchises, especially if they make good movies. It’s looking more and more like they can never leave them. You can spot a similarity happening with the Star Wars franchise. The Last Jedi hasn’t even come out yet and Lucasfilm has already announced that he’ll be working on a new Star Wars trilogy next. Incidentally, J.J. Abrams’ next project will be Star Wars: Episode IX after Colin Trevorrow departed the project. Abrams’ last film was Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
There certainly is a pattern emerging here and studios need to be careful that they don’t burn out their directors and in turn their audiences. Give people time. Space out your movies slightly. All it can do is heighten people’s excitement and produce better movies. Just look at how good The Dark Knight trilogy is.
Do you think that directors should be given more time to work on their movies and allowed to do other projects in between? Let us know in the comments below.
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