Writer and director Christopher Nolan has commented on whether or not he would ever make another superhero movie or direct a Star Wars film. Talking to Hugo Decrypte during a rapid-fire Q&A segment of a wider interview, Nolan was asked if he would come back for another superhero movie after famously directing the Christian Bale Batman series years ago. He bluntly said, “No.”
As for a Star Wars movie, Nolan took more time to consider his response before saying “pass” and declining to answer the question.
Would he make a TV show, like his brother Jonathan Nolan did with Westworld for HBO? “No,” Nolan said. Does he see himself still making movies in 10 years? Yes, the director confirmed. Nolan also confirmed in the interview that he does not play video games, for whatever that’s worth.
Also in the interview, Nolan was asked if a movie having a higher budget gives it a better chance to succeed at the box office. Nolan said the budget for a movie is “kind of irrelevant.” He said he’s more interested in the “interaction of the subject matter with the budget.”
Nolan pointed out that on his first movie, 1998’s Following, he had basically no budget. But the script was written with that understanding, so the budget and the subject matter were in sync, he said.
“So I think as long as you can maintain that balance, your chances of a good film are absolutely equal, whatever level you’re working in,” he said.
In a separate interview with The Telegraph, Nolan spoke out against his perception that Hollywood studios focus too much on plot and not enough on the “pure audiovisual experience” of moviemaking.
“Whether for budgetary reasons or reasons of control, studios now look at a screenplay as a series of events and say, ‘This is the essence of what the film is’. And that’s completely at odds with how cinema developed, right from the Lumière brothers’ train pulling into the station, as a pure audiovisual experience,” Nolan said (via Variety). “But it’s a very popular fallacy–sometimes with critics as well, quite frankly–that all that matters is the scale of the story being told.”
Nolan used the original Star Wars as an example, saying people love to say the movie succeeded for its story and that its success was not related to its visual effects. “But, I mean, clearly that’s not the case. It is indeed a great story, but it’s also an incredible visual and aural experience. So this willful denial of what movies actually are has set in,” he said.
Nolan is known for being outspoken about the film business. During the pandemic, he criticized his own movie studio at the time, Warner Bros., for releasing Tenet on the streaming service known at the time as HBO Max. Nolan said it was the “worst streaming service.”
Nolan’s next movie, Oppenheimer, releases in theaters on Friday, July 21. It tells the story of J. Robert Oppenheimer and the creation of the world’s first atomic bomb.
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