Further reflections on The Dark Knight Rises and Man of Steel

Once Batman is completed, where do you go next? Oh right, we have Man of Steel coming next summer, the next Avengers in a couple of years, and yet more Spider-Man films.

In short, even with Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale calling it a day with the Dark Knight, there’s still going to be plenty more big screen superheroes to come, even though it was especially exciting waiting for Batman’s return. 


Nolan is producing Man of Steel, and it will be interesting to see how evident his stamp will be on the film, much like you could see producer Steven Spielberg’s fingerprints all over the first Transformers film.

Nolan is especially high on Steel director Zack Snyder, telling the Hollywood Reporter, “I’m just amazed by what he is doing. He is unbelievably skilled at creating a coherent, cohesive world – whether it’s a very stylized world like 300, or something that’s more challenging, more varied, like he did with Watchmen.” 

Nolan also feels that “Taking on Superman and creating that world is far more difficult than creating the world of the Dark Knight. [Steel] has a very long post-production schedule because, unlike Batman, Superman flies.” 

And indeed, Nolan has taken great pains to point out that Superman and Batman are very different heroes that can’t be painted with same brush. This was a problem when the 80’s Batman was coming together at Warner Brothers, and the studio wanted it more like the Christopher Reeve Superman. At that time, we also still weren’t that far removed from the campy Batman of the 60’s. 

What the Superman and Batman reboots may ultimately have in common is treating both heroes realistically, living in the real world. Nolan said, “Previous incarnations of Batman – particularly Tim Burton’s very brilliant films – were based on creating a very gothic world in which Batman felt quite natural. We wanted to have an ordinary world so that the figure of Batman would stand out and be extraordinary.”

Nolan has also quickly shot down rumors he’d direct Justice League, which may be hitting theaters in 2005, or that the road will ever return to the Dark Knight.

“I know I’m done with Batman. I want to direct another movie before too long, probably ‘cause I get bored very easily. But I’ll take my time in figuring out what it is.” 

Personally, I think it’s  great that Nolan had the clout to get (gasp!) an original movie made with Inception, and we’re definitely looking forward to what Nolan’s got up his sleeve next.