Sunday, September 9, 2012

What is next for Chris Nolan?

Follwoers of this blog know that I am a huge Christopher Nolan fan, particularly when it comes to his Dark Knight trilogy. However, now that he has just wrapped all that up, people in the film community are asking the million dollar question: What now? Apart from producing the Superman reboot, Man of Steel, the future remains unclear for Nolan and crew. Below, I've listed a number of routes that have either been hinted at, or that fans of his would like to seem him go to. And I have even put a few that I, as a fan, would personally like to see him go in.

  1. A Howard Hughes biopic- Between the time that he had finished up Insomnia, but hadn't taken on Batman Begins just yet, Nolan had reportedly penned a script for a biopic about the famed film maker and pilot Howard Hughes, and had even started thinking about actors that he would cast in the role. Once it was announced that Martin Scorsese was going to direct The Aviator however, Nolan ultimately decided to shelve the idea. What is such a shame is that we know Nolan knows how to write a good story and good characters, and he was especially proud of the script that he had written, claiming it was his personal favorite of the scripts that he had written. Personally, I would like to see him return to the idea and finish the project. If not that, there are a number of biopics that he could add a nice spin to, including (but not limited to) Edgar Allan Poe, Nikola Tesla, Marlon Brando, and that's just to name a few.
  2. James Bond- Nolan has also stated in interviews that he is a huge fan of the 007 franchise and would always be up for the task should he ever be approached. Personally, after seeing Inception, I'm wondering why this hasn't happened yet. And, I may be wrong on this, but I think Batman Begins influenced film more than we realize. Sure, we all credit The Dark Knight as being the movie that rewrote the rules of movie making, but people often forget about Batman Begins. Before that movie came out, the Bond movies were mostly just fun, actiony tongue-in-cheek movies. A few years after Begins came out, Casino Royale was released, which took the characters and story of James Bond more seriously and even had a film noir tone at times. As did Quantum of Solace and even the upcoming Skyfall appears to be following in their footsteps. Maybe they took Nolan's movies to heart or maybe it's just a big coincidence. This was after all, the movie that followed Die Another Day, which is widely hated by fans, so maybe they just already decided that a change in direction was overdue. Either way, Nolan seems like a strong candidate to direct the next Bond installment.
  3. Something to do with Bladerunner- A little while before Prometheus was released in theaters, the studio announced that they wanted to do something related to the movie Bladerunner, whether it's a remake, a prequel, a sequel, whatever. Ask any fan of the original how they feel about this, and they will all say the same thing: Fuck NO. The only way this would seem like a good idea is if you got Ridley Scott, the director of the original to helm it. The alternative would be Christopher Nolan. Again, he has listed Bladerunner as one of his favorite, if not his number 1 favorite movies of all time and it is reported that he used that movie as inspiration when it came to making Batman Begins and has also said that Ridley Scott is one of his main influences.
  4. Tackling the horror genre- this is more of a personal thing. I love horror flicks and hate when people make a stupid horror film. In some cases, it can work when it is meant to be stupid, as was the case with movies like Cabin in the Woods or Evil Dead. However, when you are trying to convince us that this is meant to be taken seriously, and yet it is just not scary in the least, it's just funny, it can be pretty insulting to your audience. I think Nolan has proven time and again that he knows how to treat his audience with respect. He's not going to dumb down his material so that people can turn their brains off, he is going to trust that you are smart enough to follow along. And again, that's why I think he could make a really good horror film. One of the things that I praised The Woman in Black for was treating its audience like adults, even though it was rated PG-13. Which is basically what he did when he made The Dark Knight trilogy. So yeah, give him either a Stephen King novel (ideally Salem's Lot or something of that nature) or one of HP Lovecraft's stories and tell him to go nuts. Maybe he could direct an Edgar Allan Poe movie and not have it suck. Wouldn't that be nice?
  5. Return to artsy mystery movies- Before Batman, Nolan was hailed for pushing the boundaries of film noir when he directed his first two films, Following and Memento. Now that he has concluded his work with Batman, now could be the time to play it safe and return to his original form.
  6. Collaborate with David Fincher and/or Darren Aranofsky- In 2010, each of these filmmakers were up for academy awards and it was then that I got to thinking that each of these guys are cut from the same cloth. Each have experimented with the same genres and each have put their own spin on things. Having said that, I would really like to see this trio make a movie together. On what? Anything really, just as long as it happens. Like I said, they all have their own style and each have dabbled in the same things. And they could each share roles. One could write, one could direct and the other produce. Whatever it is, I think these guys could really create something special and unique if they put their heads together.
And those are all of the routes that are possible and that I would like to see Christopher Nolan embark upon. Some have said that he should try branching out and make something light hearted with like a talking dog or something. To which I say: Why? He's found something that he's good at, and that he is successful at making, so why should he try doing something light hearted and kid friendly? Critics like what he's made (none of his films have a rotten rating on the site Rotten Tomatoes), movie goers in general like his movies (the majority of his films are ranked in the top 250 on IMDB) and it's not like he has ever flopped at the box office, so why fix something that isn't even close to broke? There was even an interview where he was asked "You make so much intense big budget stuff, have you ever considered just taking it easy and making a romantic comedy with Jennifer Aniston?" to which Mr. Nolan simply smiled, shrugged and said "Not really".

I have often said that if I was told to summarize Nolan in one sentence to someone who had never heard of him, I would simply say "Mr. Nolan is a filmmaker who really knows how to get his audiences to buy another cinema ticket" and I stand by that statement. Whether it's because you're mesmerized by Heath Ledger's performance or trying to decide whether the top has stopped spinning, people really do find themselves viewing his movies more than once. So, whatever the future holds for Mr. Nolan, you can bet that I will be excitedly sitting in line to see it.