Chris Nolan Has No ‘Justice League’ Movie Plans; Done with Batman

Published 3 years ago by , Updated July 19th, 2013 at 12:22 pm,

There has been speculation about Chris Nolan’s future with the DC Comics Movie Universe long before his Batman trilogy finale, The Dark Knight Rises, started taking shape. A few years back, Nolan and his Batman story writer David S. Goyer collaborated on the story and script for the Superman reboot Man of Steel, which Nolan was at one time rumored to direct. When that didn’t pan out, it was then whispered that the Inception filmmaker could act as a shepherd for DC/Warner Bros. movie universe – even going so far as to direct the studio’s long-stalled Justice League film.

However, Nolan is now hinting that after Dark Knight Rises, he will be done playing in the DC superhero sandbox.

As the acclaimed writer/director/producer said when asked if he has plans to step in and handle Justice League:

“No, none at all… We’re finished with all we’re doing with Batman. This is the end of our take on this character.”

With news that DC/WB is working on the script for a new Justice Leauge movie (as opposed to the defunct version that almost came to be back in the late 2000s), it’s clear that DC superheroes are going to be put to use in shared universe fashion. Nolan firmly re-iterating that his take on Batman will end with Dark Knight Rises would suggest that he is indeed stepping away from the Justice League project, and the DC Movie Universe (DCMU) as a whole.

dc comics movies universe Chris Nolan Has No Justice League Movie Plans; Done with Batman

We know that DC/WB is debating internally whether to reboot characters like Batman and Green Lantern, who have already had autonomous cinematic outings (to contrasting degrees of success), while Man of Steel would serve as the official beginning to the DCMU. Nolan’s quote suggests that at least the Dark Knight will be getting a reboot to better fit in a shared universe – or (if the studio is (foolish? Brave?) enough, they would takeover use of the Nolan Batman without the director’s input (that is, IF the character survives Dark Knight Rises).

However, it would be presumptuous to call this matter closed. For one thing, Chris Nolan’s creative partners on the Batman trilogy – David S. Goyer and brother Jonathan Nolan – are still on hand to help shape the DCMU in similar fashion to what they did with Batman – and it’s even been previously hinted that Chris could use some of his clout to get Jonathan into a director’s chair on some DC/WB project. That would keep the “Nolan influence” alive and well within the DCMU.

superman batman movie Chris Nolan Has No Justice League Movie Plans; Done with Batman

Furthermore, there is still the pivotal factor of Man of Steel: Internet bloggers have speculated for months now that if the Superman reboot is a success at the box office (and with fans), then players like MoS director Zack Snyder will be tapped to build a larger DCMU – as Marvel has done with Avengers writer/director Joss Whedon. However, if Man of Steel isn’t welcomed as warmly as the studio hopes, I don’t think any of us would be surprised to see Warner Bros. driving truckloads of cash up to Chris Nolan’s doorstep, asking for continued guidance in building their superhero world. With Batman already a billion-dollar box office draw (and huge profits on the horizon for Dark Knight Rises), it would be doubtful that DC/WB would let their power player go at a time they need him most – not without a hefty bribe, at least.

Of course, with Nolan able to make big money off of his own original work (see: Inception), there’s no real leverage for the enigmatic filmmaker to do anything else besides what he bloody well wants to – and there plenty of studios who would be willing to give him a home.

The Dark Knight Rises in theaters on July 20, 2012. We’ll keep you updated on all other DC movie news.

Source: EW


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  1. nolans batman would not fit in the dc universe…he would have to be rebooted!…i think nolan knows his batman films would kinda be undone if he decides to make another batman with superman included because if batman was smart he would have just given superman a call “hey superman can you help me out, i cant find this joker guy, thanks.”…lol

  2. Anybody else think’s they will try Jonah Nolan next?

    • i don’t think that jonathon nolan will be asked or expected to have any part in the directors chair of anything DC. He may be asked to produce/ or write or provide a story, but nothing beyond that until he has experience in the directors chair.

    • @ Merciful Rao

      I doubt it one day. Im sure even his brother Chris would help give some pointers or ideas. The Nolan brothers,Goyer are peas in the pot. Even Zimmerman would score the film im sure.

  3. DC doesn’t need a shared movie universe. They should just make autonomous films with their characters. IMO, that would work out a lot better for them and for us fans.

  4. Though after MOS we won’t have any DC movies till 2015 if what I read yesterday is true.

  5. Is anyone with me when I say I would prefer to see Man of Steel begin a Superman series completely separate from everything else, similar to Nolan’s Batman? I mean, when Snyder, the Nolan boys, and Goyer were first coming up with this film, the original intention was for it to be a stand-alone movie/series, not the beginning of the DC shared universe. I remember somebody saying last year (I think it might have been Snyder) that MOS is going to be its own universe, or something like that. But I guess WB/DC is forcing their hand, as they REALLY want a shared universe (a billion dollars is pretty good incentive).

    Now, I’m sure a JL movie would be lots of fun and a very enjoyable and entertaining movie. And maybe it will be a deep and thought-provoking movie, with dark and realistic elements in it, if done well. But I would personally prefer to see Superman reimagined as a hero in the modern day, with more focus on his personal and existential struggles. I think is what they’re trying to do, but I’m afraid this movie, or at least the sequel, will suffer from “Iron Man 2 syndrome”, i.e: try too hard to set up future movies and forget about the movie itself.

    I think WB/DC should take a step back and decide if they really want to do a shared universe, or if they would rather create great independent superhero movies. They’ll probably prefer the former ($$$), but I personally would prefer the latter. Anyone with me?

    • Ezra..

      Yes. I think a self contained MoS would allow for overall better story telling.

      • I’d take Snyder’s comment that they’re going to ‘get Superman’s house in order and from there anything’s possible’ as a direct indication that they’re intending to think big here once they’ve made Man Of Steel a massive hit with solid sequels on the way. Right now Marvel’s wiping the floor with DC with a superior marketing plan, but if taken nice and slowly with smart and long term thinking DC could do an unfold to their universe that could make Marvel’s shared universe look like True Blood to DC’s Game Of Thrones. Green Lantern, for instance, probably could have waited for at least a sequel before revealing the GL Corps, Hal Jordan could’ve been a much more interesting character given more time.

        But I think what you above are saying I understand and agree with: they should concentrate on just Superman for a while before they jump off and explore other characters and situations not in his immediate story arc.

        • Ignur, glad you agree.

          L4yercake: I agree with everything you say. I actually didn’t read Snyder’s comment until after I saw this post, but after reading it, I guess that’s a good sign. I mean, I guess it’s just wishful thinking on my part that they’ll make a self-contained superman universe, which has almost 0 chance of happening, seeing that it would REALLY screw up continuity if they wanted to do JL.

          I’m sure they can make great stories and a great series, and still have it interwoven with other superheroes. I’m just afraid they’ll try too hard to make a shared universe and forget about the movie itself. I’m also afraid that when they introduce new superheroes, superman’s essence and whole personality will instantly change to cater to the needs of being on a team. I don’t know.

          • Well, there’s tons of big differences between Batman and Superman, in the sense that Batman is more of a stand alone character that doesn’t need other heroes in his movies, whereas Superman lends itself better to it. I mean, as soon as the viewer accepts he can fly and he’s from another planet et al, it’s easier to think that okay, him meeting the Flash would work, him having a relationship with superheroes from the future (Legion Of Superheroes) makes sense long as it’s done correctly. With Marvel it makes sense to give the audience kind of everything at once, but with DC characters, it seems they should make the audience hungry for it with hints and foreshadowing to a mythology (as opposed to soap opera) that lasts at least a few movies. Superman is a hard character in that he’s all-powerful, how do you challenge him? Especially when his greatest enemy is a really really smart evil scientist who’s mad because he went bald as a teenager? :)

            I’d also like to think that even if this is the one and only Superman movie Christopher Nolan produces they’ll take the template he provided and in future creative decisions down the line think to themselves, ‘how would Nolan have handled this?’

            And on that note, I wonder how Man Of Steel will address that in this day and age there’s no way putting on a pair of glasses and slicking your hair back would hide your secret identity from the world…?

  6. If I were Warners/DC, I would make the following:

    Anne Hathaway stars
    Spin-off from Dark Knight Rises, focused on Selina Kyle, not set in Gotham City. Less of a super-hero movie, more a heist movie.

    Batman Beyond
    Futuristic setting would make for an atmospheric, visually striking story with the seriousness of Nolanverse combined with the fantastical freedom of sci-fi bringing more outlandish characters like Poison Ivy Mr. Freeze into the fray in a convincing manner.

    Wonder Woman
    Origin story which has a heavy focus on WW’s Amazonian origins, and include Artemis. Similar tone to something like Thor. Use the more recent black jacket and pants costume.

    Justice League
    Instead of the Marvel approach, make these movies completely self-contained (except for “soft” links to MoS and WW), less about origin, more about interactions and fun action.