Chris Nolan Talks Superman; No Joker in Batman 3

Published 5 years ago by , Updated March 17th, 2014 at 10:15 am,

superman batman movie Chris Nolan Talks Superman; No Joker in Batman 3

Up until now, Chris Nolan has been somewhat enigmatic when it comes to discussing his upcoming projects. The acclaimed director has traditionally played it close to the vest while bringing his uniquely visioned films to fruition; and his latest, the upcoming metaphysical heist film, Inception is no exception.

However, ever since Nolan was appointed “Godfather” of the DC movie universe, he has been opening up and sharing his thoughts a bit more – more often than not about the titans of the DC Universe, Batman and Superman.

In 2012, Nolan – along with his brother Jonathan and long-time story collaborator David S. Goyer – will be giving us the “World’s Finest” of superhero movie events: Batman 3 will hit theaters in the summer, with the Nolan-produced Superman reboot The Man of Steel flying in for the holiday season. Needless to say, fanboys are pretty enthused.

But for those of you still unconvinced that Nolan is right man to tackle two of the biggest superheroes there are (in the same year, no less), maybe his words will sway your opinion a bit. The quotes are taken from the upcoming issue of Empire, in which Nolan discusses his career turn as a superhero movie maker. The quote specifically centers on how he and David Goyer were trying to update Superman for the modern age, and what Supes and Bats stand for as heroic icons:

It was the first time I’ve been able to conceive of how you’d address Superman in a modern context I thought it was a really exciting idea. What you have to remember about Batman and Superman is that what makes them the best superhero characters there are, the most beloved after all this time, is the essence of who they were when they were created, when they were first developed. You can’t move too far away from that.

empire inception cover 570x741 Chris Nolan Talks Superman; No Joker in Batman 3

THERE YOU HAVE IT. For those of you out there who didn’t like The Dark Knight and are worried that Nolan is going to “ruin” Superman by trying to “make him all dark and stuff,” you should now take solace in the fact that Nolan believes in keeping these characters connected to their roots.

To me, the quote above indicates that no matter what darkness Superman may face, the man himself will still stand for the heroic values and ideals we know and love him for – just as Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster intended back in the era of America’s Great Depression.


Back when The Dark Knight was still the superhero subject du jour on every fanboy’s mind, I wrote a piece asking whether or not The Joker and Two-Face should return for Batman 3. There were pros and cons to each character returning for the next installment – especially in the case of the Joker, who has been the subject of much controversy ever since the passing of Heath Ledger.

Well, speculation about this subject can now end, because Nolan told Empire quite clearly that no, The Joker will not be returning for Batman 3. No reason was given, other than Nolan’s own explanation that, “I just don’t feel comfortable talking about it.

batman 3the joker why so serious Chris Nolan Talks Superman; No Joker in Batman 3

Obviously the death of Heath Ledger had a major impact on Nolan, and the question of whether or not to bring The Joker back must seem like a no-win situation in his eyes. My only question is will they still use the idea of having a “nod to the Joker” in Batman 3 (something I suggested way back). Go HERE if you want to read how that scenario would play out.

How do you feel about Nolan’s take on the character of Superman? How about the news that the Joker won’t be back for Batman 3? Would you still like to see some kind of Joker homage in the film?

Batman 3 will be in theaters on July 20, 2012.

The Man of Steel will fly into theaters during the holiday season of 2012.

Sources: Empire via Collider & Obsessed With Film

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  1. The Dark Knight just wasn’t as good a movie as everyone seems to think. The first one was better, but not all that great, and frankly The Dark Knight seemed like an update of the Tim Burton Batman to me. I’m as sorry as anyone about Heath Ledger’s death, and the film is a good tribute to his acting–but the character of the Joker as written and portrayed in the film is SO sociopathic that he belongs behind bars permanently. We can all feel that he’s still alive by thinking of the Joker behind bars, where he needs to be. That Joker was SO chaotic that he really needed to be incarcerated forever. It was a fine performance in an otherwise weak film, IMHO, so let’s move on and see what else is out there.

    • Well, Batman Begins was a better comic book movie than TDK. TDK was a better film over all. See we have Films that are based on Comic books.(Superman I, First half of BB, TDK, Blade 1)Then we have comic book movies. (All Spiderman movies, Second half of BB, sin city) Despite the hype being ridiculous this is a pretty strong damn film. THink about how much it took for a movie like this to come out in the decade of 2K? a decade where everything is crap. We were lucky to get this film guys please acknowledge it. But I do agree it people (the MTV age that doesnt know what is good and whats not) put this thing on too high a pedastel. #10 on IMDB. R I D I C U L O U S!

  2. I wouldn’t credit the MTV crowd for voting TDK to high. Sorry, but they are more in to the Harry Potter and Twilight films. TDK was an actual good film which the MTV crowd has no interest in. Honestly I would put TDK in my top 10 films bash me all you want for it, but I loved the movie surely I’m being a little biased of course due to my obsession with the Batman comics still though it was a damn good film not just comic film, but film in general. It transcended simple comic book movies as did Begins. As I pointed out I have a bias by being such a huge comic fan. Also I’m not a fan of some of the movies most people would add to their list like Star Wars or The God Father films. I’ll also admit mostly I prefer some of the great films to come 80′s and later so i’m not a big fan of alot of the older classics. I have a hard time pushing past the flaws in film making from that era. Ultimately the acting was stiffer and less realistic and the production qualities were much lower. I understand that’s the time period and they could hardly help the production issue, but still it’s hard for me to push beyond those things. Rare films like Casablanca managed to appeal to me, but it wasn’t common. I also enjoy some Hitchcock. I would say my top four films are The Departed, Gross Point Blank, High Fidelity and The Prestige (not in order except for The Departed). So make what ever judgments of me you would like, but I would like to add that I hate MTV and always have I also hate Twilight, and Harry Potter and all the other teeny bopper films.

    Brandon Routh is in the pick because he was the most recent Superman. That’s not any official thing from Nolan saying Brandon is Supes again don’t get all worried. Though I will say I didn’t think Brandon was all that bad of a choice he certainly had the look and as of recently he has become much better at acting than he was during Supes Returns.

    I have a slightly odd choice for Superman that most probably won’t agree with, but if we can start with an already established Supes I would like to see Adam Baldwin play him. Amazing actor who certainly his a big strong build.

    • im not gonna bash you for that.. in fact, TDK is actually my favourite movie of all time.. yeah.. haha :) hey dont judge! i thought it was a really good movie:)

    • You definitely don’t have to be embarrassed of loving The Dark Knight. It is a mind-blowingly amazing film. It is widely acknowledged as one too, it just may not seem that way because if the bashing from some of the regulars here at Screen Rant. And The Departed is freaking awesome as well. LOVE that movie.
      As for your comment about acting from earlier time periods, I’d have to disagree. The ’70s had a lot of great acting. You should watch A Clockwork Orange. One of my all time favorites. And even if you didn’t care for The Godfather, you’ve gotta admit it has some pretty spectacular acting (Marlon Brando!). I actually usually think of the ’80s as a period for bad acting. Mainly ’80s horror movies. But that doesn’t turn me off of them at all. I actually think the ’80s were the golden age of horror.

  3. Forget Mistah J, i want Harley Quinn as the villain!

    • Yeah, I wanna see her too, but not as the main antagonist. Also, wouldn’t you need to have The Joker in there for her to appear? Unless, she was just always around, and she just now surfaces. Idk.

      • They could just do a quick flashback showing that she had a romantic involvement with the Joker and is now out for revenge. Far as im concerned any excuse will do to get Harley in there as i find her to be the most visually striking and psychologically complex of recent Batman additions.

    • I’d love to see this as well. I can see why they would want to move away from the joker, but as I remember it they didn’t kill him off so he could always show up again.

  4. Cameron is better than Nolan IMO but they’re both good! And the next villain will prob. Be riddler and/or catwoman. I think joker shoulda returned to make Harley Quinn so she could be next,but it’s a small possibility that’ll happen. Joker and Harley woulda made the new batman(which I’d call Gotham knights) prob. Better than DK. If ledger still lived I’m 100% sure he woulda been in the next movie……

    • How did James Cameron’s name come up in this, and besides James has had A LOT longer than Nolan to direct films and salute his face in the movie scene.
      I wouldn’t really enjoy Riddler if it was only him, plus that’s only a rumour that it’s gonna be Edward (Riddler).
      I’d want it to be either Two-Face, Black Mask, Catwoman or Bane (if they can actually do him right, and not mess him up, Bane’s quite intelligent, but Batman & Robin made him just an unintelligent brute, and ever since that cartoons have started doing it to him.)
      I’d say it’s most likely Two-Face.
      I want DC to start using villains that aren’t very popular, like Deadshot or Firefly.

  5. Yeah,I like harly as much as I like the joker……

  6. superman returns was a good movie in my opinion it just didn’t have enough action. As for the acting Brandon Routh and Kevin Spacey were the only good actors i liked, but im a smallville fan and i have to say congratulation Brandon but i want tom as superman.

  7. As it stands I plan to watch the new superman film but if they cast Tom Welling in it I will not see the film ever.

  8. haha i agree, as much as i like smallville and Tom Welling i do not want him in the superman movie. to be honest i just think his acting is getting good,like the last 2 seasons, the rest hes just horrible!
    but i would like another superman movie, i didnt like Superman Returns and Routh very much, so i hope the Nolan brothers can do better :)

  9. As for Superman….I think we should have a balls to the wall , shirts ripped , [frick] the plot , bare knuckle action packed brawl of fight movie with Superman vs Mr Mxyzptlk !!!!!!!!!!!! Michael Clark Duncan for Mr Mxyzptlk!!!!!! Man i can smell the EPIC lol :D

    When you think of it for such an old iconic character like Supes he really doesnt have that many good villains :(

  10. Decades ago Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese revolutionized and reinvented the gangster genre.

    Decades later a genius called Christopher Nolan has and is still revolutionizing and reinventing the superhero genre.

    Can we ask for more?

  11. I wouldnt go as far as to refering Nolan as genius of revolutionizing & reinventing the superhero genre when he’s only has two Batman films under his belt right now and even though he’s not directing he’s involved in the Superman reboot. When it comes to the superhero genre, all he’s done is reboot franchises instead of maken a film of different caracter that hasnt been on the big screen yet. While i like his Batman films, at the sametime i havn’t over-hyped them like everyone else. I found it silly to call Nolan the Godfather of DC comic movie making already when he only has two Batman films under her belt right now.

  12. I’m really hoping Harley Quinn is the villain. Totaly respect his decision not to recast the Joker. As for the Superman news, I just cant wait

  13. Why can’t they use Joker again? Last I checked, Cesar Romero was dead but that didn’t stop them from using Jack Nicholson. Then, of course, Mark Hamill. Oh, not to mention the hundreds of different interpretations of the character through various artists and writers. I swear to God, if people ONLY associate the Joker with Heath Ledger, then they are fake and need to get over it. He was an actor. NOT a character that has been around almost 40 years before his own birth.

    • @ Donavon

      I agree & see your point why theres no reason they can’t recast the Joker. Imo there could always be someone better for years to come. People think Nicolson’s topped Romero’s Joker, & now Ledger’s topped Nicolson’s Joker so it’s possible Ledger’s Joker could be topped by someone else and people are afraid of that outta respect of the actor whether they deny it or not. Imo Ledger’s Joker was good but wasn’t the best, his looks, his laugh didn’t really appeal to me but thought he had a good perfomance. Different people played the character at different times & i think they were all great. Mark Hamill imo has the best joker laughs, more than kind of laugh to the character whether its a laughter laugh, intimidating laugh etc. I seen pictures of Kevin Conroy when he was younger when Batman: TAS first started and thought, besides his voice, i thought he’d make a great Bruce Wayne/Batman in live-action films. Thats just my opinion.

  14. I do understand the Joker situation but that does leave some gapes if he doesn’t come back. They should be able to find away around bringing him back though and make the movie a good movie still. The first 2 movies he made were great so I’m excited to see how this one turns out.

  15. Nolan took Batman to an entire new level. I fully expect two amazing stories with Batman and Superman.

    Let’s be honest, the guy is an intelligent writer of stories which is needed when telling any fantasy that requires us to suspend belief. This makes Nolan perfect for the super hero genre.