Chris Nolan Talks Superman Reboot & Batman 3

Published 5 years ago by , Updated February 10th, 2012 at 7:32 am,

superman batman movie Chris Nolan Talks Superman Reboot & Batman 3

There has been wildfire reporting about the upcoming DC superhero movies in the last few weeks, with the biggest bit of news being that The Dark Knight team of Chris Nolan, Jonathan Nolan and David Goyer will be bringing us the Superman reboot, which is currently titled The Man of Steel.

While (most) fanboys have been LOVING that news since it broke, people have also been wondering what’s to be done about Batman 3 and how Chris Nolan plans to juggle two superhero properties. Well, Nolan recently broke silence to speak about that very subject (and more), and we have details to share.


Speaking to LA Times Hero Complex, Chris Nolan talked about the Superman reboot:

“It’s very exciting, we have a fantastic story…And we feel we can do it right. We know the milieu, if you will, we know the genre and how to get it done right…A lot of people have approached Superman in a lot of different ways. I only know the way that has worked for us…Each [film] serves to the internal logic of the story. They have nothing to do with each other.”

Apparently, Nolan’s passion for a Superman project arose from a moment when he and David Goyer were (ironically enough) kicking around ideas for Batman 3:

“[David] basically told me, ‘I have this thought about how you would approach Superman…I immediately got it, loved it and thought: That is a way of approaching the story I’ve never seen before that makes it incredibly exciting. I wanted to get Emma and I involved in shepherding the project right away and getting it to the studio and getting it going in an exciting way.”


SUPERMAN BRAINIAC HC Chris Nolan Talks Superman Reboot & Batman 3

Superman vs. Brainiac?

In our own op-ed piece, “How to Reboot Superman” we touched on the narrative gold mine of Superman having his humanity challenged when an extraterrestrial threat (Brainiac?) comes to Earth, insisting that Superman is Kal-El, an alien, and not the human being (Clark Kent) he pretends to be.

So is that the route Nolan and Goyer are going with the story? The rumor mill has been hinting as much…unfortunately Nolan (in his usual fashion) isn’t giving up details. He also wouldn’t confirm the rumor that he is consulting on this Superman reboot as a way instilling DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. with the confidence to let Jonathan Nolan direct the film. And no mention of the rumor that Chris will direct a Justice League movie down the line.  Guess we’ll have to wait and see.


batman 3 question mark logo 1 Chris Nolan Talks Superman Reboot & Batman 3

From the information provided above, we know that the Nolans and Goyer are kicking around ideas for Batman 3 – but how far along are they? Says Nolan:

“My brother is writing a script for me and we’ll wait to see how it turns out…he’s struggling to put it together into the epic story that you want it to be…Without getting into specifics, the key thing that makes the third film a great possibility for us is that we want to finish our story…And in viewing it as the finishing of a story rather than infinitely blowing up the balloon and expanding the story.”

“Viewing it as an ending, that sets you very much on the right track about the appropriate conclusion and the essence of what tale we’re telling. And it hearkens back to that priority of trying to find the reality in these fantastic stories. That’s what we do.”

So there you have it. Other juicy bits of Superman reboot/Batman 3 info buried in the interview:

  • The Superman reboot is currently looking to get underway around 2012 – likely after Nolan has completed his work on Batman 3.
  • The supporting cast from the first two Batman films will be back for Batman 3.
  • No announcement of what Batman villains they’re playing with, although Nolan promises that Mr. Freeze is out of the question.

justice league chris jona nolan Chris Nolan Talks Superman Reboot & Batman 3

So there you have it – Nolan has officially established that he is indeed the “Godfather” of DC movie universe. Call me a brown-noser if you want, but considering that Marvel has many of its prime properties currently in the wrong hands (Sony, Fox), while DC holds all of its properties and has the talents of guys like The Nolans, Goyer and Martin Campbell (Green Lantern) on their side… This next decade of the new millennium could be the one where DC/WB conquers the superhero movie genre. Marvel’s Avengers project suddenly has some serious contenders to clash with…

Oh well, it all works out great for us super hero movie fans!

Be sure to check out Hero Complex for more of this great interview with Chris Nolan. And be sure to check back with us regularly for updates on both Superman: The Man of Steel and Batman 3.

Source: LA Times Hero Complex

Artwork Source: Superman/Brainiac by Gary Frank

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  1. Well if 3 is the end of Nolan's work on The Dark Knight then I'm feeling “Bane” on his way in but done properly. Even Azrael perhaps and a final intro to Robin but as “Red Robin”. Robin could work if he comes in as a vigilante not a side-kick who reluctantly works with Batman at the end where maybe he steals tech from Batman and becomes Red Robin or something. Who knows there's many ways this can go. But we do need one strong female anti-villain,either Talia Al' Ghul(preferably) or a properly done Catwoman. Batman will have to die in this one and someone else will have to take up the mantle of The Dark Knight. Maybe at the end of the movie everybody thinks that the original Batman has truly died but they show him with a full beard or something living with the gurus of India of the monks of Tibet.

  2. I like Pizza

  3. Marv

    this statement: “Aside from Nolan's Batman (which is hardly a superhero movie and more of glorified sherlocke holmes/jason bourne) they haven't done squat.” Batman was first introduced in Detective Comics in case you didn't know and has always been a detective type superhero. Plus, DC has the Superman reboot coming which will probably destroy anything that gets in its way, along with Batman 3 which will own the box office, and also has Green Lantern on the way. Green Lantern sounds promising like Thor does for Marvel but again Captain America will likely decide the fate of how future Marvel movies are handled. Like I said before, I hope they succeed but I have doubts with the handling of Captain America up to this point and because of Joe Johnston and the problems he has had with The Wolfman and currently having with Cap. The source material is all there for these movies but as That's why I see DC leaping high over Marvel in the future. But it's all opinion I guess. :)

  4. I agree. I expected some backlash too after I posted it but you know crap happens. I didn't think before I typed it.

  5. Also, quantity does not mean quality. Just pumping out movies does not mean they will be on top of the genre. Lets face it – DC has the two most popular characters in comic book history with Batman and Superman and Marvel does not even own the rights to its top character – Spiderman.

  6. He is overseeing the new Superman movie but not directing. He will probably have final say on the script and help his brother Jonathan direct but right now we're all just guessing.

  7. Chris said he's not signed to direct the next Batman movie but his rule is to not talk about future movies while he is currently working on one (Inception). Expect the announcement of him directing just after Inception is released (I hope).

  8. jrose23

    your last paragraph peaked my interest. I don't think we will say a movie in that sense from the Nolans but I'm sure we will in the future from some other writers and directors. It would be very cool indeed.

  9. Exactly. That's why Spiderman will disappoint until it leaves the hands of Fox and Sony.

  10. So true.

  11. I'm on board with all of you on this one. I was just waiting for the day that Nolan confirmed that his vision of Batman had an ending. I could see him leaving each property in such a way that whoever would build to a Justice League movie would have a positive topography to start with. That's important especialy for anchor characters. Now Warner can start figuring out how their going to do J.L. instead of how their going to get one of their major characters back on track and the potential problems of Nolan's reluctance to do any film with the two characters together…

  12. It's easy to nag on either companies past. That's been done on innumerous blog pages. Marvel doesn't have control of all its characters and DC, despite having control hasn't maneuvered it's characters to integrate to a live action film. In addition to this each has done something the other didn't. Warner in doing “Watchmen” tested the waters and gained insights into doing a team up movie. You can argue that X-Men was done first but Fox did that. So whatever their was to learn from X-Men they both have pretty equal access to the information. On the other hand Marvel has been steadily building up steam over the past few years getting characters and things aligned for a potentially incredible team up movie. Marvel has more characters visible but they don't benefit from all the possible profits while DC hasn't put out many characters in theaters it has benefited from all the possible profits. Both “Superman Returns” and “The Dark Knight” made a profit. So in many ways they are still equally at the starting line. As they take off on this next round or leg of the race they each will take their own route and have to deal with their own sets of problems. I like to think of it in terms of a cross country race like Baja. Barring some unforeseen disaster, I think Marvel will beat DC to the next team up movie. But, I would almost bet that DC will have the better quality movie. Will the market be saturated by the time they get there and whether either will make a hefty profit is anybodies guess…

  13. Maybe the Superman film and others will lead to a JLA film that'll feature a new Batman that'll work better with the rest of the DCU on film.

  14. I still think people give Superman Returns a hard time, but I am sick of arguing that point.

    If Nolan can really bring Superman back to the screen, in the correct way, then let him. But he is going to be producing at most.

  15. I agree. I thought 'Superman Returns' was BRILLIANT.

  16. Just because you couldn't be bothered to even wikipedia the character? Batman and Robin sucked, but the cartoon episode featuring Mr Freeze won an Emmy Award. He's a great character that would make an excellent Batman villain. But I agree that he wouldn't fit in the Nolanverse.

  17. We have different perspectives on how things have played out and will play out, but I respect your opinion. Nothing wrong with a discussion about what we're passionate about. I agree that Johnston is making everyone nervous about Cap, but I think the biggest thing is casting him and hopefully they'll do that soon (Chris Evans, please). I also agree that quantity does not equal quality, but it's a much broader picture than that. Marvel didn't always have the financial prowess to shell out multiple movies on their top characters, so it made sense at the time to sell the “movie” rights which they are still receiving small royalties from. The bigger picture is that by allowing other studios to produce Spiderman, X-Men, and Fantastic Four, it becomes a larger avenue for marketing and thereby infusing more interest for their product. Marvel is more popular than ever and profits are soaring…Disney paid 4B to snatch them up because Marvel is a cash cow. It's not just the movies…it's the toy line, merchandise, apparel, and obviously the comics. They have new storylines all mapped out for animated movies, animated tv shows, and comics to coincide with the release of Iron Man 2, Thor, Cap, and the Avengers. These things are a bi-product of the popularity stemming from all the movie exposure – owned rights or not. It obviously would be great to finally have all their character movie rights (there'd be even more cross-pollinating of stories and characters is their movies), but Marvel is still raking in a ton by all the exposure from all Marvel related movies. DC does own the movie rights to all their characters which is great, but what have they actually done with those movie rights? Batman has been a huge success and kudos to DC for signing Nolan for those 2 movies and an upcoming 3rd. However, there's really not been anything else to hang their hats on. Superman Returns made money, but you and I both know that movie profits don't always reflect movie success/acclaim (Transformers, GI Joe, Spiderman 3). The criticism forced them into a reboot after just one movie with Singer/Routh which is a shame. Wonderman has been in production hell for 15 years it seems like, and they haven't gotten her off the ground. Same goes for the Flash although things finally seem to be moving forward. At least Green Lantern is full speed ahead…I'm sure DC will make a fortune off of it. You have to admit, though, that the fading potential of any DC cross-over/team-up movies is quite frustrating. I think we'd all like to see Kent & Wayne in the same movie for once as well as some of the other characters…would love to see the Legion of Doom in a movie. Anyway, that's my 2 cents. Regardless, I think it's exciting to know that there are many more superhero movies on the horizon.

  18. Marvel is showing the industry how to make superhero movies and DC is taking notes.

  19. I think they're trying to make the Justice League. They couldn't be killing Bats.

    Plus I'm pretty sure nobody would even think of killing Batman. That'd be totally nuts!

  20. I'm just enjoying the discussion guys. It's great. Marv, mchops, excellent points from the both of you.

  21. I'm just enjoying the discussion guys. It's great. Marv, mchops, excellent points from the both of you.

  22. why would i want to wikipedia the character, when i know about Mr. Freeze already? I wouldn't want him in this movie, thanks to Swarzeneggar (hey did i spell his name right, by the way? Because, truthfully, i did not wikipedia his name). Anyway, i still say save Freeze for any last Bat movie. However, because the Nolans are talking about making this next bat flick their last, you might not see Freeze at all because you would still have to put in the Riddler before Freeze ever gets a chance. And please, no two villains in the same movie. That formula usually winds up being a disaster.

    Ummm, but how do spell Arnold's last name anyway? I think there is a “T” in there somewhere.

  23. I also liked Superman Returns. I will admit though that I know nothing about Superman. But that movie actually made me interested in Superman as a character. I'm not usually a huge Superman fan.

  24. By the looks of it that is exactly what they are doing since with Batman 3 they want to “finish the story.” This is looking good; I think they are definitely going to do that!

  25. There were three villains in The Dark Knight and that balanced out fine. I agree that Mr.Freeze should be used post Nolan but he can be done right if it's done by either Ben Kingsley or Patrick Stewart and the character is done in a real science based approach.Swarzeneggar was THE worst miscast in the history of comics.If he would have done BANE instead of Mr.Freeze that might have worked but of he'd probably want people to see his face.Mr.Freeze can work but yeah,save him for after the Nolanverse.

  26. Well said there Marv, you almost sound an exec from Marvel or something good post just like a lot of other people on here have some really good points.

  27. Yet none of the villains were developed with the exception of The Joker, of course. Two-Face was the one who got the shaft. Killing off one of Batman's most well-known villains was almost as big of a mistake as Burton killing off The Joker.

  28. i thought i heard somewhere that Philip Seymour Hoffman was going to be playing The Penguin in the next batman….

  29. None of the villains were developed? The only villain who wasn't developed as much as the others was Scarecrow and even he had some character development. Just not nearly as much as the others.