Chris Nolan Departs Superman Reboot To Focus On ‘Dark Knight Rises’

Published 4 years ago by , Updated December 3rd, 2010 at 3:40 pm,

Christopher Nolan Leaves Superman Reboot Chris Nolan Departs Superman Reboot To Focus On Dark Knight Rises

Christopher Nolan has been a headline hog of late due to his involvement with two of the most anticipated comic book movies in the near future – the Superman reboot The Man of Steel and final entry in Nolan’s Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises.

However, Nolan has always been a one-movie-at-a-time kind of filmmaker – so, in order to focus on his final installment of the Batman franchise, Nolan has decided to leave Superman’s future in the hands of Zack Snyder and Warner Bros.

This may disappoint a large contingent of superhero fans out there, but it is the best decision for The Dark Knight Rises. Ultimately, Nolan’s Batman franchise is the more prized possession and in the end, we will be grateful that Nolan decided against splitting up his creative focus between DC Comics’ star heroes.

Nolan’s wife/producer Emma Thomas told Hitfix the acclaimed director has wiped his hands of Superman in order to focus on his favorite caped crusader. While it is more a recollection of his conversation, Hitfix‘s Gregory Ellwood explained the revelation:

Thomas said Nolan is so single minded when making a picture it’s hard to get him to work on anything else.  And she made it clear that in the case of “Superman,” Nolan and David Goyer just had an idea they couldn’t believe wasn’t being explored by Warner Bros.  And with Zack Snyder now on board as director, Nolan will be busy making “The Dark Knight Rises” and “we are handing it off to him.”  So, take note anyone out there thinking this will be a strange Nolan/Snyder partnership.  Thomas reiterated that they brought it to an appropriate screenplay and it’s now Snyder’s picture.

I am not completely surprised by this announcement. I was skeptical of his role as producer in the first place, considering he has yet to produce any project he didn’t also direct. But it is obviously disappointing to know that he will not oversee the remainder of the creative process. If he believes his impact has already been made by establishing a worthy story and script, we should be happy enough with that.

The Dark Knight Rises needs Nolan’s full attention. It’s not like he wouldn’t have given it everything he had, but that little extra time spent on Superman could be better utilized in closing one of the best adaptations of any novelized story in recent memory – let alone a comic book.

Nolan’s focus is relatively unmatched in Hollywood. He typically churns out a movie every two years. This process results in more refined products. While we don’t know his exact strategy, there is no question he likes to develop and explore these stories in a completely focused time frame. This summer he even revealed that he does not use the Internet or even own a cell phone. These are the sacrifices a man makes when he is truly dedicated to his craft.

superman and american flag Chris Nolan Departs Superman Reboot To Focus On Dark Knight Rises

So what does this mean for Superman? You can keep your black-rim glasses on and your curly bang right where it is – the reboot will be just fine. Nolan’s footprint was made while the concrete was still wet and it will be there years later when it is dry and cracked. It is Zack Snyder’s franchise to lose and rest assured the director knows this.

As Snyder continues to search for his Clark Kent, one aspect of the production has finally been solidified. Any debate over Hans Zimmer’s involvement can now be put to rest – he will score The Man of Steel. More details can be found in our full article on the topic. As they say, with each door that closes a window opens. Zimmer is a great addition to the minds behind the reboot. The only remaining stage is to properly cast the main players.

How do you feel about Christopher Nolan’s departure from The Man of Steel? Did you expect as much or are you floored and suddenly nervous? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

The Superman reboot is set for a December 2012 release.

The Dark Knight Rises will arrive in theaters on July 20, 2012.

Source: Hitfix

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  1. I believe Nolan knows what he’s doing. See this way *shudder* The Dark Knight Rises (still dislike that title), will be even better now that he’ll be on it all the time. And Man Of Steel will be just as good even if Nolan isn’t there. I loved 300, for me it was a great film, and Nolan had nothing to do with it. So my point is, don’t panic, all will be fine and we the fans of the Batman will get a kick arse movie.

  2. Actually Snyder seems like a good choice for Superman. If you look at Watchmen the Owl was basically the Clark Kent persona. Dr. Manhattan showed several possible aspects of being near godlike in power and Ozymandias was very much how I would like Lex Luthor to be portrayed.

    So in a sense he’s already done Superman just not as one character.

  3. Good news and bad news:
    Good news Batman 3 does desreve all the attention it is going to recieve, bad news Zack Snyder is left alone to play with the first Superhero ever created. I thought the Nolan/Snyder combo would have worked, but I pray that Snyder treats Superman as the Superhero he is, which is the antithisis of the dark moody comics that he has made into movies. Fingers are crossed though, one thing though, just cast Brandon Routhe as Superman, it’s not that hard…

  4. noooooo

  5. Nooooooooooooooo… damn you Christopher!! Damn yooouuuuuuuu!!!!!! It was finally Superman’s chance to show how incredible his story can be portrayed. Don’t get me wrong, I’m confident Snyder will do an excellent job, but the Nolan/Snyder team was like the Dream Team of filmmakers. Why Chris why, should make Warner suspend the Superman reboot untill he is finished with The Dark Knight Rises!

  6. I love the analogy that you used about the shoe print, and the cement. I could have not said it better myself. Nolan has a tunnel vision mindset, it wouldn’t be fair to us as a audience if we did not get his full attention on the current Batman movie at hand. I’m glad that he is only focusing on The Dark Knight Rises now. Why? You may ask. Well Batman is better then Superman. That’s right I said it. Get at me. LOL. If anyone would like to make an argument please do so because I will destroy you in the debate. LOL

    • That’s a ridiculous statement.. “Batman is better than Superman”. You need to define better more spefically. It is insufficient to simply say one is better than another without any provided circumstances or additional information…. You simple statement begs more questions than it does provide any real assertions.

  7. This is great news. I want Nolan focusing exclusively on Dark Knight Rises. This movie will be epic. I really feel Nolan has the talent to one up The Dark Knight and complete the greatest trilogy ever. Thats hard to do, espcially since I LOVE the Dark Knight and have watched it like 15 times. Best. Movie. Ever. But if anyone can top it, Nolan is the man.

  8. like, even though I’m a large fan of Christopher Nolan’s style, I’m actually ok with this haha. Cause I think Zack Snyder is the best thing that could happen to this movie XD

  9. “The reboot will be just fine”

    I expect it to burn out and fade away within three months or less. Okay, maybe three and a half. And that was even when Nolan *was* on board. I wasn’t feeling the reboot happiness then, I’m not feeling it now.

    There’s no sense in sticking around on a project you don’t believe in either.

    • And yet you pointlessly continue to click on Any MOS News, just so you can say you dont care….

      Daredevil Sucks. :-)

  10. Wait,Superman Returns was a reboot right? So now theyre rerebooting it?

    • I think it was a sequel.

      • But the “sequel” showed how superman became to be. Weird.

    • It was a reboot and a seuqel. It ignored Superman 3 and 4, and was set after Superman 2.

      • Thanks :)

  11. I’m glad, so many times we see what happens when directors talents are diluted over 2-3 projects. Bit like Rodriguez this year over Predators and Machete. I think this was a wise decision for Nolan. Good on him.

  12. Score! I loved Snyder’s take on Watchmen. I think he’ll do this story justice. The only problem I had was that if you put Snyder with Nolan, there won’t be a movie. It’d just be an hour and ten minutes of dark screen. Both of them make movies so dark, you need to be wearing white or neon just to see yourself in the movie house. Add to it, the themes they both use in movies would be more akin to Superman: Red Son than anything even remotely like traditional big blue. The fans expecting to go in and be awed by a man that can fly would be traumatized like moviegoers were watching Natural Born Killers. We’re living in a civilization that 30 years ago not only conquered the Russians in hockey but with slasher films overcame what all horrors had haunted the headlines for the previous 20 years! Have we all chosen to forget that?! This isn’t a world for Patrick Bateman to commit murders and executions. That’s so quarter century ago! Its still more Tom Hanks in Big. Clark Kent is a guy who lives in the big city but he never forgets to send home money to his parents. Superman would rather be picking Lois flowers from an exotic country than promote war. If he did support war, it’d be because he naively thought that nobody, especially the government would lie to him. He’s like a computer nerd, not expecting Episode I to suck so bad and the entire prequel franchise to trample over cherished childhood memories. Why would someone make a movie like that? Because they can? Regardless of knowing the figurative Clark or the fans wouldn’t approve. That’s no better than a cop bullying people around, hiding behind their job. If it were a joke before, by now its gone too far. The whole industry is tanking because of those kinda lousy, snarky jokes. Its easy to make Superman a dark movie character. If you want to challenge yourself, make him shine and sparkle the way he deserves. Col. Hogan was a trooper too and his heroes were still ingenious. Instead of drooling over medical marijuana, Generation Y in Hollywood needs to turn Sgt. Schultz on his ear and do somethink, sommethiink!

  13. And the very tiny little last shred of hope that I had is dead now. Now I have no more hope for Man of Steel.

    • There is no hope.

      • In the words of Aragorn: “There is always hope”.

        • While there is no denying that is a great quote, for me, this is a hopeless situation. This is unlikely to be the Superman film I want. But feel free to enjoy it if you can.

          • As I have yet to dislike a Snyder film, I believe I shall enjoy MoS. I am always interested to see where a different vision goes, and having been a comic book fan for so long I’m more than willing to accept differing visions from what I’ve seen before. You can’t be loyal to a comic franchise and honestly expect a 72 year old character to have actual story fidelity. New beginnings and directions are a must.

            • Sure you can have new directions provided you don’t pull things out by the roots and plot a tijuana-tuck-and-roll. We’re not talking Zack Snyder here. This is a shout out to everyone from the prep school dropouts to the boardroom down to craft services that have a fundamental bellyache. DC is already supplying a wealth of material. No need to fill Supes’ flick with manure, thinking we’ll buy it simply for the pretty exterior. We fans are watching you. We’re handing you the thread and needle, making sure its stitched twice with our own cushioning. This is no time for gypsy shenanigans. Would you wanna be the guy to piss off the high profile likes of Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Bon Jovi or most importantly, Shaquille O’Neal? Way to get your candidate elected in 2012 doing that! Don’t make us schwing ya, skadouchebags.

  14. It would of been cool to of just gave it to richard donner and had brandon routh star in it.

  15. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, Nolan had a meeting with Snyder and his ideas, along with the crappy screenplay and he jumped ship before it sunk him and his reputation! Good man!

    I’m really intrigued about this “idea that no-one has thought of yet” etc though.

  16. Snyder is a good director, and has good vision for scenes. If they base the film on a comic book, I presume Snyder will copy it frame for comic book frame. This isn’t a bad way of making a film (in my opinion) as their are plenty of graphic comic books out their for him to obtain a story.

    • he already said it won’t be based on a particularly book.

  17. maybe they could let zack snyder make the man of steel and look how he makes the movie. and then nolan can make a sequal

  18. it’s a bummer but watchmen was great so there is hope as long as the cast is decent and the story follows Birthright

  19. Well I’m not convinced one way or the other. In the beginning it looked sweet but with the script rumblings and Nolan leaving and the big split that the fans have over who should play Superman, it’s starting to look shaky. I do believe in DC’s people that work on the Superman comics and animation stories on a daily basis, but would they be allowed to have a say on this film? I think at this juncture Warner should put some faith in the experienced in house talent, especially to bring the characters to life. Like many of these risky productions I guess a trailer will help me decide whether to see it or not…

    • at this point, sense there not afraid to still use some decent enough special effects instead of just booms and bangs

  20. Dempsey Sanders, some dude that runs a blog about Superman is now in talks to play the lead role after Zack Snyder came across his blog

  21. Zack Snyder has a reputation for honoring the original stories presented to him, as evidenced in 300 and Watchmen. You can even compare these movies frame-by-frame to the original comics and see the similarities. He has huge respect for artists and their art. I think it will be no different with Nolan and Goyer’s script. While having Nolan head the project as producer would have been nice, I have faith that the real artistry of Nolan and Goyer – their knack for writing brilliant screenplays – will remain intact in Snyder’s capable hands.

  22. Nolan’s material is way too dark anyway for the superman movie, to which superman is not suppose to be about dark and grittiness.

  23. I’m going to have a heart attack, the movie will be great I am sure but to compare a movie franchise of superman to that of 300 is am astronomical understatement to say the least. Snyder better pull this movie off because I was so anxious because Nolan was producing but its all up to Snyder and will be a thorough disappointment if its not to Nolan standards