Jonathan Nolan Responds To ‘The Dark Knight’ Oscar Snubs

Published 6 years ago by , Updated July 1st, 2014 at 10:06 am,

jonathan nolan Jonathan Nolan Responds To The Dark Knight Oscar SnubsEver since the Oscar nominations for 2009 were announced early on Thursday morning there has been debate, ranting and raving about the much loved The Dark Knight missing out on three major categories and whether or not they deserved to be nominated. They were, of course, Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Score (check out fellow Screen Rant writer Rob Keyes’ great article dealing with this very thing). Even though it still nabbed an impressive eight nominations those three are the ones which people feel disappointed that the film never received a nomination.

So what does someone, anyone, involved in the film feel about these snubs? Well none other than co-writer of the film and brother of the director Jonathan Nolan has let his thoughts be known (if this is indeed genuine… it may not be.. but we’ll assume that is for now) by way of an e-mail to

hey – not sure who to address this to as it looks like a collective effort, but I just wanted to pass along my thanks.

It’s truly humbling that you guys would take the time and effort to try to get the film recognized. I, like you, was disappointed that Chris didn’t get some recognition this morning, but for Heath and so many of the people who worked so hard on this thing to get nominated is thrilling.

Any nominations for a comic book movie is a thing of beauty no matter how you slice it, and that takes the sting out a bit. Besides, I’ve been to the big show before, and, like any of these things, it’s a little disappointing. Did you know it’s not even an open bar once the show starts? At least this time I would have remembered to bring a little cash so I could buy myself a drink after losing.

The best part of this experience is seeing other people getting passionate about the film the way that we did. It has been a truly incredible experience. So thank you again.


jonah nolan

This was a great thing to hear from the co-screenwriter of the film. I think this is a good reminder for the fans that they’re not alone in their disappointment but also that after all the film did get eight nominations – and it’s a bloody comic-book movie! Let’s not forget that amongst those eight was the much deserved nomination for the late Heath Ledger so that, on top of the seven others means it’s not exactly the end of the world.

And just to make my opinion known to you all – do I think The Dark Knight deserved those nominations that it missed out on? For Best Director I would say yes and for Best Original Score definitely, but Best Picture? I share the opinion of a few others I have come across – I’m disappointed that it wasn’t one of the big five nominated and think it’s a missed opportunity for a comic-book movie to make history like that but at the same time I’m not up in arms about it.

The Dark Knight is still a fantastic film… a fantastic achievement. No matter if it gets one of those little gold statues or not.

Source: DarkCampaign

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  1. At a time like this,
    the Oscars can be tough .
    If a film I like isnt nominated,
    I just remind myself these are the films that we hold close to our hearts,
    they are the special films and only we share that secret knowledge.
    Its possible TDKS snub might increase Heaths chance of winning .
    We shall see .

  2. I will never cease to be mystified as to how the old fuddy duddies collectively know as “The Academy” come to their decisions…
    Some time back, they actually nominated one of the worst movies I ever tried to sit through (Moulon Rouge), and my immediate thought was “If they thought that was great…what happened to “Dude, where’s my car?”
    I would love to hear one of them try to describe the criteria used in making their nominations.
    Whatever…the movie going public usually manages to speak loudest, and then are ignored by these all knowing, “Message driven”, ensure guzzling keepers of the flame.

    Raspberries to the lot of em, I say!

    WE KNOW what the BEST FILM of 2008 was AND WHO DIRECTED IT!

  3. I think Roger Ebert kind of explained why The Dark Knight was snubbed in the best picture category. The older generation of Academy voters gave recognition to Hollywood type productions (many of them big) like Braveheart, Dances With Wolves, or Titanic. The new generation of Academy voters want to give recognition to films that are smaller and more independent.

    To me, this kind of thinking is silly. Just because a film is independent does not necessarily mean it is better than a more Hollywood type production or bigger studio film.

    I am not the biggest admirer of The Dark Knight as I believe it has too many stories, subplots, and characters which makes it confusing. However, I do believe The Dark Knight may have the last laugh as the old saying goes. Obviously, it is well loved and has been extremely popular with fans and critics; last time I checked the Tomato meter on Rotten Tomatoes it was at 97%. There are not too many films that reach that high on the meter.

    The best picture nominees may be better films than The Dark Knight, but perhaps with the exception of Slumdog Millionaire, they seem like the type of films that are forgotten after several years. I did not even know about The Reader until this week; I still know nothing about it other than it has Kate Winslet.

    With the Academy’s push to only give recognition to smaller and Independent films (many the general public might never even know about and will easily be forgotten) I see a divide between two camps; one being the Academy and the other consisting of critics, films buffs, and the public in general.

    I believe that despite The Dark Knight being a flawed film, it will be far more remembered than the best picture nominees and not necessarily because it is a Batman movie. Its fans do argue that its writing, editing, and directing is ahead of its time, although I would disagree. I think it is safe to assume that in 20 years nobody will be talking about Benjamin Button and The Reader. Everyone will be talking about how seeing The Dark Knight in the summer of 2008 was a terrific memory in the way that former hippies have talked about attending Woodstock in 1969.

    The Academy is making a mistake. It has to give equal recognition to both independent films and Hollywood pictures. You can nominate Milk for best picture and it most likely deserves it, but try to give serious recognition to something like Iron Man or The Dark Knight which despite not being Independent films, may actually be better than many of the recent Independent films.

    Everyone remembers Oscar winners from the past like The Godfather or Rocky. I fear that if the Academy continues its current trend, most or all future Oscar winners will not only escape the public consciousness, but will not be remembered like the classics from the past.

  4. @Christopher

    What a GREAT analysis of Oscars in the past vs today!


  5. not Best Picture, agreed
    a sure hope Ledger gets his golden statue, he just made that film, and if you compared it to his other work, than this was something out of the ordinary for him, nobody ever expected him pulling this one off, at least I didn’t, and he made this movie for the biggest part

  6. While I agree that I like TDK more than most of the movies that DID get nominated, I just find it funny how TDK fanboys are getting upset that TDK “ONLY” got 8 nominations. They won’t be satisfied until TDK wins in every category including those it doesn’t even belong in…

  7. Anyway, I would rather that the movies I like not win the oscars anyhow. It is run by movie snobs for movie snobs. I have no respect for them.

  8. I think you misunderstand Ken. Most fans are not upset that it only got 8 noms they are upset that It didn’t get certain noms. I would of been much Happier of they only got 6 Nom, but they included Directing, Score and Best Picture.

  9. I do understand, I was merely exaggerating when I said the fanboys want it to be nominated and win in every category. But anyway, I can’t say anymore without being flamed, so I’ll just leave it at that…

  10. Who’s flaming you ? I was simply explaining the situation to you because I thought you had misunderstood.

  11. Not you dude. I’m saying I can’t continue with what I’m trying to say without getting flamed. I’m looking into the future, lol.

    I know the drill when it comes to TDK, just agree that it is the most awesomest movie in the world and should win every award or get flamed. Trust me, I’ve seen enough of the consequences when anyone tries to give their honest opinion about this movie that isn’t 100% positive. I liked the movie a lot, but every movie has its flaws, and even just a mention of any possible flaws, the fanboys are out for blood.

    So that’s why I said, I’ll stop right there and not continue with my thoughts on this whole oscar blood lust.

  12. I think Ken J might be a member of the academy.

  13. LOL, yah, right after I just insulted the Academy in an earlier post. I hate those snobs.

    If it was up to me, I would be awarding movies like Iron Man, The Dark Knight, The Incredible Hulk, Gran Torino, and other movies that people actually watched. Not these obscure independent artsy movies. I don’t wear a beret or thick black framed glasses…

  14. Personally I don’t see what the big hubbub is all about. The movie was just okay. It was 45 minutes too long and had 3 false endings too many. It’s only critics who have their panties in a bunch because the movie wasn’t nommed in the big categories. Frankly I even questioned Heath Ledger’s nomination. He wasn’t all that and a bag of chips. I found Josh Brolin’s bigoted assassin in Milk to be a heck of a lot more scary than Ledger’s Joker.

    Bottm line – The Dark Knight was a comic book movie. A good comic book move…but STILL just a comic book movie.

  15. @ Gimmeabreak

    LOTR was a fantasy movie too but saying it was just a fantasy movie does not do it justice..nor does it show the true breath of scope the movies represented..

    Saying that TDK is just a comic book movie doesn’t do it justice either(there is a stigmatism attached to this genre by the Academy…almost like it will denegrate the industry to recognize that some of these movies are truly great)…It was a great crime drama in the vein of Heat…and deserves to be recognized as such..This genre with great movies like Iron Man and Batman, SPiderman is on the brink of winning major awards for BEst Picture and Best Director…C’mon..the frickin READER made the nom and I would rather watch grass grow than EVER watch that overtly self-indulgent artistic piece of junk again…TDK deserved a nod for best pic and best director..I’m not saying it deserved to win but it at least deserved the nom…comic book movie or not it was one of the top five for 2008 and should have been acknowledged as so…


  16. Gimmeabreak, I’m all for looking at every movie critically, but it’s weird to just categorize TDK as a comic book movie so you can dismiss it. I know that used to be the case before 2008, but now these “comic book movies” are able to stand up critically against “regular” movies. Iron Man and TDK both are very good movies without needing to compare them only to other comic book movies. Personally I thought Iron Man was the best film all year, and that’s comparing it to all movies, and no, I’m not a comic book nerd, never read any. The Dark Knight would be my number 2 or 3, not sure, still debating in my head which I liked more, TDK or Gran Torino…

  17. @Ken J
    The only reason I would flame you is because you didn’t give me your TDK DvD that you won. 😎

    Great thread, Ross. Jonathan is a true gentleman. Many writers would have said the Oscar committee is full of old craggers like Eastwood’s character in Gran Torino. I didn’t expect TDK to get nominated, even though I believe it deserves a nod. We have to be realistic; the Oscar people just don’t nominate comicbook pictures, even though this was more of a crime drama than comic book movie.

  18. Hey, so you’re saying I’m not a real gentleman since I AM saying the Oscar committee is full of old craggers???

  19. @Ken J
    No, I’m saying you’re a maggot for not giving me your DvD!!! :-)

    Of course not Ken. I was just making the comment about how some screen writers get upset and start calling people names, which may sometimes be warranted, but Jonathan held his tongue and accepted a bad decision. I would never say anything bad about you, bro.

    I would!! petaQ!!

    😎 😀

  20. Hey, sometimes a bid of an honest candid response is very welcome, especially if it’s about the Oscars. Except that would mean that person who said it would probably never win any oscars from then on… ever… lol