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.
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.