When Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins debuted in theaters in 2005, it was unclear what kind of impact the film would have on superhero movies, but along with its 2008 sequel, The Dark Knight, the films proved to be some of the most influential movies of the time whose impact is still being felt today. Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Nolan was asked about the origins of the film and how it came together before, as he puts it, anyone was using the term “reboot.”
“It came to me in a very interesting way, which was my agent, Dan Aloni, called and said, ‘It seems unlikely you’d be interested in this, but Warners is sort of casting around for what they would do with Batman.’ It had reached the end of its last sort of life, if you’d like. And at the time, nobody used the term “reboot” — that didn’t exist — so it was really a question of, ‘What would you do with this?’ I said, ‘Well, actually, that is something I’m interested in,’ because one of the great films that I am very influenced by that we haven’t talked about was Dick Donner’s Superman….And so I was able to get in the studio and say, ‘Well, that’s what I would do with it.’ I don’t even know who was first banging around the term ‘reboot’ or whatever, but it was after Batman Begins, so we didn’t have any kind of reference for that idea of kind of resetting a franchise. It was more a thing of, ‘Nobody’s ever made this origin story in this way and treated it as a piece of action filmmaking, a sort of contemporary action blockbuster.’
“What I loved about Superman was the way New York felt like New York, or rather Metropolis felt like New York. Metropolis felt like a city you could recognize — and then there was this guy flying through the streets. ‘That’s amazing, so let’s do that for Batman, and let’s start by putting together an amazing cast,’ which is what they had done with that film, but which I hadn’t seen done since — they had everybody from [Marlon Brando] to Glenn Ford, playing Superman’s dad, you know, it was an incredible cast. So we started putting together this amazing cast based around Christian [Bale], who seemed perfect for Batman, but bringing him Sir Michael Caine and Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman and Tom Wilkinson. It was just incredible.”
Meanwhile, Kick-Ass and Kingsman: The Secret Service director Matthew Vaughn says he believes audiences are tired of the Nolan style with their superhero films.
“People want fun and escapism at the moment,” Vaughn told SFX Magazine (via THR). “Look at the success of Guardians of the Galaxy. I think Nolan kick-started a very dark, bleak style of superhero escapism, and I think people have had enough of it.”
Luckily for Vaughn, Nolan is no longer involved in the makings of WB’s DC movies despite producing 2013’s Man of Steel, though he has previously said “never say never” about doing another cape based movie.