While making the press rounds for Inception, director Christopher Nolan hasn’t said much about the planned Batman Begins/The Dark Knight sequel (due out in Summer 2012) or the Superman film he’s attached to produce. Part of that reason is that Nolan doesn’t do interviews with online websites, which are more likely to ask about the upcoming comic book sequel. And while Nolan has been asked about the upcoming project once or twice by mainstream press (or MTV online using the guise of MTV News television to ask the questions), I must warn you — the filmmaker hasn’t revealed much.
The following exchange is from the New York Times, published today:
Question: Are the gears already turning on your next Batman movie?
Answer: I can’t – the gears are firmly jammed up with this movie.
Q. But Warner Brothers has already announced an opening date for the film in 2012. Surely you’re going to give them something?
A. I wouldn’t let them put out an impractical date. Put it that way. They know me well enough to know what my process is. I do one film at a time. It’s one of my real inefficiencies. As I start to free up on this film, I’ll be thinking about what to do next. I’m also very fortunate I have a brother [Jonathan Nolan] I work with. He’s an incredible asset and has been for many years.
Q. So Jonathan has at least finished the screenplay?
A. Oh, yeah. He’s been working on a script for a long time. And working very hard. So he tells me.
Read the full interview on nytimes.com. When MTV News asked Nolan if he’s already thinking about “Batman 3″, he responded:
“Yes and no I suppose would be the answer,” he said. “We know we’re aiming for 2012 [as a release date]. That’s been talked about. We’re just working on the script, really. My brother [Jonah Nolan] has been hard at work on it for quite some time. It’s based on a story that myself and David Goyer have written.” “I’ve been very completely in this movie,” he said about his work on “Inception,” which arrives in theaters on July 16. “In a couple of weeks, I’ll surface and figure out what I’m doing next and how I’m going to approach it.”
Nolan recently told the Toronto Sun the same thing:
“I don’t yet really know what’s next because I’m focused on (Inception),” he explains. Nevertheless after a brief holiday, he says he will “surface in a couple of weeks and focus in on what’s next.” … “It’s great to have interest in what you’re doing. I started out as an independent filmmaker and one of the hardest things when you’re making a film is trying to get people to come and see it. It’s a great privilege to work on an existing property that people feel invested in.”
As for the announced Superman movie, Nolan tells MTV that he hasn’t even thought about casting yet as they are still working on the story, and that heconsiders director Richard Donner’s first adaptation in 1978 as something to aspire to:
“I was hugely struck by the Donner films in the ’70s when I was a kid,” he said. “In 1978, I saw ["Superman"] and it had such epic scope to it. It took on this incredible, iconic figure and gave that iconic figure an appropriate framing. It made quite an impression on me. It’s definitely one of my childhood touchstones of what epic cinema can be.”
Does Nolan have a contract to return for future Batman movies? Or to produce future Superman films? Warner Bros president Jeff Robinov confirms to the Times that beyond the third Batman movie which Nolan is set to direct, and the Superman movie which Nolan is set to produce, “he’s a one-project-at-a-time person. He’s not under any contract to us, never mind an exclusive one.”