The Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan has claimed that the Batman trilogy is the last time that a filmmaker will be afforded the “luxury of time” on a studio movie. Nolan, in a wide-ranging interview at the The British Academy of Film and Television Arts in London, added that he will one day make his long-gestating Howard Hughes project.
Nolan was speaking at a BAFTA: A Life In Pictures event, hosted by film journalist Edith Bowman and he discussed many of the major films over his career including Memento, The Prestige, Inception, Interstellar and Dunkirk as well as the Batman films.
He noted that Batman Begins, which starred Christian Bale in the title role, launched in 2005, while The Dark Knight, which featured Heath Ledger, launched in 2008 and The Dark Knight Rises launched in 2012.
“That’s a privilege and a luxury that filmmakers aren’t afforded anymore. I think it was the last time that anyone was able to say to a studio, ‘I might do another one, but it will be four years’. There’s too much pressure on release schedules to let people do that now but creatively it’s a huge advantage. We had the privilege and advantage to develop as people and as storytellers and then bring the family back together,” he said.
Nolan didn’t particularly discuss the fact that he is well known to prefer film to digital, but he did warn that he would be part of the last generation of filmmakers to “grow up” with Super 8 film. “It was a question of putting interesting images together. It’s very different for kids today, working with sound.”
Nolan, who launched his career with noir thriller Following in 1998, added that he still wanted to make his Howard Hughes project, which was initially beaten to the screen by Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator, one day. The film about the reclusive billionaire previously had Jim Carrey attached to star.
“Howard Hughes is a fascinating character. A lot of what I put into the script, which I do intend to make one day, I put into Bruce Wayne. There’s been many films that have addressed different aspects of his life but not the whole thing.”
Nolan added that he was a “big comedy nerd” and his favourite comedy film was Withnail and I and that the first film he ever saw was Star Wars, which he saw 12 times.