According to his brother Jonathan Nolan, director Christopher Nolan was “on the fence” about making THE DARK KNIGHT following 2005’s BATMAN BEGINS, via an interview with the ARMCHAIR EXPERT podcast.  Here’s what he had to say:

Chris was on the fence about making another one.  He didn’t want to become a superhero movie director. [He was very proud of BATMAN BEGINS] but “to me, it was like we built this amazing sports car, and I’m like, ‘Let’s take it for a drive. Don’t you want to make another one?’

“We spent an hour telling the origin story, and that’s great, but it’s like, what [more] can we do with this?  Can we take the same characters and shift ever so slightly into a different genre? Can we go from an adventure film to a crime film, to a mob movie, and bring that feeling into it?”

“So I was literally sitting with [producer] Charles Roven and Chris and being like, ‘Dude don’t be a chicken shit. Let’s do this!’  And I knew with the script — and he developed the story with David Goyer with a little bit of input from me — it was like first act detailed, second act somewhat detailed, third act … uh, he rides away at the end — once we had the script done, I was like, ‘This is going to be great. This is exciting. We gotta make this movie.’ And eventually, he came around. He did manage to avoid being pigeonholed.


I get that Nolan didn’t want to be pigeonholed as a “comic book movie director.” Yet in an ironic twist, by doing THE DARK KNIGHT, its success opened the door for him to do the films that followed such as INCEPTION, INTERSTELLAR, and of course, OPPENHEIMER.  Furthermore, he absolutely changed the genre and folk’s opinion of what a “superhero movie” is…or at least, could (should?) be.  He was a gamechanger and the reason we got filmmakers like James Mangold (LOGAN), Todd Phillips (JOKER), and Matt Reeves (THE BATMAN) taking on a comic book film.

With all that said, based on my conversations with Nolan back during THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY days, I feel that deep down, he wanted to not only a sequel to BATMAN BEGINS, but three movies even if it took a little cajoling from those around him…and his brother giving him the business.

For the full interview, check out the ARMCHAIR EXPERT podcast. – Bill “Jett” Ramey