Christopher Nolan Praises Controversial Comic Book Epic

By Robert Scucci | Published

christopher nolan

Oppenheimer director Christopher Nolan has expressed high praise for 2009’s Zach Snyder-directed Watchmen, according to The Hollywood Reporter. During his interview, Nolan stated that Watchmen was ahead of its time, and probably would have performed much better than it did if it was released 10 years later.

These days, we’re more than familiar with the idea of a cinematic exploration of an entire superhero team, but Watchmen, despite its lackluster reception, was the first big-budget film to try enthralling us with an ensemble of this magnitude.

Watchmen Might Have Performed Better If It Followed The Avengers

Though the MCU first kicked off in 2008, the first Avengers film didn’t premiere until 2012. Christopher Nolan suggests that if Watchmen came out after The Avengers, it probably would have performed much better. These days, the idea of a superhero team has proven to be successful franchise fodder, with Marvel and DC Studios leading the charge on the cinematic front.

Watchmen Ahead Of Its Time

In other words, the world simply wasn’t ready for Watchmen at the time of its release, but audiences may have been more receptive to Synder’s vision if the concept had already been proven before tackling such intimidating source material. Christopher Nolan, who was still working on the Dark Knight trilogy at the time Snyder was working on Watchmen, seems to think so anyway.

Nolan And Snyder’s Relationship

zack snyder

The two directors have maintained a friendship over the years, and phone each other on a monthly basis to talk shop and catch up. And it’s clear that Christopher Nolan respects Zach Snyder, as they collaborated together on 2013’s Man of Steel shortly after Watchmen made its rounds. When Snyder read Nolan’s script for the film, he loved how grounded the storytelling was, and ultimately signed on to helm the film, which was also produced by Nolan.

Dark Takes On The Superhero Genre

By now, fans of the superhero genre that has dominated the box office for the better part of the last two decades are used to the dense lore that live-action adaptations have to grapple with. Chistopher Nolan, whose Dark Knight films are widely celebrated, helped pave the way for darker narratives that gave audiences a healthy amount of grit. Films like Watchmen fall into this category, but the property’s inherent subversive nature and deep lore was a turnoff to the casual comic book fan who just wants to watch a movie without taking a deep-dive into the source material.

Both Directors Have Moved On

These days, Christopher Nolan and Zach Snyder alike have moved on to other genres. Snyder, who has walked way from what’s commonly referred to as DC’s SnyderVerse, is now shifting his focus to science fiction with his upcoming Netflix release, Rebel Moon. But despite his desire to move on to different genres, the Watchmen director has stated that if he was invited back to DC, he’d consider shifting his focus to his own Dark Knight Returns adaptation. Though Watchmen was lauded for its stunning visuals, its release was met with polarizing reviews. Patrick Wilson, who starred in the film is on the same page as Christopher Nolan, however, and went so far as to say that if Snyder were ever to remake the film, he’d join the cast in a heartbeat if given the opportunity.