In the battle between old white men and superhero movies, one director stands smack dab in the middle. Christopher Nolan is the only “auteur” who has also made an incredibly lucrative trilogy of mainstream comic book movies. So it should come as no surprise that according to IndieWire, Nolan’s feelings about Martin Scorsese’s crusade against the MCU boil down to “Can’t we all just get along?”
A Unique Perspective
Christopher Nolan is in the rare place where, on one hand, he’s the kind of director who will only shoot on film out of some archaic sense of the medium’s superior fidelity while also having shot a movie where a grown man dresses up as a bat to fight a clown. He’s the only director who can demand a Marvel-sized budget for a movie about people sitting around talking about bombs for three hours and get it. All of this puts Nolan in a unique place to address the concerns of filmmakers like Martin Scorsese and Ridley Scott, who think that superhero movies are the devil.
Batman Allows Christopher Nolan To Make The Films He Wants
“There’s always a balance in Hollywood between established titles that can assure a return in audience and give people more of what they want, that’s always been a big part of the economics of Hollywood,” the Inception director said in a recent interview. Nolan was responding to comments made by Scorsese specifically calling on him and the Safdie brothers to hit the MCU from “all sides,” and “reinvent” cinema.
While Christopher Nolan is the only Hollywood director making “blockbusters” like Tenet and Oppenheimer that aren’t based on already established IPs, he also understands that he only has the clout to do so because his three Batman movies made almost $2.5 billion at the global box office.
“It pays for lots of other types of films to be made and distributed,” Christopher Nolan said regarding superhero cinema.
Nolan On Previews
On the other hand, the filmmaker calls for “respect” when it comes to the “audience’s desire for something new.” He backed up the sentiment by declaring—rightly, we might add—that one of the best parts of going to see a movie in the theater is seeing a trailer for a film you didn’t even know was a thing. While it may rarely happen in the age of trailers debuting on YouTube, seeing a sneak preview at the theater for a movie that slipped under your radar is something that has the power to spellbind and make one feel like a kid again.
A Juggling Act
Having directed both art films and movies that spawn wave after wave of action figures, Christopher Nolan knows that Hollywood has always been a juggling act between the artistically satisfying and a vapid, consumerist product meant to put butts in seats and make rich stockholders even richer. “A healthy ecosystem in Hollywood,” says Nolan, “is about a balance between the two things and always has been.”
They don’t call it show business for nothing.
A Call For Coexistence
Whether Christopher Nolan’s call for a Hollywood where Marvel and arthouse dramas can co-exist will change Martin Scorsese’s or Ridley Scott’s opinion remains to be seen. It’s pretty unlikely, though, that Old Man Scorsese is going to stop telling those MCU kids to get off his lawn any time soon.