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OPINION: "Why He WON'T and Why He WILL"

Author: Jett
Sundday, September 7, 2008

When I walked out of the theater after first seeing THE DARK KNIGHT last June out in Los Angeles, the first thing I told my wife was “How in the HELL do you top that?”

The next day, Gary Oldman told me that he was pretty certain Chris Nolan would return for one more. "It's his baby," Oldman said, "He won't want anyone to mess with his baby."

Since then, I’ve gone back and forth with myself over Chris Nolan and whether or not he will return to helm a third BATMAN flick. Somedays I’m convinced that he’ll return, while others I’m not so sure.

Now understand, I desperately want Chris to come back for a third Gotham go’ round and I hope that is what ultimately happens. No one has helmed three individual BATMAN films and provided audiences with a “trilogy” of them.

Tim Burton unceremoniously bowed out after his weird and macabre BATMAN RETURNS (1992), and Joel Schumacher was shown the door after the silly and embarrassing BATMAN AND ROBIN (1997). Historically, both Burton and Schumacher’s sophomore Bat-Flicks were inferior to their first efforts in both quality and at the box office.

Chris Nolan changed that pattern with THE DARK KNIGHT -- the follow up to his BATMAN BEGINS. TDK not only currently ranks as the #2 movie of all time at the box office, it is considered by many to be the best comic book film period.

So it’s going to be different this time, right?

Maybe, but maybe not as well.

Bottom line: It’s all up to Chris Nolan.

So, here are my 3 reasons that Chris WON'T return and my 5 reasons that he WILL.

CHRIS NOLAN WILL NOT RETURN BECAUSE…

* With BATMAN BEGINS and THE DARK KNIGHT, Nolan has told the Batman story he wanted to tell and has nothing personally left to say.

* He wants to leave the franchise while on top. Hell, he’s made the ultimate Batman film and the best of the genre, so why not leave on that note? He’d be like the QB that wins the Super Bowl and then retires -- you know what I mean?

* As an artist and a director, he simply wants to do other things.

CHRIS NOLAN WILL RETURN BECAUSE…

* History. As previously noted, he can be the first director in the franchise’s history to return for a third film.

* The challenge. Topping TDK is too intoxicating to pass up as a director.

* It’s all part of THE PLAN. Despite publicly saying otherwise, he’s always hoped to do a trilogy of Batman films. BATMAN BEGINS was the -- um -- beginning, THE DARK KNIGHT was the middle act, and he has some sort of “ending” in mind for his Batman story. Having The Batman on the run and wanted for five murders doesn’t seem to the way Chris really intends for his Batman story to end.

* $$$. Warner Bros. is going to back up an armored truck into his driveway and say “How much?” (Although I think Chris’s take on this would echo The Joker: “It’s not about THE MONEY.”)

* “bang, Bang, BANG!” He hears that drum beating from BOF, the fans, Warner Bros., and DC Comics. Hell, he’s probably even hearing it from his cast (Gary Oldman and Christian Bale) and crew (David Goyer and Jonathan Nolan) too!

"Jett" is the founder of BATMAN-ON-FILM.COM.
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