Christopher Nolan is thankful he was able to make his Dark Knight trilogy when he did. The comic book movie has evolved quite a bit since Nolan put out Batman Begins in 2005. A lot even changed in between the release of 2008's The Dark Knight and 2012's The Dark Knight Rises, with Marvel Studios launching the first Iron Man movie in 2008, which kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Nolan had this to say about his timing.
"It was the right moment in time for the telling of the story I wanted to do. The origin story for Batman had never been addressed in film or fully in the comics. There wasn't a particular or exact thing we had to follow. There was a gap in movie history. Superman had a very definitive telling with Christopher Reeve and Richard Donner. The version of that with Batman had never been told. We were looking at this telling of an extraordinary figure in an ordinary world."
Paired with the timing, Christopher Nolan was armed "with a lot of creative freedom" and was able to "show the studio this is what it can be." Marvel Studios and DC have been pumping out movies over the past decade, with varying results. When Nolan put out Batman Begins, the landscape was not the same as it is today. Nolan had this to say.
"The other advantage we had was back then you could take more time between sequels. When we did Batman Begins, we didn't know we'd do one and it took three years to do it and then four years before the next one. We had the luxury of time. It didn't feel like a machine, an engine of commerce for the studio. As the genre becomes so successful, those pressures become greater and greater. It was the right time."
Sequels are being put out left and right these days, with everybody chasing how Christopher Nolan treated comic book stories. Now, fans look to Marvel Studios as the beacon of quality in storytelling, though some would argue otherwise. Tim Burton made Bruce Wayne a dark and complicated character in 1989's Batman, which is a character trait that nearly all of the movies featuring the Caped Crusader have followed since.
The real human character is something that Marvel Studios has been championing since the start, though they have received mixed results over the years. Christopher Nolan was able to bring the comic book movie to the Academy Awards again, which is something else that Marvel Studios has been able to tap into with movies like Black Panther and Avengers: Endgame. Nolan changed the game for the comic book movie, though he would be reluctant to do it again.
Critics have argued over the artistic merit of comic book movies for decades now, and that will not be going away any time soon. Martin Scorsese previously said Marvel movies are "not cinema" and compared them to theme parks, which was not taken well by fans. Scorsese continued, "It isn't the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being." Whatever the case may be, Nolan is happy he was able to make the Dark Knight trilogy when he did. Nolan's comments come from the new book, Nolan Variations by Tom Shone. You can head over to Penguin Random House to get a copy of the book.