Nolan Did Not Plan to Make The Dark Knight At All Originally

Nolan Did Not Plan to Make The Dark Knight At All Originally
Image credit: Legion-Media

Christopher Nolan is, undoubtedly, one of the greatest filmmakers of our day, and he revolutionized the superhero genre with 2008's The Dark Knight.

But what if we told you that Nolan originally did not intend to make The Dark Knight at all and did not have plans for a trilogy at the moment when work on Batman Begins was completed in 2005, because he did not like the very idea of sequels?

Ian Nathan is about to release a book dedicated to Christopher Nolan, named Christopher Nolan: The Iconic Filmmaker and His Work, which is described as a "comprehensive and in-depth study" and promises readers something that "delves into the life and works of one of modern films most celebrated, successful and intriguing auteurs." In that book he wrote the following about Nolan's thought process after Batman Begins (via /Film):

"For once, it was a trick he pulled on himself. The playing card that Gary Oldman 's stalwart police officer James Gordon reveals in a Ziploc at the end of Batman Begins – the Joker, naturally – was intended as a tingle of anticipation and possibility to send the audience home with, no more than that. Christopher Nolan had no intention of maintaining a franchise; he had done his superhero bit, bringing Batman back from his decline into camp, and wanted to be away to pursue more personal, original material."

According to Nathan, Nolan wanted nothing more than to show some possibilities, some storylines the future franchise could follow, with no intention to actually lead the way himself, so to speak. So, basically, the introduction of Joker was just a tease, and the director was reluctant to go back to the franchise, very aware of the risk of repeating himself.

However, the studio decided it wanted more, and wanted it immediately, after the audience's wild response.

"Jonah Nolan recalled watching Batman Begins on a sell-out opening night at Grauman's Chinese, in the very heart of Hollywood. He was nervous as hell. Will it work? It worked – and then they got to his brother's little send-off. 'Gordon flips over the Joker card at the end and the audience erupts like they're going to tear the place apart,[ he said. 'I've never heard a noise like it.'"

This was followed by urging from the studio, and then Nolan found himself seriously thinking on what Joker would be like in the world of his Batman, and the rest is history. So, you can see how influential approval of the public is even for auteurs!