Prestige author Christopher Priest feels strongly about the tone superhero movies should take, and he didn’t mince words when Script.fr asked for his opinion about Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. The Independent has transcribed the interview, which sees Priest dismiss Nolan’s trio of Bat-films as “shallow and badly written.”
“I’ve got kids who like superheroes, and they think the Batman films are boring and pretentious,” Priest said. “They like things like The Avengers and Iron Man because they’re fun. It’s a wrong move to take a superhero and give it psychological realism. There is no psychological realism. He’s a bodybuilder who jumps off buildings.”
Priest’s first and only run-in with Nolan occurred because the director adapted his 1995 novel The Prestige. “I’ve only ever had one meeting with him, when the [Prestige] was finished,” Priest said. “Because I wasn’t very interested in him. We all have different points of view on the world. To the world he’s this great, innovative filmmaker; to me, he was a kid who wanted to get into Hollywood.” The author admitted he chose Nolan to adapt his novel over Sam Mendes, who had just won an Oscar for American Beauty, citing his desire to champion young talent.
Despite praising The Prestige and Memento, Priest said he doesn’t enjoy Nolan’s other work — specifically his Batman films. “I’m sorry, I feel really strongly about this, and I think the proof is in the audiences. I’ve been to the movie house, theaters, and seen things like Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, and I’ve seen what the audiences do. They’re mostly kids, they’re restless, they don’t watch the film, they talk to each other, they start texting and doing Twitter, they change seats, go to the toilet, kiss their girlfriends. And every now and then the guy jumps off the building on a rope, and they watch it and go, ‘Woo!’ Then they lose interest. That’s what they’re interested in.”
Whether or not Nolan’s take on the caped crusader really failed to entertain kids, his trilogy still grossed more than a billion dollars domestically; 2008’s The Dark Knight alone made $533.3 million at the box office.
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