After a wildly successful attempt at rebooting Batman, the franchise-rescuing director Christopher Nolan has been dispatched to — hopefully — revive Superman with the upcoming Man of Steel. And why the hell not? The director definitely has a knack for internalizing the battle between good and evil in his protagonists, something past Superman flicks have been missing. But superheroes aren’t the only ones who could use Nolan’s talents. Indeed, here are five franchises that could use a healthy dose of Nolan.
With the franchise petering out and its titular villain battling the Predator in the B-movie world, now could be the time for a Nolan redo. Ripley is the perfect Nolan anti-hero: thrust into a situation beyond her control, she emerges tormented but tougher and with a hidden vulnerability that makes her all the more fascinating. Doesn’t that sound like a character Nolan could take to a whole new level? Besides, the world needs a badass chick kicking alien butt again, and Nolan choreographs a mean fight scene. Bring it!
As much as everyone likes to pretend The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull never happened, it did, and Nolan could be the guy to give the series the ending it deserves. Nolan might be able to usher in a new era — similar to that of post-Sean Connery Bond — with a more complex Jones who unearths inner and outer demons in exotic locales. Imagine someone like Christian Bale as a darker, meaner Jones tormented by his relationship with his father and taking it out on some Nazis.
Pairing Bond with Nolan just seems like a no-brainer. The director has expressed a desire to tackle 007, and box-office success would be inevitable. But where Nolan could really knock it out of the park is in diving into the psyches of the villains. A genius piece of casting — and writing — such as was displayed by Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight could bring some new intricacies to the good-guy-bad-guy (or bad girl) conflict. And after 22 entries in the franchise, it’s about time we got a villain who’s truly dark and truly interesting.
What made the original film successful was its perfect balance of character-driven narrative and suspense. But, sadly, the series degenerated from riveting to ridiculous. (Come on — sharks exploding in 3-D!) But decades have passed now, and a Jaws reboot is kind of overdue. A new shark epic would need more human drama (well, and sharks), focusing on Chief Brody’s fear and regret and Quint’s anger and anguish. That’s Nolan’s wheelhouse! Under the director’s guidance, the tale of man against beast could regain its Melville-esque proportions.
Blasphemy? Yes. True? Yes. Why? Well, Nolan achieves impressive action results while keeping CGI to a minimum. And clearly in the latter Star Wars trilogy, something was lost in the digital disarray. If there are to be more movies — and you never know — taking it back to basics would be the way to go. Nolan has proved that he can handle the visuals, so that leaves plenty of psychological fodder for him to play with since George Lucas’s characters and epic story are actually really compelling when explored without distraction.