ByDavid Opie, writer at Creators.co
The day someone green-lights a Marvel Zombies Ghibli film directed by Xavier Dolan is the day I will be happy. Any day now...
David Opie

Those of you who are of a certain age may find this hard to believe, but there was actually a time when superhero movies didn't soar into cinemas on a weekly basis. In fact, comic book films were often ridiculed for their extreme story lines and super-tight spandex — but that all changed in the early 2000's when the X-Men and Batman franchises proved that these heroes aren't just for kids.

Key to the success of Batman Begins was the work of director #ChristopherNolan, who strove to ground a franchise previously known for plastic nipples in a far more concrete reality. In accordance with this change of direction, Nolan chose to ignore green femme fatales and puntastic doctors with a penchant for ice. Instead, #Batman Begins pitted The Dark Knight against The Scarecrow, a man who used his knowledge of science and toxins to instil fear in others.

While Nolan ultimately revealed that there was an even more ominous villain lurking in the shadows, pulling the strings, #CillianMurphy's portrayal of Dr. Jonathan Crane was received so warmly by fans that the character ended up returning not once, but twice, ultimately starring in every Nolan Batman movie to date.

Batman Begins [Credit: Warner Bros.]
Batman Begins [Credit: Warner Bros.]

Since #TheDarkKnight trilogy ended in 2012, Murphy and Nolan have continued to maintain a professional relationship that will next manifest itself on screen in the upcoming war epic #Dunkirk. However, now that the #DCEU version of Batman is currently on everyone's minds, the shadow of the bat continues to look over Murphy's career.

Will Cillian Murphy Ever Return To The Batman Franchise?

Batman Begins [Credit: Warner Bros.]
Batman Begins [Credit: Warner Bros.]

While promoting the phenomenally funny Sally Potter film The Party, Murphy sat down with Movie Pilot at the #Berlinale to discuss his career in more depth. Noting that Cillian regularly veers between smaller productions and larger-scale Hollywood films, we asked whether he would consider choosing to star in another #superhero movie like Batman:

“Well, that’s done and dusted, my part of that. I'm still working with Christopher Nolan, but he's moved on."

Fans hoping that Cillian Murphy would ever reprise his Scarecrow role in the DCEU might be sorely disappointed, but the Nolanverse has always been kept separate from the latest DC superhero movies, so this news isn't particularly surprising in that regard.

What About Christopher Nolan?

Murphy seems to be done with comic book movies in general for the most part, and director Christopher Nolan is too, from the sound of it. This is unfortunate news for anyone who hoped that The Dark Knight filmmaker would swoop in and help Warner Bros. fix their current 'issues' with Batman.

Batman Begins [Credit: Warner Bros.]
Batman Begins [Credit: Warner Bros.]

In the last few weeks alone, Ben Affleck has stepped down as director of the upcoming Batman movie, and now rumors are circulating that the star no longer wants to continue wearing the cowl at all.

Warner Bros. can't be happy with these current developments, so it would make sense for them to consult Nolan on the franchise's future direction, perhaps even enlisting the director's help in some way. Clearly though, if what Cillian Murphy says is true, then there's almost zero chance of that happening — at least in the near future.

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While Murphy will undoubtedly find further success with his astonishing role in The Party, the celebrated actor is open to working within both the independent and studio systems. While some former blockbuster movie stars are quick to judge studio-led films, Murphy takes a much more balanced approach:

"For me, there’s great films still made within the studio system. You can't just say that they only make franchise movies. The only difference between an independent film and a big film is resources and time... but ultimately, its about good stories. They can happen within the independent system and they can happen within the studio system. You don't need to turn you back on one or the other.”

Warner Bros. may be struggling to deal with the current state of the Batman franchise, but in the meantime, check out Cillian's scene-stealing work in Sally Potter's The Party and his reunion with Nolan in the upcoming war movie Dunkirk. The two films couldn't be more different in scale, but they both share Murphy's dedication and talent.

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Would you like to see Christopher Nolan direct another Batman film?

(Poll Image Credit: Warner Bros.)