By now, Christopher Nolan's supposed controversial response to the request for a [Man of Steel](movie:15593) post-credits scene from WB has probably popped up on your feed. In an extensive profile on Nolan in preparation for his highly anticipated upcoming film, [Interstellar](movie:813746), The Guardian reported that his response to the suggestion of a post-credits scene (in the comedic style of Marvel films) was simply: "a real movie wouldn't do that."
UPDATE: According to a statement given to Buzzfeed News this morning, Nolan has denied the quote. "I would never say that someone else's film isn't a real film," said Nolan. The article went on to discuss the director's refusal to add in a post-credits scene, which this article further explores below.
Cue comment section uproar, another sharp DC vs. Marvel line unnecessarily drawn in the sand, and sites throughout the geek spectrum reporting on this fire-starting quote (hi). But was it really meant to be an insult - and more importantly, would a post-credits scene have worked at all?
Contrary to popular belief, I'm a huge fan of the heroes that make up DC's roster of crime fighters. I love many of DC's writers, artists and creators - many of them are inspirations for my own creative endeavors. My dad raised me on Wonder Woman, Batman, Cyborg, Superman, Powergirl and Batgirl; just a few names among the huge and rich base of incredible characters created under the DC flag. Much like anyone who's ever loved a superhero, I go to these movies because I want to see my favorite characters come to life and give me the same hope they always had.
Many sites are pulling only Nolan's quote and not really picking at the context of it. For said context, here's the excerpt from The Guardian:
“The Batman movies – that take, that tone – came out of nowhere,” said director Zack Snyder, who first met Nolan on a Warner Bros plane heading to a film industry convention in Las Vegas and leapt at the chance to direct a similarly toned Superman reboot, Man Of Steel – for which he studied, at Nolan’s request, test footage from White Sands, New Mexico, to get a sense of how objects behave at high velocity. When the studio asked if Snyder would add a comedy coda ending, in the style of Marvel, Nolan’s reply was “A real movie wouldn’t do that.”
The more serious tone of [Man of Steel](movie:15593) may have found light in a comedic post-credits scene, but it wouldn't have made any sense. Man of Steel is unique in its own right - it showed Superman under constant stress, risking lives to save other lives, and only just beginning to understand what being a hero (and an alien) in our modern world really means.
Not all post-credits scenes need to be funny, but in this context, it looks like WB specifically wanted a comedic post-credits scene more than anything else. Nolan doesn't seem like the type of guy who's down to throw slapstick in after a flick like Man of Steel. Regardless of any reports on his personality, Nolan has proven to be a passionate creator who invests real emotion into his projects.
Some sites are also saying that Nolan has commented on his refusal to create post-credits scenes before, stating that he's a firm believer in a "beginning, middle, and end" scenario to imply that Nolan totally hates the post-credits game. I did a little research on these comments, but I can only find stories on this interview, where he speaks about The Dark Knight trilogy and how it became one full story:
"You could go on doing it forever, but it wouldn't be the right thing to do," Nolan told "Nightline" in an exlcusive interview. "The right thing to do is to know you've told the story you've set out to tell and that is very much the case with the end of this film."
"It's all really about building to this moment," he added. "I've been working on these films for about nine years now and we have a beginning, a middle and an end now."
(Note: While I can't find any previous comments referring to post-credits scenes, I'm certainly open to anyone else who can, and I don't mind writing an update to this story in light of that)
It seems more like Nolan took insult to throwing a slapstick addition on to Zack Snyder's Man of Steel (which he obviously cared about a lot) than anything else. This, of course, doesn't really absolve the whole "real movie" comment, but it's important to keep context in mind when you're judging something like this.
One more thing to keep in mind: The Dark Knight trilogy was not an ongoing franchise like the Avengers are. DC and Marvel are very, very different in their practices, and while the internet seems to make fun of DC for not 'catching up' with Marvel (don't worry, I've been guilty of it too) it's important to understand that DC wasn't even running a race before. By that, I mean that Marvel's post-credits scenes are meant to connect their stories, and DC wasn't originally intending to connect this to another film. At the end of the day, this wasn't DC VS. Marvel - it was Nolan VS. WB.
But hey, Pilots: What do you think? Was Nolan out of line for his comments, or was he reacting to the wishes of higher-ups that insulted a passion project about his favorite superhero?