For the studios, reboots are essential. It’s all business. Studios, now, tend to eye the young and passionate new directors. Years ago, Christopher Nolan, the man whom, rebooted the blockbuster paradigm after the success of his magnificent Memento, went through an arduous process in order to gain access inside Warner Brothers to put the spotlight on a vision he had as a filmmaker. Back then the studios would hand their projects to superstar-filmmakers. So, for Nolan back then, no opportunity was given right away. But thanks to director Steven Soderbergh—he convinced some of the executives at Warner Brothers and it worked.
Chris Nolan’s Insomnia marks the director’s first studio film; though, not written by him, however, only ardently directed. Comprehending the vision of Chris Nolan, Warner Brothers later sat with the filmmaker to discuss the importance of rebooting the Batman films. When Nolan’s Batman Begins scored, the door from there officially opened for him as a filmmaker and as well as the writer and producer. The Prestige in 2005, highly artistic proved to us all, Nolan had expressed his vision to his collaborators at the studios wholeheartedly. He's gained all the access a filmmaker desires. No supervision is required on the set when it's a Chris Nolan film. The Dark Knight, three years later, scored $1 billion at the box office. Nolan re-wrote the rules of the blockbuster-ism epoch—when it’s a blockbuster it can be damn good, in every level. And it should be. He’s always been meticulous in writing and making films, therefore his films, all of them, remain powerful. He’s earned the respect of not only the studios, but fans from around the world.
When a writer/filmmaker or just a filmmaker knows his/her vision, his/her artistic point of view, then such gift should not at all be negotiated with any of the studios. What should be done that is of importance for the filmmaker is his/her collaboration with the studio. Chris Nolan, when he gained access to that room where he sat with Warner Brothers’ executives, he educated them of his artistic vision. I see that young filmmakers today, after making their first low budget films, they all have the desire to become the next Nolan—to be revered by the studios. That’s all good. By all means, one can go the route that Nolan has paved, however, never forget your intrinsic artistic vision. Be bold, a one of a kind, and at all times singular. The greats of the greats will always be the greats, yet they are not going to stay forever young to continue making films for the studios. Studios will always be in need of young filmmakers.
Director Josh Trank, in my opinion, should’ve walked away. For months, based on the reports, he was dragged by the studio. Reports, like this one, also indicate that a few scenes were cut by the studio when he commenced making Fantastic Four. What was cut was his vision. The question is did he go through a negotiation process or collaboration when they offered him the project?
Josh's 2012 film, Chronicle, proves that he can take a simple plot and make it interesting for the audience. He knows how to deal with his actors. He also has the eye for the visuals, however, after watching Chronicle, I hoped to not see him do a big budget film, or, “high-profile” films as he claims them to be. Eschewing the blockbusters immediately, making small budget films instead, I thought, would be the perfect attitude from him. Variety’s recent piece has picked up a quote from Trank, “I want to do something original after this because I’ve been under public scrutiny, as you’ve seen, for the last four years of my life. And it’s not healthy for me right now in my life. I want to do something that’s below the radar.”
His tweet, blaming Fox for botching Fantastic Four, is being passed around on the net for the past few days. I thought to avoid it in respect for the director. But that was a heroic voice. He voiced his problem, shared it with the world, including with his fans. What happened with him was unjust. That, in some way, makes him a hero. However, what truly makes him the hero we deserve is stepping down from doing another high-profile film. Reports claim he was fired for making the Star Wars spin-off. He claims, he stepped down for reasons stated above. I believe him. There’s enough originality out there waiting for filmmakers/writers to tackle. Cinema only can go forward, when originality, cogent writing, collides with passionate artists. Though, blockbusters, shouldn’t be taken lightly, only if they are of original works, as well as based on novels and comic books. When it comes to blockbusters, Christopher Nolan is the perfect example. But one can't just be Chris Nolan—point is to become, perhaps, better than Nolan. Again, this pertains to what I've stated above. Being audacious, original and never negotiate your artistic point of view.