Christopher Nolan Calls Zack Snyder’s ‘Watchmen’ A Masterpiece That Was “Ahead Of Its Time”
The 2009 adaptation of Watchmen was a misfire in the eyes of many. The graphic novel’s author Alan Moore was foremost in railing against it as he does all interpretations of his work. However, the film has its share of awe-inspired devotees, and one of them is very familiar with big-budget superhero franchises.
The Dark Knight’s director Christopher Nolan views Zack Snyder’s initial salvo in the genre as a true cinematic feat. “I’ve always believed Watchmen was ahead of its time. The idea of a superhero team, which it so brilliantly subverts, wasn’t yet a thing in movies,” Nolan said to The Hollywood Reporter.
He added, “It would have been fascinating to see it released post-Avengers.” Snyder had a second chance to subvert expectations after Avengers released with Justice League, but tragedy and office politics took that away from him.
Avengers director Joss Whedon was given the keys to the burgeoning Snyderverse and overhauled it at Warner Bros.’s request. Later seeing the folly in that decision, executives called Snyder back and let him realize his bleak, edgy vision of DC’s Trinity.
Fans are still pulling for a Snyderverse resurgence now that he is stationed at Netflix. But while Snyder builds his Rebel Moon and Army of the Dead universes, Warner is moving on — having nominated James Gunn as the one who can reinvent the DCU and hopefully save the superhero genre.
That may be impossible in the face of perceived fatigue setting in and old-guard auteurs who are continually critical of these films that have dominated theaters for over a decade.
Despite his position at one time as a producer on Joker, Martin Scorsese has been the most vocal detractor. Among other things, he’s said that such fare is rather dangerous.
“The danger there is what it’s doing to our culture,” the director told GQ. “Because there are going to be generations now that think movies are only those—that’s what movies are.”
About a month ago, Nolan defended the honor of the genre to which he devoted years of time and energy. “There’s always a balance in Hollywood between established titles that can assure a return in audience and give people more of what they want, that’s always been a big part of the economics of Hollywood,” he said to AP, as transcribed by NME.
“And it pays for lots of other types of films to be made and distributed,” Nolan added. “But there also always needs to be respect for the audience’s desire for something new… that’s one of the big thrills of going to the movies is, frankly, seeing a trailer for a movie you’ve never heard of…a type of movie you haven’t seen.”
He continued, “A healthy ecosystem in Hollywood is about a balance between the two things and always has been.”