Christopher Nolan

As much as Christopher Nolan‘s Dark Knight Trilogy helped set the tone for the modern superhero movie, Marvel Studios created the structure for the modern superhero franchise. Specifically the idea of a huge, shared story told over multiple films. It’s not a new idea, obviously, but the particular way Marvel did it on the big screen was. The fact the MCU is still going after six years, and will continue to soldier on, is super-impressive and a testament to Marvel’s success.

One of the biggest tools Marvel uses for this is the post-credits sequence. A scene tangentially related to the movie you just watched, placed in the credits to tease what’s coming next. It’s become a staple of their brand and is mimicked pretty regularly. (Marvel didn’t come up with that, either, but the studio redefined the use of the post-credits stinger.)

One place it hasn’t been mimicked is the new slate of DC Comics movies. Granted, we’ve only seen one so far, but why is that? Well, Warner Bros. asked Nolan, a producer on Man of Steel, about adding one. He said “A real movie wouldn’t do that.” But did he mean that as a blanket statement? Maybe not. Read more about Christopher nolan and credits scenes below.

UPDATE: Nolan has now responded to these comments.

The quote came from a long Nolan profile with The Guardian. Here’s the quote in context:

 “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.”

Now, saying “No” to a “comedy coda” is decidedly different from Christopher Nolan saying no real movies have credits scenes. A comedy tag on a serious movie is different and, frankly, I kind of agree with Nolan. You wouldn’t want a scene of Batman and Alfred telling jokes at the end of Batman Begins, right? That’s against the whole idea of the movie. Man of Steel is also serious. After you completely destroy a city, cutting back to the IHOP employee eating pancakes or something just doesn’t make sense.

Though Christopher Nolan obviously has his own set of tastes, I sincerely doubt he thinks movies such as Guardians of the Galaxy or The Avengers aren’t “real movies.” Each has a comedy coda and but those are in line with the tone of the film.

It’s also important to remember, Marvel Studios movies have post-credits scenes because those stories aren’t done yet. There are more movies to go, and I would be very surprised if Warner Bros. and DC don’t do something similar with at least a few of the movies they have planned through 2020. Then again, Christopher Nolan isn’t involved in those.

What do you think Nolan meant by this?

UPDATE: Well, we now know what Nolan meant by this. Kind of. According to Badass Digest, here’s Nolan’s reaction to the Guardian article and the other claims:

I would never say someone’s else’s film isn’t “a real film”. The quote is inaccurate.

Okay, but do you like end credits sequences? That we still don’t know.

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