Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
How Did Nicole Kidman's 'Grace of Monaco' Go From Cannes Opener to Lifetime Movie? The Movie's Writer Tweets All How Did Nicole Kidman's 'Grace of Monaco' Go From Cannes Opener to Lifetime Movie? The Movie's Writer Tweets All A.O. Scott on Why the New York Times Changed Its Review Policy A.O. Scott on Why the New York Times Changed Its Review Policy The Best Films of the 2015 Cannes Film Festival According to Criticwire The Best Films of the 2015 Cannes Film Festival According to Criticwire The Top-Rated Movies of 2015 So Far: Literary Stories and New Genre Favorites The Top-Rated Movies of 2015 So Far: Literary Stories and New Genre Favorites 'Aloha,' With Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone: Cameron Crowe's Worst Movie, or Just One of His Worst? 'Aloha,' With Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone: Cameron Crowe's Worst Movie, or Just One of His Worst? First Cannes Reviews: Hou Hsiao-Hsien's "The Assassin" First Cannes Reviews: Hou Hsiao-Hsien's "The Assassin" First Cannes Reviews: Gaspar Noé's 'Love,' A 3D Art-Porn Mashup First Cannes Reviews: Gaspar Noé's 'Love,' A 3D Art-Porn Mashup First Reviews: Netflix Series 'Sense8' Goes 'Full Wachowski' First Reviews: Netflix Series 'Sense8' Goes 'Full Wachowski' Daily Reads: Why Critics Don't Have to Review 'Game of Thrones,' The Clash of Action in 'Avengers' and 'Mad Max,' and More Daily Reads: Why Critics Don't Have to Review 'Game of Thrones,' The Clash of Action in 'Avengers' and 'Mad Max,' and More The New York Times Is No Longer Reviewing Every Movie That Opens in New York The New York Times Is No Longer Reviewing Every Movie That Opens in New York Meditations on a Mad Man Meditations on a Mad Man Every Shot From David Letterman's 'Late Show' Farewell Montage Every Shot From David Letterman's 'Late Show' Farewell Montage 'San Andreas' Turns 9/11's Tragedy Into Pure Corn 'San Andreas' Turns 9/11's Tragedy Into Pure Corn The Mary Sue Freezes Out 'Game of Thrones' to Protest Yet Another Rape Scene The Mary Sue Freezes Out 'Game of Thrones' to Protest Yet Another Rape Scene Daily Reads: The Secret History of Ultimate Marvel, Why Your Favorite TV Show Was Cancelled, and More Daily Reads: The Secret History of Ultimate Marvel, Why Your Favorite TV Show Was Cancelled, and More What Critics Are Saying About David Letterman's Final 'Late Show' Episode What Critics Are Saying About David Letterman's Final 'Late Show' Episode Daily Reads: Why No One Remembers "Avatar," the Best Blu-rays and DVDs of 2014, and more Daily Reads: Why No One Remembers "Avatar," the Best Blu-rays and DVDs of 2014, and more First Cannes Reviews: Todd Haynes' "Carol" First Cannes Reviews: Todd Haynes' "Carol" The Children's Book from 'The Babadook' Will Terrify You in the Real World The Children's Book from 'The Babadook' Will Terrify You in the Real World Daily Reads: 'San Andreas' and the Art of Destroying L.A., Why Ferris Bueller is the Real Villain of his Day Off, and More Daily Reads: 'San Andreas' and the Art of Destroying L.A., Why Ferris Bueller is the Real Villain of his Day Off, and More

Christopher Nolan Either Did or Did Not Defend Batman Fans' Abuse of Critics

Criticwire By Matt Singer | Criticwire July 19, 2012 at 3:37PM

At the London premiere of the film, Nolan made some interesting comments about Batman fans. But the question he answered might be even more interesting.
5
Christopher Nolan on the set of "The Dark Knight Rises."
Christopher Nolan on the set of "The Dark Knight Rises."

To paraphrase one of my brilliant Twitter followers: Batman's whole schtick is he doesn't kill people, and yet all Batman fans want to do is kill people, specifically any critics who dare to dislike (or even mildly enjoy) "The Dark Knight Rises." It started with Marshall Fine, moved on to Christy Lemire, and continued to Eric D. Snider (who pulled a prank in order to point out the absurdity of threatening critics, which, naturally, sparked its own absurd threats). The severity of fans' abuse has sparked a lot of media coverage all over the world, and at the London premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises," director Christopher Nolan was asked for his reaction. According to a report by the Associated PressReetu Rupal, Nolan "was quick to defend fans' heated response to the reviews."

"I think the fans are very passionate about these characters the way a lot of people are very passionate. Batman's been around for over 70 years and there's a reason for that. He has a huge appeal, so I think you know people certainly respond to the character."

A lot of people (myself included) have been waiting for Nolan to say something about Batfans' excessive mistreatment of critics. Around the Internet and on social media, observers began to speculate whether or not this comment essentially condoned antisocial behavior. That prompted an editorial by Movies.com's Erik Davis defending Nolan against complaints that he had given fans the tacit OK to threaten critics. His argument:

"We don't know the question that lead to his answer since it's not part of the story. It's saying he's defending 'fans' heated response,' but that could've easily been added to capitalize on the popularity of the Rotten Tomatoes thing... As an exercise, here are a number of other questions that could've lead to that same answer: 1. Why do you think this franchise has become so popular over the years? 2. Do you think the fans have had a lot to do with the success of all three of your Batman movies? 3. What do you think about how vocal the fanbase has become?"

Davis' point is speculative, but valid: Rupal's article does not specify the question Nolan answered. It's possible he was asked directly about critics and death threats; it's also possible he was asked a more general question about fandom's anticipation for the film. Jumping to conclusions about what Nolan said, and what he said it about, is nearly as productive as jumping to conclusions about something a critic says before you've seen the movie for yourself.

On the other hand, it's possible the AP's question was direct and blunt. We just don't know. That's why I reached out to Rupal several times today to try to find out the exact question that was asked. So far, no response (if I hear, I'll update this post). In the meantime, no one kill anyone or threaten anyone or say anything insane. We're fully stocked with crazy this week already, thanks.

Read more of "Nolan Defends Fans Angry Over 'Knight' Reviews" and "Editorial: Stop Accusing Christopher Nolan of Defending Angry Fan Death Threats."

This article is related to: Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight Rises


E-Mail Updates



Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome