Jonathan Nolan talks the political response to The Dark Knight | “I remember reading how we were an apologist for George Bush”

The Dark Knight
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Where does The Dark Knight stand on the 43rd president of the US? According to Jonathan Nolan’s latest interview, he’s been accused of taking both sides…

Jonathan Nolan has been taking a rare trip on the interview circuit in the run-up to the release of his new Prime show, Fallout, and he’s even found time to drop a few comments about some of the blockbuster films on his resume too.

Speaking to Josh Horowitz on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, the younger Nolan had plenty to say on everything from the struggle to get a US distributor for Memento to the ambiguous ending of The Dark Knight Rises.

But, remembering the appropriately blockbuster response to the release of his and his brother’s second Batman film, it sounds like Jonathan had a couple of concerns about how the film would end up being received by audiences.

“I was actually kind of terrified at some of the things that had been left in that script, because they felt a little edgy for what we knew had to be a PG-13 Batman movie,” he said.

“It was one of those ‘be careful what you wish for’ moments”.

When the film came out, however, it’s safe to say it was pretty successful, grossing a whisker over $1bn and arguably kicking off the superhero boom in earnest. But the film Jonathan has had in mind recently when thinking about the response had a slightly different fate at the box office: Starship Troopers.

He said: “There’s been a lot of online chatter recently about Starship Troopers and reevaluating it in the context of our complete shitshow of a modern world.

“One of the things I find very annoying in this interrogation of filmmakers is people trying to pin them down. Saying, ‘what do you mean, exactly?'”

The Dark Knight was no stranger to controversy on its release, not least because of the PG-13/12A rating it received on either side of the Atlantic.

According to Nolan, “everyone on the political spectrum had decided was an apologia for either their side or the other side, depending on how annoyed they were by the movie.

“There’s a level of discomfort people have with movies and tv shows that they don’t have with novels. ‘You’d better make it really clear, we don’t like this political ambiguity’, whereas I’m like, look, I don’t know what I’m talking about, I’ve got more questions than answers.

“I remember reading how we were an apologist for George Bush, which was just, like, OK…”

Jonathan Nolan’s new show, Fallout, is streaming on Prime Video from 12th April.

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