Friday, September 30, 2011

Chris Nolan to use his extensive capital at Warner Bros to... helm another Twilight Zone Movie? And is Warner missing out by having Nolan go it alone?

First off, the various articles all chiming with SHOCK that Chris Nolan is at the top of Warner Bros' list to helm a new Twilight Zone Movies is pretty funny.  OF COURSE Chris Nolan is on the top of Warner's list for this project.  I'm pretty sure he's on the top of the list for every single project at Warner Bros, including a Sex and the City prequel and whatever variation on Valentine's Day and New Year's Eve they trot out next year (Halloween?  Oh wait...).  Saying that Chris Nolan is the preferred choice to direct anything at Warner Bros. is like saying that the connoisseurs at Ruth Chris would prefer to have a fillet as opposed to chicken or ribs.  He's the studio's most valuable resource, and he has delivered the critical and commercial goods on a shockingly consistent level.  So it stands to reason that he's at the top of the list for any project that Warner deems a high priority.

Second of all, it is not a little depressing that Chris Nolan is basically being courted to do a feature-length version of a long-beloved TV show.  Wasn't Christopher Nolan supposed to be the great white hope in the realm of big-budget original filmmaking?  I like his films as much as the next nerd, but since Memento, he's helmed a remake of a foreign film, a comic book trilogy, an adaptation of a novel (arguably his best film and arguably counting as 'original' as defined by the movie gods), and a genuinely original science-fiction thriller.  Oh, and he's also producing yet-another comic book reboot and possibly getting involved in yet-another Howard Hughes biopic.  So while a Twilight Zone movie could provide the best of both worlds (an original genre film hidden inside a safe brand name), it is disconcerting that one of the more talented filmmakers is again jumping on the franchise train.

Aside from that, I do believe that Warner Bros is missing a massive opportunity here.  The articles list Michael Bay, Alfonso Cuaron, and Rupert Wyatt as also being on the mythical 'short-list'.  Well, here's a not-so novel idea.  Instead of just doing one feature-length film that "touches on several themes from the Rod Sterling TV show...", Warner Bros. should just let them all run wild.  If you recall, the first Twilight Zone movie, released in 1983, had four 20-30 minute segments helmed by Steven Spielberg, John Landis, Joe Dante, and George Miller.  Whatever Chris Nolan (or whomever gets picked) can cook up in 120 minutes, I personally would be far more intrigued at the idea of four or five major directors all taking their shot at a Twilight Zone segment.

Why not do an old-fashioned anthology film, in the vein of the original Twilight Zone Movie or Three Extremes...?  I for one would love to see Chris Nolan, Michael Bay, Alfonso Cuaron, AND Rupert Wyatt play in this particular sandbox.  And if the film is successful, there are countless other directors who I'd love to see dabble in this world (M. Night Shyamalan surely has about a million ideas for Twilight Zone episodes).  Anyway, point being, Twilight Zone at least has the potential for original genre storytelling under a familiar brand name, which may mean it's the best of both worlds.  But why should Chris Nolan have all the fun?

Scott Mendelson


Ziserwahn said...

The Prestige is easily his best.

obthavariable said...

I for one would love to see a live-action anthology film for "Heavy Metal" instead.


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