Christopher Nolan
Christopher Nolan
General Information
Birth Name: Christopher Johnathan James Nolan
Birth Date: July 30, 1970
Birth Place: London, England, UK
Superman Media Produced: Man of Steel


Early Life

Born in London in 1970, Christopher Nolan began making films at the age of seven using his father's super 8mm camera and an assortment of male-action figures. He graduated to making films involving real people, and his super 8mm surreal short 'tarantella' was shown on PBS' 'image union' in 1989. Chris studied English Literature at University College London while starting to make 16mm films at the college film society. His short film 'larceny' was shown at the Cambridge Film Festival in 1996, and his other 16mm shorts include a three- minute surreal film called 'doodlebug'.

Other Films

Following (1996 Film)

Nolan directed his first feature film, Following, in 1996. The film depicts the story of a writer who becomes obsessed with following random people. Scenes are shown out of chronological order, and as such the viewer becomes disoriented, having to piece together the elements of the story in the same way as the protagonist pieces together what is going on around him.

Nolan made the film for just $6,000. He shot it on weekends over the course of a year, working with friends he had met at the University College London film society. It began to receive notice after premiering at the San Francisco Film Festival of 1998, and was eventually distributed on a limited basis by Zeitgeist in 1999.

As a result of the film's success, Newmarket optioned the script for his next film, 'Memento'.

Memento (2000 Film)

While not a gargantuan hit but still a box office success, Memento (2000) is a critically acclaimed cult classic and was nominated for both a Golden Globe and an Academy Award (Oscar) for best screenplay.

The movie, based on a short story written by Christopher's brother Jonathan Nolan titled Memento Mori, follows widower Leonard Shelby (played by English-born Australian actor Guy Pearce) who, as a result of a head injury delivered by his wife's rapist, is unable to form new memories. What distinguishes the film within its genre is Nolan's technique in presenting events within the storyline partially in reverse-chronological order and in chronological order. Using this technique, Nolan forces viewers to relate with the mentally-impaired protagonist, since they encounter each event disoriented.

The same method of disorientating audiences is used in Nolan's previous film Following, which is very much a precursor to the production of Memento. Following, however, presents a three-act structure in which the three acts are cut together, whereas Memento presents two linear timelines—one running forwards, one backwards—which are cut together and meet in the middle. The changeover from forwards to backwards is signified by the transition from black and white film stock to color.

Insomnia (2002 Film)

In 2002 Nolan directed Insomnia, an American remake of a 1997 Norwegian film of the same name (although with major changes in both the plot and the nature of the main character). The plot involves two detectives brought to Alaska to assist local authorities locate a killer. However, the search occurs during the "sunny" season in Alaska, and the film's protagonist, Al Pacino, is unable to sleep because of the constant light. His days without sleep lead to bad decisions and Nolan's characteristic confusion, for both the protagonist and the viewer. The film also stars Robin Williams, and Hilary Swank. The movie was praised by critics as a rare case of a well-done American remake of a European film, and although it wasn't a giant hit, it still had a solid box office performance.

The Prestige (2006 Film)

The Prestige, released on October 20, 2006, is an adaptation of the Christopher Priest novel of the same name about two rival magicians in the 19th century. It reunites him with Batman Begins stars Christian Bale and Michael Caine. Hugh Jackman, Scarlett Johansson, and David Bowie also appear. The movie had a mostly positive response from critics and made over $109 million worldwide.[1] The film was co-scripted by his brother, Jonathan Nolan.

Batman Trilogy

Batman Begins

Nolan had said that while he was content with his directing resumé, he had always dreamed as a child to direct a big blockbuster film, and he got his first opportunity to do so in 2003.

In 1997, Warner Bros., owner of the Batman movie franchise, released Batman and Robin, directed by Joel Schumacher. The film received mostly negative reviews and earned the least box office revenue out of the series, forcing Warner Bros. to cancel any sequels and put the franchise on indefinite hiatus.

Six years later, Nolan, together with Blade screenwriter David S. Goyer, pitched the idea of restarting the franchise with a serious origin story. Warner Bros. took the risk of hiring the relatively unknown director to direct the new installment of one of their biggest franchises. The actor selected to play the leading role, Christian Bale, was already a favorite choice among Batman fans long before he actually got the part, due to his work in movies such as American Psycho and Equilibrium. Batman Begins was released on June 15, 2005 and has become a solid box office hit, ranking as the third biggest blockbuster of the summer. It received a very positive critical and public reception, with notable critics, such as Ebert and Roeper proclaiming it was superior to the original 1989 "Batman" [(]. Batman Begins was also seen as having a dark but intelligent storyline and strong emphasis on character, two aspects that many summer blockbusters are known to lack.

Batman Begins was a major winner at the 32nd annual Saturn Awards, considered the most important awards devoted to genre fans.[who?][citation needed] The film won for Best Fantasy Film, Best Actor for Christian Bale and Best Writing for Nolan and Goyer.

The Dark Knight

In the months following the film's release, Nolan made numerous comments suggesting that he would return to direct the sequel to Batman Begins.[2] In late July 2006, the sequel was officially confirmed as The Dark Knight with Nolan at the helm and the late Heath Ledger joining the cast as The Joker, Batman's arch-nemesis.[3] The first image of Ledger as The Joker was released in a viral marketing campaign that included putting Joker cards in several comic shops and also a website with fake advertisement for Gotham's attorney Harvey Dent campaigning for District Attorney. The advertisement was "vandalized" in a different site that included a game in which people could post codes that would reveal the image one pixel at a time. Another viral campaign was made as the first teaser trailer was released, including several fans putting on Joker make-up and participating in a scavenger hunt during the 2007 San Diego Comics Convention. Since then, several other viral sites, including an online edition of the fictional newspaper Gotham Times, with different information about the movie's storyline and games were released, including a contest for fans to dress up as Joker and take pictures in front of landmarks from their cities. Part of the viral marketing also focused on Harvey Dent´s campaign for District Attorney, including a call for fans to take campaign banners and pictures from his site and making pictures, videos, etc., as well as following a mobile unit known as the "dentmobile". The first full theatrical trailer, which largely features Heath Ledger as The Joker, was released on December 14 with the movie I Am Legend. In IMAX theaters, I Am Legend was preceded by a short prologue from The Dark Knight also featuring The Joker, entirely shot in the IMAX format. The Dark Knight is the first Hollywood movie that has entire sequences shot in that format. Actress Katie Holmes, who played the hero's romantic interest in Begins, has been replaced by Maggie Gyllenhaal, whose brother Jake Gyllenhaal auditioned for the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman in 2003. Aaron Eckhart, who turned down the leading role in Memento, is going to play Harvey Dent, who in the comics becomes the villain Two-Face. Nolan and Eckhart have both confirmed that Dent will become Two-Face during the running time of this movie. Eric Roberts is going to portray Gotham mafia boss Sal Maroni, who in the comics is responsible for Harvey Dent's disfigurement by acid that makes him become Two-Face. Jonathan Nolan has written a script, based on a treatment written by Christopher and David S. Goyer. The film began production in early 2007 with a scheduled July 2008 release.

Personal Life

Christopher Nolan (born July 30, 1970) is an Academy Award nominated film director, writer and producer. The son of an English father and American mother, Nolan is a dual citizen of the United Kingdom and United States. He is married to Emma Thomas, his longtime producer. They have three children together and reside in Los Angeles. Nolan is best known for directing the psychological thriller Memento and for resurrecting the Batman film franchise with the critically acclaimed Batman Begins.


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