by Kelly O’Brien
Everyone’s talking about The Dark Knight Rises. Is it any wonder? Christopher Nolan has reinvigorated the Batman character and given the whole superhero genre a new lease of life. But with his third and final instalment almost upon us, I find myself wondering what I’ll do next summer without a Nolan film to look forward to. To stem the sadness, I’ve spent some time daydreaming on what Nolan’s next project should be.
- Dirty Harry (1971)
The city of San Francisco comes under the terrorizing eye of a psychopathic sniper called Scorpio. In one of his letters to the San Fran Police Department, Scorpio claims he will keep killing unless his demands are met. SFPD Inspector Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) is put on the case and instructed to apprehend the killer at all cost.
Released on Christmas Day 1971, “Dirty Harry” transformed Clint Eastwood from cult figure to superstar. Directed by Don Siegel, great dialogue and relentless tension made this one of the defining movies of the 1970s.
This film, above all others, is the one I’d like to see Christopher Nolan direct. The subject matter is there in full yet broad enough for Nolan to tell a different tale.
- Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Renowned archaeologist and expert in the occult, Dr Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) is hired by the US Government to find the Ark of the Covenant, which is believed to hold the Ten Commandments. Unfortunately, agents of Hitler are also after the Ark. Let the quest begin.
The Indiana Jones series of films are cult classics at this stage. They’re on TV almost as often as the Angelus and everyone’s seen at least one. Flawlessly directed by Stephen Spielberg, many would say you couldn’t get much better. They may indeed be right, but I think Nolan could direct an Indy film just as good as Spielberg. Just as good, but incredibly different. The best thing about this type of film is that you don’t have to rehash and rework storylines leaving the integrity of the original films intact.
- Lethal Weapon (1987)
Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) is an aging family man and veteran LAPD officer just trying to make it to retirement. Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) is a suicidal loose canon cop who doesn’t seem to care if he lives to see another day. Reluctantly thrown together, the unlikely duo uncovers a dangerous ring of drug smugglers employing ex-military mercenaries.
Lethal Weapon is one of my all-time favourite films. It, and its sequels, became one of the best, and one of the most famous, movie franchises of all time. Doubtless there will be those who think Riggs and Murtaugh are perfect just as they are… but you have to admit, it would be interesting to see Nolan’s take on this buddy cop film. Think Lethal Weapon but darker, deeper, more disturbing. Is that not a film you’d pay to see?
- Blade (1998)
When Blade’s mother was bitten by a vampire during pregnancy, she did not know that she gave her son a dying gift: all the good vampire attributes in combination with the best human skills. Blade (Wesley Snipes) grew up to be a vampire hunter to avenge his mother’s death but, half human and half vamp, he is constantly struggling with internal conflict.
Now a trilogy, this movie was released in 1998 to much critical acclaim. While not lacking in action, blood or sheer violence, directors of Blade II and Blade: Trinity couldn’t live up to the high bar set by the first instalment.
There is no doubt in my mind that Nolan could continue the good work of the first Blade movie and make it into something special. With his Batman trilogy, Nolan has shown a great affinity for combat, action and close range fighting. This could be put to great use in a Blade film, not to mention the dark recesses he could go to with vampires at his beck and call.
5.The Punisher (2004)
Special Agent Frank Castle (Tom Jane) has it all: A loving family, a great life, and an adventurous job. But when his life is taken away from him by a ruthless criminal and his associates, Frank is reborn. Now serving as judge, jury, and executioner, he’s a new kind of vigilante out to wage a one man war against those who have done him wrong.
Though The Punisher and Batman share a similar past, both born in the blood of their families, director Jonathan Hensleigh wasn’t one to shy away from dark subject matter.
While admittedly this is already quite a deliciously dark film… there’s definitely something there. A little voice in my head would love to see what Nolan would do with this… and that voice is too loud to ignore.
So there you have it, five films I’d love to see Christopher Nolan run amuck with it. I also considered Superman, Die Hard and Gremlins, but the above five were the ones that jumped out at me the most.
If you agree/disagree/want to add to the list, please comment below. Who knows, perhaps Mr Nolan is out there looking for inspiration, desperately googling himself to see if anyone has any suggestions…