Throughout the week, we'll be presenting the Heroes of the Year, our list of individuals who made a major impact on the comic book movie community in 2012.
Round three is all about celebrating the end of a legend: "Dark Knight" trilogy director Christopher Nolan, who finished his run on Batman this year with "The Dark Knight Rises." Honoring the filmmaker is Bill Ramey, the founder of Batman-On-Film.com.
"Game-changer." That's the moniker that immediately comes to mind when it comes to Christopher Nolan and his influence on the comic book film genre.
With "Batman Begins," the director essentially created the "reboot" for left-for-dead film franchises. Since then, hitting the reset button on a movie series has become practically commonplace — i.e. "Casino Royale," "Man of Steel," and "The Amazing Spider-Man."
With 2008's "The Dark Knight," Nolan showed movie fans and critics alike that superhero films could, and should, be taken seriously. The late Heath Ledger won an Oscar for his iconic portrayal of The Joker – a first for a "comic book movie." When "TDK" didn't receive a Best Picture nomination, the fallout led to the Academy expanding the field to ten films.
Then there's "The Dark Knight Rises."
You know what they say, "The third movie always sucks!" So what did Nolan do with Bat-Flick #3? He upped the ante and made the biggest, boldest — and definitively last — film of the Trilogy. And that, my friends, took some brass ones!
Could Nolan have knocked out a few more Bat-Flicks? Absolutely. Would he have made a ton of cash doing so? You bet. But why run the thing into the ground with a thud — which was inevitable — when you can go out on top with a bang? With "The Dark Knight Rises," Nolan provided both his cinematic Bruce Wayne, and the audience that has grown to love him since "Batman Begins," a proper and satisfying ending.
Chris Nolan is definitely one of the Heroes of 2012. Thanks to him, filmmakers of future comic book films now have a user's guide on how to do these things right.
About the author: Bill Ramey is a lifelong Batman fan residing in Texas. He founded Batman-On-Film.com in 1998 to make sure that Batman films would never again suck.