One of the reasons I anticipate The Dark Knight Rises is Christopher Nolan being freed from Batman to write more Inceptions.
Instead, he may be treading back to an old topic: Howard Hughes.
According to Vulture, Nolan is eying a Hughes biopic as his Rises follow-up. It’s a bit of a dream project for him, and one that was shelved when Martin Scorsese made The Aviator. But that movie is nearly a decade old (and certainly will be by the time Nolan might get his up and running), and it only covered part of Hughes’ life. There’s certainly room for more dramatic dissection, and Nolan’s script is said to focus heavily on Hughes’ most notorious and unhinged years.
While the topic certainly fits with Nolan’s favored themes (obsession, genius turning into madness, persecution ), I can’t help but be disappointed and see it as a step backward for the filmmaker. Nolan has shown he can be a real visionary and fly high with original concepts. Even better from a Hollywood standpoint, he’s been successful and wildly profitable. I want to see him doing more of that. The world needs more of that. It’s not that I don’t think he wouldn’t make a very good Howard Hughes movie, I’m just not sure there’s anything to be gained by detailing Hughes’ addictions to Banana Ripple ice cream.
But sometimes, a filmmaker just has an itch they need to scratch. If this is Nolan’s, and he needs to get rid of it before embarking on new visions and vistas, then I’ll support it. I’ll just echo the multitude and say I hope he ropes in Leonardo DiCaprio to reprise the role, and complete the character arc he began in The Aviator.