Author of The Prestige slams Christopher Nolan's Batman films

Contributed by
Dec 1, 2014

The writer whose novel, The Prestige, was brought to the screen by Christopher Nolan does not have kind words about a lot of the director's other movies.

Christopher Priest is a British science fiction writer whose superb 1995 novel about dueling magicians, The Prestige, was made into an excellent and underrated 2006 film by Christopher Nolan, with Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale in the lead roles. In a recent video interview with French film site Skript, the 71-year-old Priest said that he was pleased with Nolan's version of his book -- but doesn't hold most of the filmmaker's other works in such high regard.

"I think it's probably his best film, [along] with Memento," proclaimed Priest about The Prestigewhich was originally optioned by Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Skyfall) before Nolan made a last-minute bid for it. "Of the films he's made, those two are supreme."

Priest went on to say, "To the world [Nolan]'s this great, innovative filmmaker; to me, he was a kid who wanted to get into Hollywood," before continuing, "I don't like his other work; I think it's shallow and badly written. I mean, I've got kids who like superheroes, and they think the Batman films are boring and pretentious. They like things like The Avengers and Iron Man because they're fun."

The author added that he thought Nolan exhibited a "major lack of judgment" in taking on the character of Batman in his Dark Knight trilogy, explaining, "It's a wrong move to take a superhero and give it psychological realism. There is no psychological realism. He's a bodybuilder who jumps off buildings. I'm sorry I feel really strongly about this."

Priest admitted that he hasn't seen Nolan's latest picture, Interstellar, yet, but said, "I think he'd be better off being a modern [Alfred] Hitchcock, basically. A maker of well-made films like Memento and The Prestige ... these blockbusters are just embarrassing, I think." 

Priest has been blunt before about other matters and is certainly entitled to his opinions about Nolan's movies -- not everyone is a fan of The Dark Knight or Inception -- but does he seem rather ungracious considering that The Prestige remains the only adaptation of his work (and a very good one) to date? And is calling Batman a "bodybuilder who jumps off buildings" a severely shortsighted description of one of the greatest fictional creations of the last 75 years?

Watch the interview below (via The Hollywood Reporter) and let us know what you think.

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