Post-Batman Begins, Hollywood studios took up a particularly liking to Christopher Nolan’s approach to the superhero genre. So much so, in fact, that phrases such as “gritty” and “grounded” became overused buzzwords as seemingly every creative thinker in the mainstream space made strives for realism. Taking the fantastical and making it accessible is undoubtedly a remarkable achievement, particularly with The Caped Crusader given his wacky cinematic past, but according to Kingsman: The Secret Service helmer Matthew Vaughn, that fascination with Nolan’s “very dark, very bleak style” has passed.
In an interview with SFX, Vaughn spoke candidly about the Nolanization of cinema and how he feels that audiences have become jaded with that cinematic style. As a matter of fact, the director cites Guardians of the Galaxy, as well as his own upcoming spy homage, as evidence of this change in tact.
“People want fun and escapism at the moment,” Vaughn told SFX (via THR). “Look at the success of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy.’ I think Nolan kick-started a very dark, bleak style of superhero escapism, and I think people have had enough of it.”
Whether you agree with his perspective or not, Vaughn makes a good observation about the superhero genre as a whole, which is about to grow exponentially over the coming years what with Marvel and DC’s expansive slates. That said, it’s not as if the two styles can’t co-exist within the same space. Take Guardians, for instance, which can be seen as a much more comedic, light-hearted affair than something like Captain America: The Winter Solider. But each film serves a purpose relative to its source material, and the tone is ultimately moulded around the characters.
So, what can we expect from Zack Snyder’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice? Well, we still have some time yet before we find out whether his interpretation of The Dark Knight veers towards fun escapism over gritty and realistic — but given all that we’ve heard regarding Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne, our bet is on the latter.
Matthew Vaughn’s Kingsman: The Secret Service opens in theaters on February 14, 2015.