Screenwriter Profile: Christopher Nolan

The Writer:

London-born Christopher Nolan is responsible for some of the best action-packed, mind-bending films of the last decade. A writer/director currently at the top of his game, Nolan is the creative force behind the latest Batman installments, Inception, and Memento. He’s the writer that aspiring screenwriters most desire to¬†emulate, and the one one writer that they shouldn’t attempt to.

According to IMDB, Nolan’s favorite films are¬†2001: A Space Odyssey¬†(1968),¬†The Black Hole¬†(1979),¬†Blade Runner¬†(1982),¬†Chinatown¬†(1974),¬†The Hitcher(1986),¬†Lawrence of Arabia¬†(1962),¬†On Her Majesty’s Secret Service¬†(1969),¬†Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope¬†(1977),¬†The Man Who Would Be King¬†(1975) and¬†Topkapi¬†(1964), as well as anything by¬†Stanley Kubrick.


Untitled Batman Reboot (story) (announced) Р2015

Man of Steel (story) (post-production) Р2013

The Dark Knight Rises (screenplay / story) Р2012

Inception (written by) Р2010

The Dark Knight (screenplay / story) Р2008

The Prestige (screenplay) Р2006

Batman Begins (screenplay) Р2005

Memento (screenplay) Р2000

Following (written by) Р1998
Doodlebug (short) (as Chris Nolan) Р1997


As soon as television became the only secondary way in which films were watched, films had to adhere to a pretty linear system, whereby you can drift off for ten minutes and go and answer the phone and not really lose your place.

A lot of it is being done in commercials and music videos. I’ve never done them, but I think that those are forms in which cross-cutting and parallel action are absolutely standard and accepted as a mainstream language. Film-makers like myself enjoy the fruits of that experimentation and absorption by the mainstream. I think people’s capacity to absorb a fractured mise-en-scene is extraordinary now compared to forty years ago.

Superheroes fill a gap in the pop culture psyche, similar to the role of Greek mythology. There isn’t really anything else that does the job in modern terms. For me, Batman is the one that can most clearly be taken seriously. He’s not from another planet, or filled with radioactive gunk. I mean, Superman is essentially a god, but Batman is more like Hercules: he’s a human being, very flawed, and bridges the divide.

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