When Warner Bros. announced plans to bring the blockbuster Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice to theaters in 2019, the announcement came as no surprise.
As the company had previously announced, the studio was also working on a sequel to the 2006 hit film The Dark Knight, which was based on a story by Christopher Nolan.
In the wake of the announcement, Nolan was called to a meeting with Warner Bros.’ senior vice president of content and marketing, Rob Moore, where the filmmaker informed the studio that he would not be returning to direct the film.
“I was incredibly disappointed by that,” Nolan said at the time.
“It’s not about me, it’s about the people who were there, and they’ve just gone through hell to get to where they are.
And I was very much looking forward to being a part of that film.
I’m not going to be part of this movie, and I’m certainly not going back to that movie.”
After the meeting, Nolan’s name was added to a list of actors who were to return to the film, including Tom Hardy, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, and Amy Adams.
However, when Nolan was approached by Warner Bros., they made it clear that he was not allowed to direct a sequel.
Instead, he would only be allowed to appear in a cameo role, a role that he described as “a very small part.”
This meant that he could not direct any scenes, or act in any scenes from the film at all, and would not appear on set.
Warner Bros had originally scheduled Nolan to appear as a voiceover artist in Batman v.
Superman: The Dark Batman, which would have been the third film in the franchise.
However this plan was scrapped in favor of Nolan and Warner Bros.[source: New York Post] This was a huge blow to Nolan, as he had been expecting the sequel to be his first movie as a director.
However the movie’s success has also led to an influx of new projects that have since been attached to the Warner Bros.-produced DC Extended Universe, which has allowed the studio to put more money into the movie.
However Nolan was not the only one to feel the loss of creative control in 2019.
As part of a lawsuit against Warner Bros, the plaintiffs claimed that Warner Bros./Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC) used its control of Warner Bros/Time Warner’s DC Entertainment properties to prevent Nolan from directing another DC movie, The Dark Tower: Breaking Dawn, due to Nolan’s involvement in the original film.
Warner Brothers filed a counterclaim against TWC, which accused the studio of breaching copyright law by preventing Nolan from creating his own DC Extended universe movie.
Warner’s counterclaim was filed in November 2019.
The suit claims that Warner’s attempts to block Nolan’s plans to direct another DC Extended movie resulted in Nolan being forced to cut all of his films, including The Dark Titan, which he had planned to make in the meantime.
This decision was a blow to Warner Bros’ efforts to build its own DC Universe.
“While there are many reasons why Warner Bros would have preferred not to make a sequel,” said attorney Matthew Bressler, who is representing Warner Bros against TWTCC, “the fact is that the movies made by Nolan and other directors, including Tim Burton, Mark Burton, and James Cameron, were all successful, critically acclaimed, and profitable films.”
Nolan has since been working on his own movie, a remake of The Dark Tiger, that is set to be released in 2021.
However Warner Bros will not be able to get the film into theaters until at least 2021, as Nolan will need to complete his work on The Dark Tigers sequel.
This is the second major lawsuit against the studio over the use of its DC properties.
In May 2018, a class action lawsuit was filed against Warner Brothers alleging that the studio violated the DMCA by failing to pay Warner Bros for use of Warner’s copyrighted characters.
The complaint stated that the studios lack of payment to Warner for use rights was “likely the single most significant and widespread breach of copyright law.”
Warner Bros did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Warner is currently under a settlement agreement with the MPAA and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).
While Warner is still seeking to prevent its characters from appearing in other films, they are also working with the plaintiffs on a settlement that would give them the right to bring a lawsuit in the future.
The new lawsuit will likely be one of the last ones to bring any kind of action against Warner and TWC over this issue.