UPDATE: Christopher Nolan has disputed the Guardian‘s report. By way of clarification, the filmmaker released the following statement: “I would never say someone else’s film isn’t ‘a real film.’ The quote is inaccurate.”
ORIGINAL STORY (4:44 p.m. ET, Nov. 4, 2014): Between the concluding chapter of his Dark Knight trilogy and this week’s space epic Interstellar, Christopher Nolan helped Warner Bros. reboot the Superman franchise with 2013’s Man of Steel. Nolan received a “story by” credit on the film and served in a producer/godfather role, although it’s never been entirely clear how involved he was in the making of Man of Steel.
But according to a new profile by Tom Shone at the Guardian, Nolan was a key player in the decision to not tack on a sequel-baiting post-credits scene. According to the Guardian, Warner Bros. asked Man of Steel director Zack Snyder if he would add a “comedy coda ending, in the style of Marvel.” Nolan’s statement on the matter: “A real movie wouldn’t do that.”
This could be read as a shot-fired assault on Marvel Studios, which has been adding end-credits zingers ever since Nick Fury popped up at the end of Iron Man. Or maybe Nolan, an avowed cinema classicist who shoots on film using practical effects, misses the days when the end of a movie was an actual ending, and not the beginning of a sequel coming out in 2019.
At press time, it was unclear if Nolan’s “Real Movie” definition encompassed Man of Steel‘s incoherent narrative, hazily sketched characters, confused fratboy-Christ morality, and dull shaky-sludge visual aesthetic. But the point is, he probably kept Aquaman out of the credits.