In a recent interview with Steven Spielberg following the Best Picture nominations for Top Gun: Maverick (2022) and Avatar: The Way of Water (2022), the Oscar-winning director expressed his feelings on The Dark Knight (2008). He feels very encouraged by the nomination of the films mentioned above. Spielberg further explained that the category for Best Picture Nominations had been expanded to ten entries, and if this had been true in 2009, The Dark Knight (2008) should have earned a spot as a nominee. Likewise, this is true as Nolan’s Dark Knight franchise still stands as one of the best comic book movies. And this is now official following Spielberg’s words. But why is The Dark Knight still the greatest comic book movie of all time?
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Sporting a solid cast, The Dark Knight (2008) saw actors such as Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Aaron Eckhart, and Michael Caine. This meant the film had terrific performances and portrayals of fans’ favourite comic book heroes and villains. Spielberg comparing the 2008 film to current blockbusters may be a bit inaccurate. Still, the sentiment remains the same: The Dark Knight should have, at minimum, been nominated for the Best Picture award at the Oscars.
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After seeing Top Gun: Maverick and Avatar: The Way of Water nominated for Best Picture, Spielberg expressed his positive feelings. The blockbusters were very encouraging, and he saw the potential for future action/superhero films. He mentioned the expansion of the nominees’ category. He expressed his disappointment in the late arrival of this decision, saying The Dark Knight should have received a nomination for the award all those years ago. The filmmaker went on to say:
“That movie would have definitely garnered a Best Picture nomination today, so having these two blockbusters solidly presented on the top 10 list is something we should all be celebrating.”
This is an excellent show of optimism on the part of the director, and it further grounds The Dark Knight film as one of the greatest comic book films of all time. Because who can argue with Steven Spielberg when it comes to his opinion on great action films?
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There are a few reasons why the film still holds up so well today, and one of those reasons is the fantastic casting. And naturally, with great actors come some great performances. One such performance is Heath Ledger’s iteration of the Joker, one of Batman’s biggest nemesis. Ledger brought a darker and more intimidating spin to the villain that fans have not seen before (or again). In fact, Ledger’s performance was so iconic that he received an Award for Best Supporting Actor posthumously as the actor sadly passed away.
Further than that, Aaron Eckhart’s Two-Face was a great twist in terms of villains in the show. Again, this villain directly resulted from the Joker’s evil doing. And then there was Michael Caine as Alfred, who fans still believe was the best version of the Butler to date. Lastly, there was Christian Bale’s performance as Batman, who was able to play the two separate personalities of Bruce Wayne and the caped hero perfectly.
Furthermore, Christopher Nolan also received praise for his take on the comic book character. He presented fans with a darker and more relatable iteration of the hero that still holds up today. In fact, most new comic book movie releases are compared to Nolan’s The Dark Knight for its iconic status in the industry.
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