News & Opinion | July 21, 2018 5:00 am

How “The Dark Knight” Changed Hollywood For Better or Worse

Christopher Nolan's comic book adaption was released 10 years ago.

dark knight
Christian Bale in The Dark Knight (2008)

The X-Men and Spider-Man movies convinced Hollywood that a growing audience existed for comic-book adaptations. But then in 2008, those superhero movies were floundering. Films like Hulk and Superman Returns were high-profile disappointments and audiences did not like movies like Daredevil, Fantastic Four, Ghost Rider or Catwoman. The hit of the summer that year was supposed to be Steven Spielberg’s long-awaited fourth Indiana Jones movie, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Instead, Iron Man and The Dark Knight were the two biggest movies of the year, and each provided a different roadmap for the future of a genre that now dominates theaters.

Iron Man started the Marvel universe, which just released its 20th entry this year. But that wouldn’t have been possible without Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, writes The Atlantic. It was so successful that it conferred instant validity on the comic-book movie. The film was powerful enough to realign studio’s business strategies, but, The Atlantic writes, those strategies made sure that a movie like The Dark Knight would never be made again.