Kieran here. It was announced yesterday that Christopher Nolan's next feature film will be released on July 21, 2017. Very specific release date for a project whose title/plot/cast have yet to be revealed, but this is Christopher Nolan after all. I can't think of too many directors who could announce a new project with very few details well over a year in advance and generate this kind of excitement. He's the "arthouse" director of choice for moviegoers who generally scorn the arthouse and yet he's often the fulcrum of the problematic "the Academy doesn't respect populist fare" argument. Quite an odd space to occupy in the consciousness of the cinematically minded.
With this new project, speculation about plot details and recitations of an ideal roster of actors are sure to follow. Questions of genre definitely loom in the back of the mind when you consider Nolan. He tends to work within some combination of sci-fi, mystery and thriller, though it's certainly not on every director to stretch, genre-wise.
We're much more interested to see if Nolan's characterizations of women (or lack thereof in some cases) changes at all. Regardless of one's opinion about Nolan's overall output, it's hard to refute with any sincerity the argument that female characters in his films often get short shrift. Will this new project be any different? Interstellar, his most recent effort, is the closest he's come to handing the reins of a movie over to a female character. He does ultimately opt for following Matthew McConnaughey drifting solo through space, but you do still get what appear to be the first glimpses (with Jessica Chastain and Anne Hathaway) of Nolan attempting to imagine female characters from the inside out. Sure, you could argue that these two women were motivated by their relationships to men, be it paternal or romantic. And yet there was an interest, however marginal, in women that's just not present in his other films.
I instantly thought of Viola Davis, who fit so well into the cold, eerie aesthetic of Steven Soderbergh's Solaris and how rarely she's given front-and-center focus in her non-televised projects. I would be fascinated to see what Davis could do at the center of a Nolan-helmed sci-fi outing. At any rate, aren't you curious to see if Nolan continues to improve his female characters after Interstellar or do you suppose we're in for more spectral wives and asexual audience surrogates?
What would you like to see from Nolan? Which actress could ignite his curiosities in an interesting way? Discuss in the comments.