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While post-credit sequences started to pop up more frequently in the last decade or so, it wasn't until 2008's Iron Man that the practice really caught on. From that point, everyone started trying to mimic the behavior that Jon Favreau employed in setting up the Marvel Cinematic Universe at large. In particular, comic book movies started feeling the pressure to include something, anything, at the end of the list of hard working men and women that people like to get up and leave during. Of course, the flip side of the coin is that not every film needs to do this – which is exactly how Christopher Nolan feels about the matter.
Those feelings were revealed in a recent piece with The Guardian that saw the Interstellar director's inner workings exposed in great detail. This is no surprise, considering that none of the Dark Knight Trilogy films had post-credit sequences attached to them. But for Nolan to have enough clout to stop Man Of Steel director Zack Snyder, as well as the suits at Warner Bros, from implementing such a practice on a film he merely served as executive producer on – that takes a lot of effort and success.
His exact feelings about post credit sequences were made known in The Guardian's piece. When the studio reportedly asked the Superman team if Snyder would add a comedic ending to the film, a la Marvel, Nolan told them, "A real movie wouldn’t do that." Let's take a moment and appreciate both how dedicated to his craft Christopher Nolan is, as well as the trademark dry British dig that he took at Marvel's filmmaking practices.
The thing that separates a Christopher Nolan film, be it The Dark Knight or even Interstellar, is the fact that he doesn't play around with any aspect. The entire production, while intended to entertain, does not devolve into silliness or cartoonish antics. The man takes no shortcuts, and works from 7 to 7 each day making sure everyone's at his level. While post credit scenes are a lot of fun, and can really do wonders when fit properly into the structure of a film, it's not a necessity to the process.
Imagine if The Amazing Spider-Man 2, after cutting its own post credit sequence, decided to just let the film run instead of tacking on an awkward promotional clip for X-Men : Days Of Future Past. It wouldn't have done much, but it could have started a trend of returning to the correct usage of a device that is normally reserved to tease the audience into anticipating the next chapter.
Whether DC and Zack Snyder will continue to exercise Christopher Nolan's level of storytelling restraint has yet to be seen. For now, take comfort in the fact that there's a 99.9% possibility that at the end of Interstellar's almost three hour run time, you'll be able to run to the bathroom without the guilt that you've missed something.
Interstellar takes to the stars as early as tonight in select, film-format screenings; and hits everywhere on Friday.