Superhero movies are the biggest films in the industry right now. While movies in general might be at a standstill, the projects that most people are looking for are still the latest entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to the next entry from DC. And even though we're seeing delays in those films being released, all it means is we're getting a backlog of superhero movies, as new entries in the main Marvel and DC franchises are still in production. It's become a near assembly line of heroes, which is why Christopher Nolan thinks his Batman movies had it much easier.
The director of three Batman movies, Christopher Nolan, recently spoke at 92Y in New York, in support of the new book, The Nolan Variations by Tom Shore. As one might expect, Nolan's trilogy, which is still incredibly popular, was a big part of that conversation and among the director's other comments he explained (via Indiewire) that there were two things his trilogy had which were major advantages. One was a significant amount of creative freedom, as Nolan was approaching the Batman story in a unique way. The second advantage was the ability to take his time. As Nolan explained...
The other advantage we had was back then you could take more time between sequels. When we did Batman Begins, we didn’t know we’d do one and it took three years to do it and then four years before the next one. We had the luxury of time. It didn’t feel like a machine, an engine of commerce for the studio. As the genre becomes so successful, those pressures become greater and greater. It was the right time.
While the superhero movie genre has never really been unpopular, it was really only with the launching of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that superhero stories became so omnipresent. We now, usually, see superhero movies every single year and even within an individual character franchise, it's rarely more than a couple of years in between adventures. However, Christopher Nolan says that there was no pressure to produce movies that fast for him. He understands that as things currently stands, if he were making his Batman movies now, that wouldn't be the case.
And he's probably right. While we don't know what Warner Bros. has planned for the new Batman exactly, assuming the movie is a success, you have to believe that sequels will be greenlit much faster this time around. Robert Pattinson's contract to play the role likely includes multiple appearances. Especially considering the fact that studios have basically been dormant for a year with no major releases, there will likely be that much more of a push to get big tentpole movies out as quickly as possible once that option is available again.