Jonathan Nolan is responsible for some of the decade’s most pointed musings on obsession. He wrote the short story “Memento Mori,” which his brother, director Christopher Nolan, turned into the mind-fuck-y Memento. He collaborated with Chris on both The Prestige and The Dark Knight. Then, having cemented his place as one of Hollywood’s preeminent screenwriters, including work on the forthcoming The Dark Knight Rises, he took to the smaller screen with Person of Interest, a show that shoots in New York and benefits from the city’s never-ending supply of stories. The show imagines a world where the government is able to monitor every citizen using wiretaps and traffic cameras, and centers on a vigilante duo who mine that data. Finch (Lost’s Michael Emerson) is the mastermind behind an algorithm that determines which New Yorkers are about to be the subject or the perpetrator of a crime, and Reese (Jim Caviezel) is the muscle who digs further into each mystery. We sat down with Nolan during New York City Comic-Con to talk vigilante justice, working with his brother, and his conspiracy theory about Facebook.
So … you’re not on Facebook?
No, I’m not. One of the ideas I had was actually to have a Facebook account, and the criteria for friending me was that I’ve never actually been in the room with you. To try to throw them off the scent a little bit. Anyway, I should stop talking now because I’m sounding increasingly paranoid.