Christopher Nolan is shopping his next movie, a World War II film he’ll direct, to multiple studios after his falling out with Warner Bros.
Christopher Nolan is shopping his next movie, a World War II film he’ll direct, to multiple studios. Nolan has become one of Hollywood’s biggest filmmakers over the last decade thanks to his ability to deliver unique, surprising, and action-packed blockbusters. Whether it was his work on the Dark Knight trilogy or original ideas like Inception and Interstellar, Nolan’s films have so far always been released in theaters through Warner Bros. He’s developed a close relationship with the studio as a director, but it became a bit messier in 2020.
Nolan’s latest original action blockbuster Tenet hit theaters in 2020, but it was repeatedly delayed due to COVID-19. While many 2020 releases moved to streaming, Nolan was one of the most vocal supporters of the theatrical experience. This led to some disagreements between him and Warner Bros. about what to do with Tenet. Nolan eventually won out and WB released his movie exclusively in theaters in August in an attempt to reignite the box office. However, Tenet failed to do just that and the fractured relationship between Nolan and WB began. Nolan went as far as to say that HBO Max was the worst streaming service around after WB announced its entire 2021 slate will release simultaneously in theaters and on streaming. This raised plenty of questions about whether or not WB would continue to be the home for Nolan’s expensive original movies.
According to a report from Deadline, Christopher Nolan has decided to direct a World War II movie about the atomic bomb next, and he’s shopping it across Hollywood. Instead of just talking to Warner Bros. about his ideas like before, multiple major studios are reportedly reading Nolan’s script and contacting his reps to see if a deal can be reached. It is not known whether or not WB is in consideration for Nolan’s new movie. The untitled historical film will focus on J. Robert Oppenheimer’s involvement in creating the atomic bomb during WWII, and there are rumblings that Cillian Murphy could land a role in the ensemble cast.
Nolan tackled a true war story recently with Dunkirk, so this new movie shows that he’s returning to that genre after creating Tenet. While details are slim on what the movie will be and how Nolan will add his usual flair to it, the fact that he is talking to multiple studios is significant. Warner Bros. solely distributed Nolan’s last nine movies, with his indie debut, The Following, and breakout film, Memento, the only ones they weren’t involved in. If Nolan does sell this WWII movie to a rival studio, it will mark the end of a nearly 20-year working relationship with WB.
It is possible that WB and Nolan will mend fences, but most other major studios at least have a shot at prying him away right now. Nolan’s insistence on theatrical exclusivity likely rules out Netflix, Amazon, and Apple from any consideration, as none of them would presumably agree to an exclusive theatrical run of any significant length. That leaves rival studios like Universal, Paramount, Sony, and Disney/Fox to potentially secure Nolan’s new movie. There is an argument to be made for each of them, but an answer could come soon if the movie is currently being shopped.
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