Christopher Nolan is preparing his next film, which is set to focus on a seminal moment in World War II, much like his 2017 Oscar-winning war drama, Dunkirk. The Academy Award-nominated writer, director and producer’s upcoming project will follow scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer’s role in the development of the atom bomb, which ended the war with Japan, Deadline is reporting.
Dunkirk and Nolan’s most recent movie, last year’s sci-fi-action thriller, Tenet, were released by Warner Bros., the home of almost all his features since 2002. However, several of Hollywood’s major studios are reading the screenplay and speaking with the filmmaker and his reps, including Sony, Universal and Paramount. This is the first time in over a decade that there isn’t a studio behind the scribe-helmer’s latest project, ready to act as its distributor.
No offers have been made yet by the studios for the movie. A theatrical release is an important requirement for whichever studio Nolan chooses to work with on the feature.
The writer-director’s decision to speak to other studios about distributing his next film may be a result of his disappointment that WarnerMedia is intending to release its entire 2021 movie slate day-and-date without telling talent, their reps or even its financing partners. Nolan, who’s one of several A-list filmmakers who are the biggest supporters of standard theatrical distribution, has been outspoken about WarnerMedia’s decision to release its projects in theaters and on digital platforms on the same dya.
It’s not known yet whether Warner Bros. is among the studios that’s reading the script for Nolan’s Oppenheimer movie. But it has lost its position as the frontrunner to distribute the feature.
However, Warner Bros. may still have a chance, as it followed Nolan’s directions to release Tenet solely in theaters last summer, even though the drama’s grosses suffered because of the continued rise of COVID-19, and moviegoers weren’t ready to return to theaters at that point. The film still grossed $363 million, which makes it one of the biggest hits at the box office since the pandemic started, besides F9, Godzilla Vs. Kong and Black Widow.
Nolan and his wife-producing partner, Emma Thomas, didn’t have a formal deal with Warner Bros. But like Clint Eastwood, they have been very loyal about making their projects there. The couple’s collaboration with the studio has garnered billions of dollars at the box office.
There are currently few details about the casting of Nolan’s upcoming feature, but there are reports that Cillian Murphy might be involved. The Golden Globe-nominated actor previously collaborated with Nolan on two of The Dark Knight movies, as well as Inception and Dunkirk.