Warner Bros. is losing out big as Christopher Nolan is the latest in line to sever ties with the studios.
The director had worked with WB for nearly two-decade with the studio being behind some of his biggest blockbusters, including The Dark Knight trilogy, Inception, Dunkirk, and Tenet.
Nolan detested WB’s decision to release its 2021 slate simultaneously on HBO Max, even though this didn’t apply to his current or future movies. The director was previously dissatisfied with WB’s interference in his release plans for Tenet.
Nolan has shifted to Universal, where he’ll be making his next movie about J. Robert Oppenheimer, a theoretical physicist who became the director of the Los Alamos Laboratory and headed the Manhattan Project.
It’s a major win for Universal. According to Variety, the studio will fully finance Nolan’s $100 million drama about Oppenheimer and the creation of the atomic bomb.
With Cillian Murphy rumored to star as Oppenheimer, the film will follow Oppenheimer’s later decision to call for more international control of nuclear weapons and his eventual opposition to the development of the hydrogen bomb.
In his deal with Universal, the director is looking for unprecedented control over distribution plans for his films.
As mentioned in the Variety article, Nolan has asked for an exclusive theatrical window between 90 to 120 days for the upcoming WWII epic. However, Universal has declined to comment.
Studios like Sony, MGM, Paramount, and Universal were allowed to see Nolan’s shooting script.
Universal got the deal as chief Donna Langley is all about backing filmmakers with the studio’s relentless global marketing and distribution that made F9 such a big hit despite it being a pandemic release.
Nolan will produce the film with his wife and long-time producing partner Emma Thomas for their Syncopy Inc. banner.
Filming for the flick will begin in early 2022 and is expected to get a release date in either late 2023 or 2024.