Christopher Nolan may have found his next project.
Although he’s a director infamously good at keeping details close to the vest, Deadline reports that he’s working on a movie about J. Robert Oppenheimer‘s development of the atom bomb. What’s more is that he’s looking to make the film with someone other than Warner Bros.
Deadline reports that, like Dunkirk, the film will focus on a seminal moment in World War II; Oppenheimer’s key role in the development of the nuclear bomb. But the real bombshell might be that Nolan’s anger at WB’s decision to go day-and-date with its entire 2021 movie slate, releasing its biggest films straight to HBO Max, has led to him potentially going elsewhere for his next film.
The studio is reportedly still in the mix, but the pole position it previously held is long gone. Nolan was one of many big name directors who spoke out about WB’s decision and has championed the old fashioned theatrical release, fearing that decisions like WB’s will lead to the eventual death of cinemas.
Nolan was vociferously against Tenet going straight to HBO Max, which led to multiple delays before an eventual August 2020 release. The film performed solidly considering it arrived during the height of a pandemic, but didn’t make nearly the amount his films normally would. But Nolan will feel his real victory was keeping the theatrical experience alive.
Nolan and his wife/producing partner Emma Thomas did not have a formal deal at Warner Bros., but like Clint Eastwood, they’ve been very loyal about making their films there. So potentially going somewhere else speaks strongly about how much Nolan feels hurt by the studio’s HBO Max decision.
This will be a story worth watching. With Nolan’s dislike of day-and-date releases very apparent, don’t expect streamers like Netflix to have much of a chance at snagging him – even though Netflix’s film chief Scott Stuber previously said he’s “going to do everything I can” to get Nolan’s next movie – but the other traditional studios will be fighting tooth and nail to get Nolan on board.
We’ll also wait for more news on the film itself. Nolan making a film about Oppenheimer would be fascinating, and it would be interesting to see the parallels to Dunkirk.
The Deadline article also mentioned that there were rumours of Cillian Murphy – who previously worked with Nolan on Batman Begins, Inception, and Dunkirk – potentially being involved.
We’ll wait for more news to arrive regarding Nolan’s next film and where it might end up.