Christopher Nolan’s First Movie Was Actually About Demon Spiders

By Douglas Helm | Updated

Nowadays, Christopher Nolan makes multi-million dollar blockbusters and is one of the most respected directors in Hollywood. But everyone has to start somewhere, and for Nolan, his start was with a short film about demon spiders. Nolan’s very first directorial effort was way back in 1989 when he co-directed the short film Tarantella with Roko Belic. You can watch the video of it below.

Christopher Nolan also co-wrote and co-produced the film with Belic, which followed a young man who suffers from nightmares of demons and spiders. Roko Belic would also star in the film, and Nolan’s brother Jonathan would have a role in the film as well.

Jonathan Nolan would continue to collaborate with his brother in the future, co-writing the screenplays for The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Interstellar, and the short story that Memento was based on.

Christopher Nolan would follow up his directorial debut with two more shorts — Larceny in 1996 and Doodlebug in 1997. He would then make his feature film debut with 1998’s Following, which was about a young writer who follows strangers for material.

Tarantella followed a young man who suffered from nightmares of demons and spiders.


While Following received praise from those who saw it, it didn’t get much commercial attention. That would all change with Nolan’s film Memento in 2000, which got international attention and earned two Oscar nominations.

From there, Christopher Nolan’s Hollywood success was pretty much assured, and he cemented it by kicking off his Batman trilogy in 2005 with Batman Begins. Since then, Nolan has been known for his penchant for creating spectacle-worthy blockbusters that also receive tons of critical acclaim. People often point to films like The Dark Knight, Inception, and Interstellar as some of their favorite films of all time.

Christopher Nolan directed two more shorts — Larceny in 1996 and Doodlebug in 1997.

In other words, Christopher Nolan has come quite a long way from making no-budget films about demon spiders. His most recent film, Oppenheimer, might just be his best effort yet, and it’s already crushing it at the box office. The film tells the story of J. Robert Oppenheimer and his contributions to the atomic bomb, based on the biopic American Prometheus.


Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer has already surpassed the $100 million dollar mark at the domestic box office just five days after its theatrical release and had made $238 million globally. It goes to show how much hype Nolan can garner, considering it’s a three-hour, R-rated drama movie with hardly any action scenes.

Of course, it also was helped by the ‘Barbenheimer’ social media phenomenon, which saw people catching a double-feature of the two tonally dissonant movies.

Barbie took home the prize for the #1 box office winner for the weekend, crossing the $200 million mark domestically and over $400 million globally. Still, Christopher Nolan likely isn’t complaining about second place, considering his movie was projected to make around $40 to $50 million on opening weekend and ended up crushing those numbers.

Both movies probably benefited from the Barbenheimer bump too, so Barbie director Greta Gerwig probably didn’t mind either.

If you want to check out Christopher Nolan’s latest, Oppenheimer is now in theaters. Make sure to check it out in 70mm or IMAX for the full experience. The film stars Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt, Robert Downey Jr, Florence Pugh, and Matt Damon.