Netflix is trying to convince Christopher Nolan to release his next movie on the streaming platform. But it might be easier said than done. In 2017, the famed director adamantly stated that he’d never make a movie for Netflix because he felt that the streamer’s day-and-date release strategy was “mindless.”
But a lot has changed in the last four years, and Netflix’s head of original films Scott Stuber says if and when Christopher Nolan comes up with a new movie, the streaming giant can be a home for it. Speaking to Variety, he added that they would do whatever they needed to do to make that happen.
Christopher Nolan has long been seen as one of the only directors able to release massive blockbusters with original stories to box office success. Movies like Tenet, Inception, and Dunkirk all managed to do extremely well at the box office without being associated with previous titles. “He’s an incredible filmmaker. I’m going to do everything I can. In this business, I’ve learned you need to have zero ego. I get punched and knocked down and get back up,” Stuber told the publication.
According to Variety, it was Netflix’s deal with Steven Spielberg’s Amblin production company that renewed Stuber’s hope of wooing Christopher Nolan. Like the Tenet filmmaker, Spielberg is one of the biggest advocates for theatrical distribution, but in June the Oscar winner’s global film and television studio Amblin Partners signed a deal with Netflix to develop multiple feature films per year.
Interestingly, Christopher Nolan apologized for his comments about Netflix back in 2017, saying he should have been “more polite.” But the director stood by his assertion that the streamers release strategy was not something he was overly fond of.
Unfortunately, things would go wrong for Christopher Nolan in 2020 when Warner Bros announced that each of its 2021 films will be released in theaters and on HBO Max concurrently. The revolutionary decision was due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The move also allowed the studio to maximize their movies as revenue events on its streaming service, while still helping theaters to remain open.
Almost eight months later the movie studio has stood by its decision, leaving the director with some big decisions to make. But that didn’t stop Christopher Nolan from expressing his thoughts on the matter at that time. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, he addressed Warner Bros’s decision and held nothing back.
“Some of our industry’s biggest filmmakers and most important movie stars went to bed the night before thinking they were working for the greatest movie studio and woke up to find out they were working for the worst streaming service,” Nolan said.
And in an interview for the DVD release of Tenet with ET Online, the director expressed his shock over how Warner Bros didn’t give top-tier talent and filmmakers any warning before the announcement.
“There’s such controversy around it because they didn’t tell anyone. In 2021, they’ve got some of the top filmmakers in the world. They’ve got some of the biggest stars in the world who worked for years in some cases on these projects very close to their hearts that are meant to be big-screen experiences. They’re meant to be out there for the widest possible audiences, Nolan told the publication.
Despite health and safety restrictions due to the global pandemic, Warner Bros rushed to release Tenet in theaters. As a result, the film only managed lackluster global earnings of 360 million dollars, which is 32% less than Nolan’s previous WWII feature Dunkirk.
Additionally, some industry sources have theorized that if the studio didn’t rush to reopen theaters for Tenet, the HBO Max deal would have never happened. Warner Media had no comment in response to Christopher Nolan’s remarks at the time. So perhaps a move to Netflix might be a good option for the blockbuster director.