Christopher Nolan Abandons Warner Bros. For Another Major Studio

Christopher Nolan has ended his long love affair with Warner Bros.

By Michileen Martin | Published

christopher nolan

For the past two decades, most of Christopher Nolan’s brilliant films have been created in partnership with Warner Bros. All the films of the Dark Knight trilogy, Inception, the war epic Dunkirk, and most recently the mind-bending sci-fi thriller Tenet were all Warner Bros. films. But a report that dropped today says Nolan’s next big film is not only going to another studio, but the filmmaker never considered Warner Bros. as a possibility.

According to a story from Deadline, Universal Pictures will be the home for Christopher Nolan’s next movie. While a title hasn’t been revealed for the project yet, we know it will be about J. Robert Oppenheimer, the theoretical physicist who headed the Manhattan Project, which was responsible for the development and creation of the first atomic bombs.

Christopher Nolan reportedly considered bringing the film to either Sony or MGM, but Warner Bros. was not a contender. Deadline says the filmmaker’s relationship with the studio began to sour with the handling of the pandemic release of Tenet. It wasn’t until Warner Bros. blindsided filmmakers with the announcement that their entire 2021 slate of films would be released simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max that Nolan finally had his fill. Per The Hollywood Reporter, Nolan responded to the news by blasting Warner Bros., saying that filmmakers had gone to sleep thinking they were working for the world’s “greatest movie studio” only to wake up and learn they actually worked “for the worst streaming service.”

christopher nolan

Christopher Nolan is far from the only filmmaker upset by what’s being called the “day-and-date” releases, though some of the other directors have been more forgiving toward Warner Bros. For example, Dune director Denis Villeneuve wants people to see his movie in the theater, but admits that it’s a difficult situation for everyone involved and that, rather than the studio, “the enemy right now is the pandemic.” Likewise, Wonder Woman 1984 director Patty Jenkins was devastated over the HBO Max release of her film, but conceded it was the “best bad choice in a bunch of bad choices.”

Besides the subject matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer and that Manhattan Project, little is known about Christopher Nolan’s next film. Cillian Murphy is reportedly involved — which isn’t much of a leap since he’s appeared in most of Nolan’s films since 2005’s Batman Begins. Nolan will reportedly produce the film with his wife Emma Thomas and production is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2022.

The Manhattan Project promises to be a big part of Christopher Nolan’s next outing. J. Robert Oppenheimer lead the covert project to develop the atomic bomb and his goal became a reality on the morning of July 16, 1945 when the Trinity Test produced the first successful detonation of a nuclear device. Less than a month later, an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan and a second one was dropped three days later in Nagasaki.