Hollywood 2021: Christopher Nolan’s Next Movie at Universal

Christopher Nolan’s Next Movie at Universal

The film centers on World War II scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer.


Oscar nominee Christopher Nolan is moving to Universal for his next movie.

After shopping the project around Hollywood, Universal has landed Nolan’s upcoming film, which is about World War II scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer, who is considered one of the fathers of the atom bomb.

Sony, Paramount and Nolan’s longtime home, Warner, were  talking about the project with the filmmaker as well.

Nearly all of Nolan’s films since 2002’s Insomnia have been released by Warner, save for The Prestigue (2006), which was distributed by Disney, and Interstellar (2014), which saw Warners and Paramount splitting up international and domestic rights, respectively.

The move comes after Nolan, a strong proponent of the theatrical experience, spoke against Warner’s decision to send its 2021 slate day-and-date to HBO Max.

“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 in a December statement. An exclusive theatrical release for his next project is of the utmost importance for the filmmaker.

Nolan, who generated box office billions with The Dark Knighttrilogy (2005-2012) and earned his first best director Oscar nomination for his previous World War II film, Dunkirk (2017), is one of the few directors who can secure big budgets for original ideas not based on IP.

He was last in theaters with Tenet, which Warners released exclusively in theaters a year ago amid the coronavirus pandemic, where it grossed just $58.4 million domestically amid a theatrical landscape diminished by the pandemic.

Universal will fully finance Nolan’s $100 million drama about J. Robert Oppenheimer and the creation of the atomic bomb. It will also 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.

Shooting begins in the first quarter of 2022 and will require extensive digital effects.

The studio is eyeing a release in either late 2023 or 2024.