Christopher Nolan's relationship with Warner Bros. runs deep. In fact, all but two of his eleven films have been distributed by Warner Bros. However, it appears that Nolan is ready to cut ties with Warner Bros for his upcoming project, as the award-winning director is reportedly shopping his next film to other studios due to a disagreement with how Warner Bros. has handled its movies this year.
Why doesn't Christopher Nolan want to work with Warner Bros?
According to Deadline, Nolan's next film will center on the part that J. Robert Oppenheimer played in developing the atomic bomb in World War II. Many consider Oppenheimer as the "father of the atomic bomb", as he was responsible for the research and design of the infamous nuclear weapon while serving as the director of the Los Alamos Laboratory during the Manhattan Project that lasted from 1939 to 1946.
If we believe the reports, then Nolan's next film will mark his first movie that is not be produced or distributed by Warner Bros.
The main reason for this appears to be the studio's release schedule for its 2021 films. For 2021, Warner Bros. decided to release all of its films on the same day in theaters and on HBO Max. Although this decision has not generated as much controversy as Disney's, it's not universally loved. You can count Nolan among those who dislike what Warner Bros. did. Apparently, the studio decided without giving filmmakers and their financing partners prior notice.
Ultimately, Nolan does have a point.
If you look at how poorly Warner Bros's movies have done at the box office, you'd understand why he's not keen on working with the studio again. Both James Gunn's The Suicide Squad and Reminiscence, which premiered on August 5 and 20, respectively, were considered box office disappointments. The Hugh Jackman-led Reminiscence, in particular, set the record for the worst debut ever for a film playing in over 3,000 theaters after grossing just $18 million against an estimated $68 million budget.
We highly doubt Warner Bros's other films such as Dune and The Matrix Resurrections will fare any better with the experimental dual release.
When is Nolan's next film going to premiere?
At the moment, there are very few details available about Nolan's next film. Deadline claims that Nolan will work together with Cilian Murphy once again, which is probably a given at this point. Cilian has appeared in most of Nolan's best works, including The Dark Knight trilogy of films as well as 2010's Inception and 2017's Dunkirk, which won Nolan his sole Academy Award nomination for Best Director.
Considering Nolan's influence and the amount of star power that the film could attract, a bidding war is definitely on the table. Just don't expect Nolan to allow his Oppenheimer film to premiere direct-to-streaming.