Christopher Nolan is moving to Universal for his next movie.
Multiple sources are confirming that the director will make his upcoming movie, about World War II scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer, at Universal. Nolan vacates the Warner Bros. lot after nearly twenty years in business together. Since 2002’s Insomnia, all of Nolan’s films have been released by WB with the exception of The Prestige (Disney) and Interstellar (Paramount handled domestic rights).
The split comes after Nolan spoke out against Warner Bros. and its decision to release its entire 2021 film slate in theaters and streaming on the same day-and-date.
Universal has committed to fully finance Nolan’s $100 million drama. Filming will begin in the first quarter of 2022 and will require extensive digital effects. The studio is eyeing a release in either late 2023 or 2024.
Sources familiar with negotiations say Nolan asked for an exclusive theatrical window between 90 to 120 days, but it is unclear if he got it. Insiders at Universal confirmed it will be exempt from the 17-day window (or 31 days for films that generate at least $50 million in opening weekend sales) that Universal forged through a deal with major theater chains, such as AMC and Cinemark.
Similar to his previous film arrangements at Warner Bros., the upcoming biopic will have a three week blackout period on the release calendar, meaning the studio won’t be able to premiere a movie three weeks before or three weeks after the film is scheduled to open. There is, however, some wiggle room being allowed insiders say, which means that an animated movie appealing to a younger audience (such as a Minions sequel) will be exempt from the rule whereas a Fast & Furious movie wouldn’t be. Nolan will also receive a backend deal that promises first-dollar gross, as well as final cut on his film.
Before Nolan and Universal jumped in bed together, Nolan was fielding offers from Sony, MGM, Paramount, and even Warner Bros. However, Universal had the best goods, so that is where Nolan has ended up. Will it work out for everyone in the end? I guess we’ll have to wait and find out.
Are you excited for Universal to make Nolan’s next film? Do you think this will be a commercial bust or box office success? Tell us down in the comments!