Christopher Nolan‘s next film project reportedly follows J. Robert Oppenheimer and his involvement in the invention of the atom bomb, and the director had some stipulations for all of the studios who were trying to court him for the chance at helping him distribute that movie.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Nolan‘s demands included a $100 million budget, total creative control, 20% first-dollar gross, and a six-week blackout period surrounding the theatrical release date of his project, during which the studio would not release any other films. This helps reduce competition and generate a greater box office profit for Nolan personally, as well as Universal.
At one point, several movie studios were trying to recruit Nolan — including Apple, Sony, and Paramount. But in the end, it seems as though Universal won his hand. This comes after a bitter split from Warner Bros. last year over the studio’s decision to get with the times and release several features simultaneously in theaters and on their HBO Max streaming service, one that Nolan publicly expressed his own dissatisfaction with. According to THR‘s report, Nolan‘s conditions for his new project also involved what sources say was around a 100-day theatrical window before the film would head to streaming services — presumably, in this case, Peacock, which is owned by NBCUniversal.
Nolan‘s departure from Warner Bros. is one of many signs that Hollywood is about to face a crossroads where movie studios have to adapt or die, financially speaking. It’s been a long time coming, but also greatly expedited in the last couple of years due to COVID and subsequent theater closings. According to THR‘s report, many of the details of Nolan‘s deal with Universal still need to be ironed out, so the possibility of a six-week blackout may not even come to pass — especially since the theatrical landscape could look very different by early 2023 or late 2024, which is when Nolan‘s film is currently estimated to be released.
Details about the movie’s production are still up in the air, so stay tuned to Collider for more reporting on this upcoming project.