2021 has been a year full of surprises within the film industry, a surprise that none of us saw coming was the legendary Christopher Nolan’s departure from Warner Bros. After parting ways with Warner Bros, Nolan’s World War II epic about J.Robert Oppenheimer was shopped around to several studios. Out of all the contenders, Universal Studios was the victor.
Recently, news erupted about Christopher Nolan’s eagerly awaited return to the world of World War II to tell the story of J.Robert Oppenheimer, one of the scientists credited with being the “father of the atomic bomb” for his role in the Manhattan Project.
Nolan has an extensive history working with Warner Bros, so it came as a shock to find out about his meetings with various other studios before he found his perfect match, Universal Studios. Apparently, only Universal said yes to all of his demands.
Christopher Nolan’s Reported List of Demands From Studios
According to THR, the Tenet director demanded total creative control, at least a 100-day theatrical window, around a $100 million budget, equal marketing spent, 20 percent of first-dollar gross, and a blackout period where the studio would not release another movie for three weeks before and after his film.
Sony, Paramount, and Apple were among the contenders, and they were willing to oblige to at least a handful of his demands, but Universal went all in, agreeing to all of his demands with no hesitation whatsoever. This was a brilliant tactic by Universal, Christopher Nolan is one of the greatest filmmakers of this generation with an extraordinary mind and unique craft for storytelling, Universal knew he was too valuable of an asset to let go.
There are those who have accused Nolan of “diva-like behaviour”, but THR reports that these were simply “many of the conditions Nolan was accustomed to enjoying at Warners.”
Details on the Oppenheimer project are scarce for now, however, frequent Nolan collaborator Cillian Murphy (Dunkirk, The Dark Knight trilogy) is said to be in line for an undisclosed role. If any of the other usual suspects like Michael Caine or Marion Cotillard show up I won’t at all be surprised, but that’s just speculation.
Do you think Christopher Nolan’s demands are reasonable? What you think about Nolan’s pairing with Universal? Share your thoughts with us in the comments. If you like what you’ve read and can’t wait for more, feel free to follow us on our social media. Thank you for reading, have a great day, and in the words of the Joker, “If you’re good at something, never do it for free”.