Christopher Nolan is potentially looking to tell another WWII story, and much like Dunkirk, it will touch on a pivotal moment in the war’s history. The movie will focus on the contributions of Robert Oppenheimer, the physicist that leads the Manhattan Project to create the atom bomb.
An interesting development, however, is that Nolan may be looking for studios aside from Warner Bros to help produce the film, according to Deadline.
Many of Nolan’s previous hits, such as the Dark Knight Trilogy and Inception, and Tenet, were released with Warner Bros. The Deadline article also mentions that other major studios are in touch with Nolan and his reps and have already read the screenplay and that Cillian Murphy may be involved as well.
Part of the reason that Nolan may be considering other studios could be the friction he had with Warner Bros over their 2021 film release schedule. The company decided to release its movies onto HBO Max for the year without warning any of their directors, actors, or reps in advance.
Nolan has been incredibly critical about the change in the release schedule. “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 statement made to the Hollywood Reporter. His own movie, Tenet, was delayed over three times in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic and saw a limited theatrical release, and was released on HBO Max on May 1, 2021.
Given that Nolan has been vocal about his preferences for a theater release for his movies, and the developments in the pandemic have made streaming more popular than ever, future release schedules may be a continued source of friction between the legendary director and the goliath media company.
Still, regardless of the studio decisions that swirl around the production of the movie, Nolan proved with Dunkirk that he could tackle historical war dramas. A lot remains to be seen, but Deadline notes that “there will be many big star parts.”