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Christopher Nolan Ditches Warner Bros., Takes His Talents to Universal Pictures

Christopher Nolan
BigStock - Christopher Nolan during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival

It’s Facebook official. Christopher Nolan has left his longtime studio home, Warner Bros., and is making his next film with Universal Studios.

There’s been speculation that Nolan was prepared to leave Warners for the past year, with the acclaimed director unhappy with how the venerable studio tried to weather the pandemic by releasing their entire film slate concurrently in theaters and on their streaming platform, HBO Max. The tactic is known in the industry as a day-and-date release.

The tactic is beneficial to studios looking to make the best of a bad situation due to the pandemic, while growing their streaming platforms. However, there are some casualties to the maneuver, with exhibitors losing out on revenue and actors being paid less on the back end of their deals (Scarlett Johansson is actively suing Disney over this very issue).

For his part, Nolan is one of the most ardent supporters of the theatrical experience. With Warners not sharing the same enthusiasm–or not willing to sacrifice their bottom line to appease those who feel that way–the two have been on the outs since the 2020 release of “Tenet.”

While details about the forthcoming project are scant, the project will focus on a seminal moment in World War II similar to his 2017 hit “Dunkirk.” This one is J. Robert Oppenheimer’s role in the development of the atomic bomb during WWII.

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