Christopher Nolan brings two decades of working with Warner Bros to an end, as his new film goes to Universal instead.

Christopher Nolan’s next project has found a home at Universal. The news not only dashes the hopes of other distributors who may have been hoping to secure his services, such as Netflix, but also signals the end of a long professional partnership with Warner Bros.

The British director is set to make a film about Robert J Oppenheimer, the ‘father of the atomic bomb’, a ‘theoretical physicist who headed the research and development of the atom bomb that ended World War II under an initiative called the Manhattan Project.’

The news that Nolan was looking for a new studio for the film surfaced over the last few days, with rumours also swirling that longtime collaborator, Cillian Murphy, would be involved too. Whether the leak has accelerated talks or not is unclear, but Universal has now committed to the project, with the film set to enter production in the first quarter of 2022.

The announcement also marks the end of Nolan’s association with Warner Bros, which spans two decades back to 2002’s Insomnia. The director effectively severed ties with the studio when he publicly criticised its policy to simultaneously stream its 2021 premieres on HBO Max at the same time as debuting them in cinemas. As he memorably told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement, “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.”

After that, the end was all but nigh for the working relationship between Nolan and the studio. The only real question was where the acclaimed filmmaker would end up next, and that has seemingly now been answered. We’ll bring you more on Nolan’s next project as we hear it.


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