Christopher Nolan’s demands for his new film put him at odds with Universal’s usual approach: the studio has now addressed this.

When Christopher Nolan signed with Universal to make his next film, his contract with the studio contained a long list of clauses that reportedly come with securing the services of such a successful and prestigious director. Sony, Apple and others were all said to be courting Nolan at one point when his departure from Warner Bros became an inevitability, following his public dressing down of the studio over its decision to release its films both theatrically and via its streaming service.

Ultimately, it’s Universal that won his favour, with the studio reportedly meeting Nolan’s demands, which then became public.

Nolan’s demands included a $100 million budget for his next project, a film about Robert J Oppenheimer, the ‘father’ of the atomic bomb. Nolan also wants total creative control of the film and 20% of the first-dollar gross.

Reportedly, Nolan is also requesting a six-week period surrounding the theatrical release of his Oppenheimer film, throughout which Universal will not release any other movies. It’s this clause in particular which has sparked interest, given the fact that the studio has moved towards smaller 17 -day exclusivity window (with films that don’t release well) and up to 31 days (for those that do).

This arrangement actually puts the studio in a position where films are exclusive for less time than they were with Warner Bros moving forwards.

Universal chief Donna Langley, has been chatting about acquiring Nolan’s services and how it runs at odds with Universal’s strategy, stating that “Chris has a precedent at Warner Bros”, and that “in the 20 years he was making movies there and he was very clear with, I think, everybody that he spoke with that that was something he was looking to do and so I think that [the long exclusive theatrical window] was a sort of point of entry. We are happy to accommodate it”.

Langley is clearly happy to have landed Nolan, admitting she’d been trying to do so for a number of years. Now, the studio will hope that the agreement goes beyond just one project.

Nolan starts shooting his next movie early next year.

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