For most of Christopher Nolan’s filmmaking career, the director and Warner Bros have gone together like peanut butter and chocolate. However, that relationship became strained last December when Nolan criticized the studio’s decision to release all of its 2021 movies on HBO Max on the same day they hit theaters, and soon after, it was reported that he was “unlikely” to work with WB again. While that has yet to be confirmed, evidently Netflix is interested in acquiring Nolan’s next movie.
Despite Christopher Nolan being a ardent supporter of the big screen experience, Netflix movie chief Scott Stuber is hopeful that he might have a chance of bringing Nolan aboard the streaming service, especially following Netflix forging a deal with Steven Spielberg and Amblin Entertainment. As the executive told Variety:
If and when he comes up with his new movie, it’s about can we be a home for it and what would we need to do to make that happen. He’s an incredible filmmaker. I’m going to do everything I can. In this business I’ve learned you need to have zero ego. I get punched and knocked down and get back up.
That’s a lofty goal on Scott Stuber’s part considering that just four years ago, Christopher Nolan said he would never work with Netflix. At the time, Nolan stated that the platform had a "bizarre aversion to supporting theatrical films” and criticized its decision to have everything be “simultaneously streamed and released.” It’s doubtful Nolan feels that much differently almost half a decade later, so Stuber is facing quite the uphill battle, but apparently he’s willing to go the extra mile to convince the filmmaker to bring his next movie to Netflix.
Again, there’s been no official word yet on if Christopher Nolan and Warner Bros are indeed separating. All of Nolan’s movies have been distributed by the studio since 2002’s Insomnia, so if they really are calling it quits, that would be a major shakeup in Hollywood. At the very least, Nolan and WB appear to still be on rocky ground following the latter implementing its day-and-date release plan for 2021 and the latter calling HBO Max “the worst streaming service.” WB has already said that its new movies will only be released theatrically starting in 2022 (outside of exclusive offerings for the streaming service), but the damage may already be done when it comes to the studio’s ties with Nolan.
Christopher Nolan’s last movie was the time-bending Tenet, which starred John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki and Kenneth Branagh, among others. Tenet was the first Hollywood tentpole picture to get a full theatrical release following the pandemic throwing the entertainment industry into disarray, and along with collecting over $363 million at the worldwide box office, it won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects and was nominated in the Best Production Design category. The movie is currently available to stream on HBO Max.