Warner Bros. hopes Christopher Nolan will return to the studio, according to the film group’s co-CEOs.
Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy, who share the title of CEO of Warner Bros. Film Group, spoke about Nolan’s departure from the studio to Universal following the release of “Tenet,” his ninth film at Warners.
“We hope to have Nolan back,” said De Luca Variety in a cover story. “I think there is a world.”
Nolan has been partnered with Warner Bros. for nearly 20 years, but walked out on a deal with Universal that will release his next epic film ‘Oppenheimer’. Nolan publicly condemned Warner Bros. for releasing the studio’s 2021 movie slate in a hybrid day-and-date model with streamer HBO Max, led by then-WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar, which is no longer a part of the conglomerate. “Tenet,” however, was not released day and date on streaming platforms when the time-bending action thriller released in September 2020. But the film has been repeatedly delayed in theaters due to the pandemic.
Now, Nolan’s upcoming feature “Oppenheimer” is competing against the highly anticipated Warner Bros. film “Barbie” on a shared release date of July 21st. Nolan reportedly requested a 100-day theatrical window for “Oppenheimer” before release on PVOD platforms.
Two sources told Variety that Nolan “has received a seven-figure royalty check from Warner Bros. over the past eight months” tied to the 2020 film “Tenet.” According to the sources, “no strings attached” to the money transfer.
Nolan also allegedly did post-production work for “Oppenheimer” on the Warner Bros. lot, according to Variety.
IndieWire has reached out to representatives of Warner Bros. and Nolan for comment.
Warner Bros. film group co-CEO Abdy said that in the wake of the haphazard release of COVID-19, the company was “going through the worst.”
“After the AT&T years, everyone felt a little bit of the abused child syndrome,” agrees co-CEO De Luca. “We have one of the best film libraries in existence, so we’ve started inviting our filmmakers to choose a film that inspires them and talk about it with our staff.”
“Oppenheimer,” which stars Cillian Murphy as the creator of the atomic bomb and one of the leaders of the Manhattan Project, currently has all IMAX theaters in North America booked for its first three weeks of release.