Christopher Nolan made news last week when it was announced that his new film about the “father of the atomic bomb” would be landing at Universal Pictures, ending a very lucrative run with Warner Bros. Nolan was left with a sour taste in his mouth following Warner Bros. decision to release their 2021 film slate via streaming on HBO Max and theaters simultaneously while the release of his film Tenet last year during the height of the pandemic may have also played a role in their fractured relationship. Nolan met with several studios for his new film but, according to “The Hollywood Reporter“, only Universal was able to meet Nolan’s very steep demands.
“The Hollywood Reporter” states that all of the potential suitors that were clamoring to get Nolan had to meet certain requirements. One of them was that Nolan wanted a $100 million budget for the film, modest by most Hollywood standards but maybe a little staggering for a film of this nature. Nolan reportedly considers this “smaller-scale” compared to his other films.
Nolan is also requesting an equal marketing budget so that means $100 million spent on promotion, on top of the film’s $100 million budget. The director also wanted “total creative control, 20 percent of first-dollar gross, and a blackout period from which the studio wherein the company would not release another movie three weeks before or three weeks after his release.”
Perhaps the biggest sticking point for Nolan was when the film would be available for streaming. Nolan is a HUGE supporter of the theatrical experience and I would believe that any deal he would make would ensure his film met theatrical standards first and foremost. To guarantee that his movie wouldn’t land on a streaming service immediately, the director requested at least a 100-day theatrical window. This is interesting because Universal Pictures has set up a 45-day theatrical window for its releases moving forward but I guess Nolan is the exception.
So were any other suitors close to landing Nolan? Reportedly, the three main competitors were Apple, Sony, and Universal. Apple couldn’t meet the demands that Nolan wanted regarding the theatrical window but Sony was actually considered up until the very end but Nolan ultimately decided that Universal was the best choice.
Do YOU agree with Christopher Nolan’s demands for his next film?