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Following Tenet, Looks Like We Know What Christopher Nolan’s Next Movie Will Be About

It took a little longer to come out than previously expected, but a little over a year ago, Christopher Nolan’s most recent movie, Tenet, finally began its theatrical rollout. With that chapter of his filmmaking career over, now we have our first inkling of what Nolan will be working on next. Much like he did with 2017’s Dunkirk, the filmmaker is reportedly tackling a movie set during World War II.

Word’s come in that Christopher Nolan is looking to tell the story of J. Robert Oppenheimer’s involvement in developing the atomic bomb, the weapon used to end World War II when two of them were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. As of right now, this project doesn’t have a title yet, but Cillian Murphy, who previously worked with Nolan on Inception, Dunkirk and the Dark Knight trilogy, might be involved. Assuming Murphy signs on, whether he would play Oppenheimer or someone else is unclear.

But wait, there’s more. Although every one of Christopher Nolan’s movies since 2002’s Insomnia has been distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures in some form or fashion, Deadline reports that other studios in Hollywood are read Nolan’s screenplay for this Oppenheimer story and are speaking with him and his representatives about acquiring it. THR specifically names Sony, Universal and Paramount among the interested parties. That’s not to say that Warner Bros. still couldn’t end up releasing this movie, but evidently it shouldn’t be a given that the studio will get first dibs on it this time around.

So why could Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer end up at a different studio? This likely stems from Nolan having voiced his opposition to Warner Bros. releasing all of its 2021 movies onto HBO Max for a 31 day period at the same time they were released in theaters. He said the studio’s decision “made no economic sense” and even called HBO Max “the worst streaming service.” Then in January, it was reported that Nolan was “unlikely” to work with WB again because of the implementation of this day-and-date plan. Anyone familiar with Nolan knows he’d a big supporter of the theatrical experience, and he was adamant that Tenet would not be sent to VOD in the midst of movie theaters shuttering their doors last year. The timey-wimey flick starring John David Washington and Robert Pattinson ultimately made over $363 million at the global box office when it finally came out in fall 2020.

Regardless of which company release his next movie, Christopher Nolan choosing to make a movie about Robert Oppenheimer’s impact on World War II means that this will mark his third time venturing into the past to tell a cinematic story. Let’s not forget that he delivered The Prestige to the masses in 2006, although needless to say that the Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman-led flick was not based on real events, although it did see David Bowie playing inventor Nikola Tesla. Going back to Nolan’s first venture into World War II, Dunkirk earned a lot of critical praise (it ranks at 92% on Rotten Tomatoes) and made almost $527 million worldwide.

As soon as more details about Christopher Nolan’s next movie come in, including what it’ll be titled, we’ll let you know. In the meantime, keep track of what movies are arriving in the near future with our 2021 release schedule and 2022 release schedule.

Adam Holmes

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.