Warner Bros. Discovery is attempting to patch up with Christopher Nolan – another hurdle that CEO David Zaslav inherited from the merger. The Oppenheimer director ended his 19-year collaboration with Warners in 2021 but a new report reveals the studio paid a seven-figure bonus to Nolan for Tenet which is reportedly part of their plan to fix their business relationship with the auteur filmmaker. However, Nolan fans are divided with some pointing to the studio’s decision to position Barbie against Oppenheimer.
The new execs at WBD Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy are trying to rectify the mistakes of the past regime that led to Christopher Nolan’s exit. The studio’s 2021 strategy prompted a decision to release their titles in theaters and on HBO Max simultaneously. Since then, Nolan has been busy at Universal Pictures making the atomic bomb biographical film.
Speaking to Variety, the WB chairperson said, “We’re hoping to get Nolan back.” In fact, it appears the 7-figure pay for which they “owed the bonus in good faith” may have worked in their favor as the trade report also notes Chris worked on the Warners lot for Oppenheimer’s post-production.
Nolan’s most expensive project, Tenet ended its box office run with a meager $363.7M due to its pandemic-era release. Even so, the mind-bending sci-fi thriller still played a role in helping the theaters business stay afloat at the end of 2020.
The dumbest thing WB ever did was let Nolan walk. I don’t see him leaving Universal. https://t.co/ciLG8ajO1d
— neek (@NikoZanarini) June 14, 2023
Warner Bros. trying to get Christopher Nolan back… pic.twitter.com/ffTAdsRGeM
— Raiders of the Lost Podcast (@RaidersLostPod) June 14, 2023
— Charles (@cdulaney85) June 14, 2023
I kinda like the idea of Nolan building a legacy at Universal https://t.co/CGbWCB6Gab
— Everybody Hates Josh (@joshuajaleel) June 14, 2023
Christopher Nolan and Warner Bros. did great things together. But I've always loved Universal's creative and expansive approach to the industry. Their continued pairing would make for a fascinating new chapter moving forward beyond #Oppenheimer. https://t.co/5aEdDcQHUB
— Brandon Katz (@Great_Katzby) June 14, 2023
— Christian Cortave (@CCortave24) June 14, 2023
Rumor is he's doing new Bond film next https://t.co/mM1SR5O3wi
— (Greatphase) (@GGeneralHolt8) June 14, 2023
— Nicholas (@NicholasPas5) June 14, 2023
WB is clearly making moves to try to undo a decade of decay, but if Oppenheimer is huge, then it'll take more than goodwill to attract a stable of talent resembling what Robinov did ten years ago. https://t.co/NwF5FnYJWL
— ☕Stephen M. Colbert (@smcolbert) June 14, 2023
Look Nolan ain't breaking what he has with Universal unless he is given MASSIVE creative control. WBD is not in good financial shape. https://t.co/YUU0byyBbS
— FakeNolanCarlos The Prophet Digital (@BobDigi69) June 14, 2023
Let them get on their knees and beg Nolan and Snyder to comeback. https://t.co/tXV0wdSm58
— Leonidas (@Signs2323) June 14, 2023
— Miami Vice Apologist (extraction 2 #1 fan account) (@ViceApologist) June 15, 2023
Take the money and walk away. WB pulled so many dirty moves against their directors and talent.
Universal let you blow up a nuke. You’re in the right place, Nolan. https://t.co/bd4NzCpO1L
— Walt (@Uber_Kryptonian) June 14, 2023
Christopher Nolan Nolan fans have steadily supported the filmmaker’s choice to direct the biographical flick for Universal Pictures. Moreover, the director’s liberty with the Oppenheimer production, such as recreating the Nuclear detonation scene with real explosives is being seen by Chris Nolan’s supporters as a good sign to continue working with Universal.
A few industry experts like Brandon Katz also hoped Nolan and Universal’s pairing continues stating the studio’s “creative and expansive approach to the industry” could lead to a fascinating new chapter. Though some believe De Luca and Abdy may manage to bring Nolan back, especially since their strategies so far have bared fruitful growth for WBD such as suggesting Zaslav to spin-off the DC Film brand into DC Studios.
Some also recalled a startling report from earlier this month which claimed Greta Gerwig‘s Barbie movie was intentionally set to release on the same day as the Cillian Murphy starrer biography feature to give a “middle finger” to Universal. The Barbie vs. Oppenheimer debate has become another factor for Nolan fans to advise the filmmaker to remain at the current studio.
and yet they're releasing Barbie on the same day as Oppenheimer just to stick it to him.
Warner bros mentality 😂 https://t.co/mcCweI5HSD
— MAHDi (@Ozymahdiaz) June 15, 2023
I love that Warner Bros. are desperately trying to repair their relationship with Christopher Nolan while also refusing to move “Barbie” from the same weekend as “Oppenheimer.”https://t.co/unNxxzEiS2 pic.twitter.com/i1KiZsfTT0
— Darren Mooney (@Darren_Mooney) June 14, 2023
Wasn’t it literally just reported that they chose to release Barbie alongside Oppenheimer as a big middle finger to him? https://t.co/yadp4myAyX
— Bolbi Stroganofsky (@HTL1998) June 14, 2023
weren´t some sites saying BARBIE releasing the same day as Oppenheimer was a vendetta against Nolan for leaving WB? https://t.co/9yBaXT9P1w
— Sergio 🇲🇽 (@sergiorossell) June 14, 2023
Warner Bros: We’re hoping to get Nolan back.
Also Warner Bros: BARBIE VS OPPENHEIMER. https://t.co/8LjSBmBMjB
— Àlex 🎬 (@alexander_out) June 14, 2023
If Warner Bros. wants nolan back, then what's the point of releasing Barbie on the same day as Oppenheimer? https://t.co/QXAYghIwrn
— junior (@julio59494051) June 14, 2023
Oppenheimer releases in theaters on July 21.
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