In fairness, much has changed. AT&T is no longer in charge of the studio following Discovery’s purchase of WarnerMedia last year. It’s now Warner Bros. Discovery, which is under the direction of CEO David Zaslav, who is very much committed to releasing movies in theaters and very much opposed to direct-to-streaming movies. He also hired a pair of new film chiefs in Pam Abdy and Michael De Luca. To that end, things get even more interesting as the interview rolls on. Nolan was asked directly whether or not he would consider making a movie for Warner Bros. again, saying the following:
“Oh yeah, absolutely. Pam and Mike and Zaslav, they’re trying to do some great things with that studio, which is encouraging to see.”
Nolan, rather wisely, has not anchored himself to any one place with a long-term deal. He was essentially able to dictate his own terms when Universal wanted to make “Oppenheimer” because he’s one of few A-list filmmakers who can bring in audiences very reliably. Yes, his “Batman” movies were massive hits, but his originals have been massive as well, with “Inception” ($825 million worldwide) and “Interstellar” ($648 million worldwide) serving as the best examples. That affords him a great deal of freedom.
To that end, Nolan once again has the freedom to choose what his next project will be and, more importantly, who he’s going to make it for. De Luca said earlier this year that they want Nolan back. At the same time, Universal is probably prepared to write the filmmaker a blank check to do whatever the heck he wants. There may be a bit of a bidding war as a result. In the end, Nolan wins. If all goes well, lovers of cinema will benefit the most as this master filmmaker will get every resource imaginable to make his next movie.
“Oppenheimer” arrives on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and DVD on November 21, 2023.