Warner Bros. Is ‘Hoping’ to Get Christopher Nolan Back After ‘Oppenheimer’ Split

Warner Bros. is hoping Christopher Nolan will return to the studio, according to the film group’s co-CEOs.

Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy, who share the CEO title at Warner Bros. Film Group, addressed Nolan’s departure from the studio for Universal after the release of “Tenet,” his ninth film at Warners.

“We’re hoping to get Nolan back,” De Luca told Variety in a cover story. “I think there’s a world.”

Nolan collaborated with Warner Bros. for close to 20 years but exited for a deal with Universal which will release his upcoming epic “Oppenheimer.” Nolan publicly condemned Warner Bros. for releasing the studio’s 2021 film slate in a day-and-date hybrid model with streamer HBO Max, led by then-WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar, who is no longer with the conglomerate. “Tenet,” however, was not released day-and-date on streaming platforms when the time-bending action thriller came out in September 2020. But the film was repeatedly delayed theatrically due to the pandemic.

Now, Nolan’s next feature “Oppenheimer” is competing with the highly anticipated Warner Bros. film “Barbie” on a shared July 21 release date. Nolan has reportedly requested a 100-day theatrical window for “Oppenheimer” ahead of release on PVOD platforms.

Two sources told Variety that Nolan “received a seven-figure royalty check from Warner Bros. within the past eight months” tied to 2020 film “Tenet.” Per the sources, “no strings were attached” to the money transfer.

Nolan allegedly has also done post-production work for “Oppenheimer” on the Warner Bros. lot, according to Variety.

IndieWire has reached out to representatives for Warner Bros. and Nolan for comment.

Warner Bros. film group co-CEO Abdy said that in the wake of the COVID-19 release shuffle, the company is “through the worst of it.”

“After the AT&T years, everyone felt a bit of battered child syndrome,” co-CEO De Luca agreed. “We have one of the best film libraries in existence, so we started inviting our filmmakers to come and choose a movie 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.

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