Director Christopher Nolan has been shopping around a new World War II film project to multiple studios about J. Robert Oppenheimer’s development of the atomic bomb in the Manhattan Project. His work ultimately led to the surrender of the Japanese after two atomic bombs were unleashed upon the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the U.S. military, killing countless civilians in an instant and even more than that slowly/painfully over time.
Deadline has an update that Universal Pictures has landed the new project with production expected to begin shooting in the first quarter of 2022. This would end Nolan’s run with longtime studio partner Warner Bros. Pictures and remains to be seen if Universal will get first dibs on future films.
The report adds that Warner Bros. wasn’t in the mix for the WWII film, but Universal, Sony, and MGM were.
Nolan’s muse Cillian Murphy (Inception, Batman Begins, Dunkirk) had been previously mentioned for the role of Oppenheimer, but it doesn’t sound like it’s a lock.
I’m extremely curious if Christopher Nolan will attempt to document the Pacific War and the Japanese side of the story along with the civilians that were essentially erased from the planet as part of power move by the United States to end the bloody South Pacific campaign with an extreme show of force. One of the darkest moments in human history.
It’s really not that shocking that Christopher Nolan would attempt to explore this part of history, all you have to do is look at Nolan’s films The Dark Knight Rises and Tenet to understand the filmmaker’s obsession with nuclear armament.
You might remember that Christopher Nolan wasn’t terribly happy how Tenet was released during the pandemic in 2020 (conflicting trade reports blame both Warner Bros. and Nolan for that hiccup with various “sources” finger pointing to each other’s camp). However, when WarnerMedia announced their plans for a hybrid release for all 2021 releases to promote HBO Max, that seemed to be the final straw for the filmmaker and signs that his longtime relationship with Warner Bros. has come to an end.
Universal Pictures recently released F9: The Fast Saga (Nolan is admittedly a fan of Tokyo Drift), are distribution partners on No Time To Die (Daniel Craig’s final outing as James Bond), and behind the upcoming horror flick Halloween Kills.
A release date for the untitled film is likely heading towards 2023.