During the COVID-19 pandemic, Christopher Nolan and Warner cut ties. The reason? The decision of the major to distribute their films simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max.
This thing was not about Tenet , which arrived on the big screen anyway, however Nolan used very harsh words to describe the studio with which he has been collaborating for almost twenty years:

Some of our industry’s biggest filmmakers and biggest stars have gone to bed the night before thinking they were working for the biggest movie studio, only to find out they were working for the worst streaming service.

Nolan did not have an exclusive contract with the studio and was therefore able to decide how to move in total freedom. As we know, his next film, Oppenheimer , will hit theaters distributed by Universal.

Warner would like to get Christopher Nolan back

But things have changed with the merger with Discovery, Warner Bros. is under new leadership now, and new studio co-CEOs Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy seem seriously interested in bringing Nolan back into the fold. The two even admitted it in a lengthy interview with Variety :

“We hope to have Nolan back,” De Luca said. But both executives admitted that Universal Pictures Filmed Entertainment Group chairwoman Donna Langley is a force to be reckoned with, as she secured “Oppenheimer” after her public break with Warner. In any case, De Luca and Abdy remain confident. Two sources close to Nolan have confirmed that the director has received a seven-figure royalty check from Warner Bros. in recent months. The payment was tied to his 2020 film “Tenet.” According to reports, De Luca, Abdy and Zaslav agreed that a bonus was due to him. They weren’t bound by contractual terms, but the studio was partly motivated to repair this relationship.

Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav is also quoted in the interview as confirming that the days of making movies for HBO Max (which is now just Max) are now over.

Not only do we want to make more movies, but we want to keep them in theaters for as long as possible.

Will it be enough to win Nolan back? We don’t know, and we certainly won’t have an answer now that Oppenheimer ‘s release is very close , scheduled in Italy for August 23, 2023.