Christopher Nolan leaves Warner Bros. for Universal Pictures

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Photo courtesy of Unsplash/Jake Hills

Inside a crowded movie theater.

Emily McDonough , Staff Writer

Deadline recently revealed that Universal Pictures has acquired the rights to finance and distribute Christopher Nolan’s untitled upcoming film about J. Robert Oppenheimer’s role in developing the atomic bomb at the end of World War II. The film is expected to follow Oppenheimer’s decision to later call for more international control of nuclear weapons, and his eventual opposition to the development of the hydrogen bomb.

Nolan has written the script and will produce the film with his producing partner and wife, Emma Thomas. Filming is expected to begin sometime in 2022.

This new deal comes after Nolan ended his 19-year partnership with Warner Bros. According to Indiewire, industry watchers expected Nolan to leave Warner Bros. after his interview with ET Online in late 2020. The interview occurred after Warner Bros. announced that they would push their 2021 film slate to a hybrid release model, meaning titles would premier simultaneously in theaters and on the company’s streaming service, HBO Max, for 31 days.

Nolan told ET Online that he was in “disbelief” about the decision made by Warner Bros. “There’s such controversy around it, because they didn’t tell anyone,” he said. “In 2021, they’ve got some of the top filmmakers in the world, they’ve got some of the biggest stars in the world who worked for years in some cases on these projects very close to their hearts that are meant to be big-screen experiences.”

Earlier this year, Universal Pictures made a theatrical window agreement deal with theater chains such as Regal and AMC.