Christopher Nolan would “love to” do a horror film: “I haven’t found a story that lends itself to that”

christopher nolan and cillian murphy on the set of oppenheimer
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Christopher Nolan would “love to” do a horror film next and the Oppenheimer director is looking for the next, big idea to turn into a blockbuster film. 

Speaking at a sold-out event at the BFI Southbank, director Christopher Nolan, who recently reaffirmed his love for the Fast & Furious franchise, admitted that he wouldn’t be opposed to making a horror film. 

The Tenet director reflected on the matter after a member of the audience asked if Nolan would consider Oppenheimer a horror film. 

Oppenheimer has elements of horror in it definitely, as I think is appropriate to the subject matter,” Nolan said, according to Variety. “I think horror films are very interesting because they depend on very cinematic devices, it really is about a visceral response to things and so, at some point, I’d love to make a horror film. But I think a really good horror film requires a really exceptional idea. And those are few and far between. So I haven’t found a story that lends itself to that.”

Oppenheimer is indeed pretty horrifying, especially as Cillian Murphy’s titular character imagines the death and destruction his invention could cause. You could also argue that Nolan’s 2002 film Insomnia leans pretty heavy on the horror influences. 

“But I think it’s a very interesting genre from a cinematic point of view,” Nolan added. “It’s also one of the few genres where the studios make a lot of these films, and they are films that have a lot of bleakness, a lot of abstraction. They have a lot of the qualities that Hollywood is generally very resistant to putting in films, but that’s a genre where it’s allowable.”

Horror is one of the most resilient genres in Hollywood and usually a surefire way for studios to make money. Horror films are often cheap to make and with the right story and creative team, you could have a low-budget masterpiece on your hands. 

The idea of a director of Nolan’s calibre making a full-blown, gnarly horror film is certainly an enticing one. Nolan hasn’t announced his next project yet, so here’s hoping that the right horror idea comes his way sooner rather than later. 

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