Oppenheimer points to a “post-franchise” Hollywood landscape, says Christopher Nolan

Christopher Nolan is often rumoured to direct the next James Bond Film vanished
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Christopher Nolan offers a positive vision of Hollywood’s future, arguing that Oppenheimer opens the way for a “post-franchise, post-intellectual property landscape for movies.”

Christopher Nolan’s reliably great value in interviews, in his own polished-shoes-and-cufflinks sort of way. Just look at his headline-grabbing comments about physical media and ‘evil’ streaming services, for example.

In his latest round with the media, the director has provided an upbeat take on where Hollywood is heading, and argues that the popularity of Oppenheimer suggests we’re heading towards a “post-franchise, post-intellectual property landscape for movies.”

Nolan made the comments on presenter Alex Zane’s podcast, Countdown To The BAFTAs, news of which comes to us via Deadline.

With Nolan’s three-hour biopic having made almost $1bn in cinemas, Nolan argues that studios have now been reminded that “there’s an appetite for something people haven’t seen or an approach to things people haven’t seen before.”

“Everybody has a tendency to talk down the movie business,” Nolan added. “For the whole time I’ve been working in movies, I felt the cultural establishment was always predicting the demise of movie theatres, and I now get asked that question: ‘what do I think about the health of the movie business?’ And I don’t really know how to respond. We just released a three hour, R-rated film about quantum physics, and it made a billion dollars. Like what? Obviously, our view is that the audience is excited to see something new.”

Oppenheimer’s release coincided, of course, with Greta Gerwig’s Barbie, which was the biggest film of last year with a gross of almost $1.5bn. The other big film of 2023 was, unexpectedly, The Super Mario Bros Movie, which made about $100m less than Barbie. Both films are about as IP-driven as we’re likely to get, and are almost certain to spawn entire their own film franchises.

Nevertheless, the notion that original, risky films can co-exist with those based on toys, comics and videogames is an enticing one. Nolan also has form when it comes to forging paths for other filmmakers by making original movies. The success of Inception in 2010 was arguably the catalyst for a legion other non-franchise genre films that came in its wake. Who knows what’ll be greenlit in the wake of Oppenheimer’s overwhelming success?

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