At what point can we safely say that a filmmaker has cemented himself as a true mover and shaker in the industry? Probably around the time when multi -billion dollar production companies begin trading ownership of entire franchises like two boys swapping baseball cards, in order to obtain rights to co-produce his work. This is where Christopher Nolan’s career has taken him. Once it became clear that Nolan’s newest cerebral project, Interstellar, would be produced by Paramount rather than Warner Bros., the latter felt it best to place a few of its cards on the table in order to obtain a piece of Nolan the cash cow. Paramount named its price of allowing Warner Bros. to co-produce the upcoming film, and it was exclusive rights to produce a sequel to 2009’s Friday the 13th, as well as a new Southpark film.
The hasty decisions made by both companies illustrate the fact that Nolan, and his production company, Syncopy, have become true commodities. Nolan’s blemish free streak of successful films began with The Following in 1998, and includes, Memento, The Prestige, The Dark Knight trilogy, and Inception. These seven films have all become instant classics, compiling over $3.4 billion in box office revenue. At this point, it would appear that anything Nolan touches turns to gold, opening the flood gates for a sea of money and Oscar nominations. Warner Bros. and Paramount are collectively betting that Interstellar will follow the pattern.
Currently scheduled for a 2014 release, Interstellar’s story will focus on scientific theories of Kip Thorne and Albert Einstein such as wormholes and gravity fields. In other words, the creators of the film are being extremely ambiguous with the plot for the time being. Be that as it may, the film appears to fall firmly in the science fiction genre, promising to reap similar rewards as Nolan’s Inception in 2010. To add to its monetary appeal, Interstellar has already attracted the talents of Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway, Matthew McConaughey, and Michael Cain. Also, the film’s score is slated to be written by highly respected and successful composer Hans Zimmer, which is all the more reason for producers to hop on board.
Not only do these recent dealings grant Nolan a large budget backed by two mammoth companies, but it also frees Friday the 13th and Southpark from a stalemate situation. Prior to the deal, Warner Bros. and Paramount shared production rights to both films, and rival companies such as these do not typically work together. By giving Paramount sole claim to the production of Friday the 13th and Southpark, it is exponentially more likely that both films will make their way to theaters in the near future. Due to the fact that the Friday the 13th franchise has grossed $465 million in the box office, and the first Southpark film earned a respectable $83 million of its own, it is a win/win situation for Paramount. In this way, Christopher Nolan’s clout has shaken the movie industry on multiple levels. The visionary has brought two rival companies to an agreement of working together, convinced a pair of the largest production companies in the world to back his work, signed a slew of A-list actors, and inadvertently led to the continuation of two successful movie franchises of which he has no part of, all before presenting a final script. It appears that Hollywood has found a new golden boy.