Christopher Nolan’s next movie now has a release date: July 17, 2020. That’s all we have to go on at the moment, after Warner Bros. made the announcement of “an untitled Nolan event film” over the weekend, except that it will be released in IMAX. That’s in line with Nolan’s work, given every feature film he’s directed since 2002 — except the Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale-starrer The Prestige in 2006 — has had an IMAX release. In fact, most of his past work has also been shot with IMAX cameras, to varying degrees.
July has been a favoured month for the 48-year-old English director. It’s his birth month, in fact. All of 2008’s The Dark Knight, 2010’s Inception, 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises, and 2017’s Dunkirk were released in that month, with distribution handled by Warner Bros. itself. The July 17, 2020 release date for Nolan’s next movie is in fact the same weekend as those four past efforts, which signals a possible attachment or superstition on the writer-director’s part.
It’s not unusual for Nolan to not present any details of his upcoming venture, given the critical and commercial success he has delivered over the years. Put together, his movies have grossed over $4.7 billion at the worldwide box office — The Dark Knight Rises and The Dark Knight account for more than $2 billion of that total — and have an average fresh rating of 85.4 percent at reviews aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, with The Dark Knight (94 percent) leading the pack.
Much of Nolan’s success has been with Warner Bros., which would be happy to hand him carte blanche at this point. The writer-director delivered $525.2 million at the box office with Dunkirk, which was far from a traditional World War II movie. Dunkirk also won three out of its eight Oscar nominations last year. For Nolan, it was the first time he was nominated for Best Director and the second time for Best Picture, after Inception.
The weekend of July 17, 2020 also has a SpongeBob and Bob’s Burgers movie, plus an untitled “event film” from Universal Pictures. The recently-announced Ghostbusters sequel will release a week earlier, while the following week has Disney’s Jungle Cruise, starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt.
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