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Christopher Nolan reveals surprising genre of film he wants to work on

Just one look at his resume and it’s easy to see that Christopher Nolan is one of the rare filmmakers who has had success with every one of his 11 films where he served as a writer and director – no matter the genre.

In fact, supporters could make a case that every single one of his productions has been a big hit at the worldwide box office, which combined tops more than $6 billion in receipts, ranking him among the highest-grossing directors of all time.

Now, on the heels of his most recent hit, the epic biographical drama Oppenheimer, which at last check has earned $959.9 million against a $100 million production budget, Nolan is hinting at what kind of film could be next.

It turns out the London native wants to step out of his comfort zone and tackle a genre of film he has not yet explored: horror.

‘I think horror films are very interesting because they depend on very cinematic devices,’ the Memento writer and director said, while speaking to the British Film Institute on Thursday. ‘It’s really about [provoking] a visceral response to things. So at some point, I’d love to make a horror film.’

Christopher Nolan, 53, revealed he wants to tackle the horror genre of filmmaking next, which would be a first for him during his illustrious career; He is seen January 3 in New York

Nolan went on to explain why he think horror would be a good fit for him at this point in his illustrious career.

‘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 the story that lends itself to that. But I think it’s a very interesting genre from a cinematic point of view,’ he added.

He maintained, ‘It’s also one of the few genres where — the studios make a lot of these films — and they’re films that have a lot of bleakness, a lot of abstraction. They have a lot qualities that Hollywood is generally very resistant to putting into films, but that’s a genre where it’s allowable.’

Nolan made his debut as a filmmaker with the independent neo-noir crime thriller film Following (1998) that was written, produced, directed, photographed, and edited by the then aspiring storyteller.

Designed to be as inexpensive as possible to make, the budget didn’t exceed $6,000, but yet it still went on to gross $126,052 at the box office.

Nolan then took a turn at a neo-noir mystery psychological thriller with Memento, starring Guy Pearce, in this unique film edited with non-linear narrative.

Moving on to the superhero genre, Nolan helmed the Dark Knight trilogy (2005-2012), starring Christian Bale, resulting in his first film – The Dark Knight (2008) – to top $1 billion.

He has also had huge success with the science fiction action film Inception ($839 million), the superhero sequel The Dark Knight Rises ($1.085 billion), the epic science fiction film Interstellar ($731 million), the epic historical war thriller Dunkirk ($527 million), and the science fiction action thriller Tenet ($365.3 million), which led to his time working on Oppenheimer, an epic biographical drama.

The writer, director and producer scored his most recent big hit with Oppenheimer, which has grossed $959.9 million at the worldwide box office; Nolan is seen on the set of Oppenheimer in Princeton, New Jersey
In Oppenheimer, actor Cillian Murphy plays the title role during the time when he worked on the Manhattan Project, the World War II undertaking that developed the first nuclear weapons
The British actor scored one the film’s 13 Academy Award nominations; Murphy is pictured in a scene with Benny Safdie and Matt Damon in Oppenheimer

In Oppenheimer, actor Cillian Murphy plays the title role during the time when he worked on the Manhattan Project, the World War II undertaking that developed the first nuclear weapons.

The story focuses on the acclaimed physicist as he wrestles with the creation of the atomic bomb during World War II.

During his recent time talking to the British Film Institute Nolan admitted he was able to weave horror into the storytelling of Oppenheimer.

‘Certainly Oppenheimer has elements of horror — which I definitely think is appropriate for the subject matter,’ he said, before explaining, ‘The middle of the film is very heavily based on the heist genre, and the third act of the film is the courtroom drama.’

‘And the reason I settled on those two genres for those sections is they are mainstream genres in which dialogue and people talking is inherently tense and interesting to an audience.’

He continued, ‘That’s the fun thing with genre — you get to play with a lot of different areas whereas in different type of film you really wouldn’t be allowed to.’

After making his debut as a writer and director with the independent and low budget film Following, Nolan helmed the acclaimed neo-noir mystery psychological thriller Memento (2000), starring Guy Pearce in the one-of-a-kind production; Seen with Pearce
The British filmmaker scored two films in the Dark Knight superhero trilogy that topped $1 billion; Heath Ledger scored an Oscar for his role in The Dark Knight (2008) with Christian Bale

Along with Murphy, the cast also includes such big stars as Emily Blunt, Florence Pugh, Robert Downey Jr., Matt Damon, Rami Malek and Kenneth Branagh, along with the likes of Benny Safdie, Josh Hartnett, Michael Angarano, Dane DeHaan, Dylan Arnold, David Krumholtz, Alden Ehrenreich and Matthew Modine. 

Oppenheimer received widespread critical acclaim, with particular praise towards its directing, screenplay, cast performances, cinematography, editing, musical score, and visual effects. 

Among its many accolades, It received 13 Academy Awards nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay for Nolan, as well as Best Actor for leading man Cillian Murphy, Best Supporting Actor for Robert Downey Jr. and Best Supporting Actress for Emily Blunt.

He previously was nominated for five Oscars but has not yet been able to take one of the golden statues home.

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