Christopher Nolan, the man behind The Dark Knight franchise, Inception (2010), Interstellar (2014), and the more recent blockbuster Oppenheimer, is reported to have achieved a feat with the screenplay that his own brother, Jonathan Nolan, acknowledged in a backhanded fashion.
Oppenheimer has clocked in a staggering $853 million at the box office, and Nolan has credited his brother for the success. The Twitter handle, @NolanAnalyst, which covers events in his life closely published his statements wherein he described how the script for this film was different than most.
Jonathan Nolan, as per his career timeline, has collaborated with Christopher Nolan on a number of projects as his writing partner. Most famously, he worked as a writer on Memento (2000), and The Prestige (2006).
Jonathan Nolan’s Backhanded Compliment For Christopher Nolan
Christopher Nolan revealed that his brother was the first person who got to see the script. They haven’t worked together since Interstellar as the younger brother had Person of Interest (2011-2016) and Westworld (2016-2022) duties to fulfill, being the creator.
The elder Nolan, according to the post, has always been big on the visuals and the smallest of details in executing a scene. The younger Nolan played a major role in the writing part of it all.
“I showed it first to my brother, who I’ve written with a lot over the years,” said Nolan. I didn’t write [the script] with him on this, but I showed it to him and took his advice. The thing he said to me right away was that I finally found a way to make people read the stage directions. My films have always relied on the visual; on the stage directions. Things like the haircut of the character, telling you where you are in time, and those sorts of things.”
Nolan further added that Jonathan Nolan‘s backhanded compliment helped him realize that he had been missing the most important thing, which is, writing the screenplay in first person.
Christopher Nolan On Writing The Screenplay In First Person
Most actors and other attached artists working in a film, as Nolan noted, miss out on the essence of a scene as they only read the dialogue in what he called a “regular script.”
He elaborated on the fact that writing a script in “first person” pushes the actors to consume their characters’ stories as if they were actually living those lives.
“So you have to read the stage directions quite carefully. And in a regular script, they tend not to grab you and what’s going on in the scene. But when you write it in the first person, you immediately feel you have to read all those things because it’s like reading thoughts or voiceover.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Christopher Nolan struck a deal with Universal Studios for 90-120 days of theatrical run for Oppenheimer, which has proven to be quite beneficial.
Oppenheimer is expected to land on Peacock in November.