Award-winning director Christopher Nolan won’t commit to making Netflix original films due to limits with global distribution.
That’s according to Scott Stuber, the streaming platform’s head of original films, who has explained in a new interview why Nolan is resistant to inking a deal.
When asked by The Wall Street Journal if there are any directors who are still reluctant to work with Netflix – noting that it’s the most-nominated studio at the Oscars for the second year running – Stuber said: “I think there are aspects of global distribution in the cinema that are still appealing. Chris Nolan and I have spoken quite a bit…and that’s still something he wants deeply. If we can’t provide that, it will still be an issue for him.”
Netflix has previously given select originals exclusive theatrical runs ahead of streaming in the US (see Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story and Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman) but the deals don’t extend globally.
As IndieWire notes, France operates a 36-month theatrical window, which means movies have to wait three years between releasing in cinemas and landing on Netflix. A future Nolan-Netflix theatrical release in France therefore looks unlikely considering Nolan’s wish for global distribution.
Despite Nolan, who’s helmed films including Dunkirk, The Dark Knight and Tenet, Stuber spoke of other heavyweight directors who are happy to work with Netflix. Scorsese, Baumbach, David Fincher, Spike Lee, and more have all secured deals with the streamer.
“We all want to be recognised by our peers as the best in class. When I started, we’d never been nominated. It’s a great accomplishment and it’s hugely beneficial to the business for not only recruiting artists, but also making sure our customer knows that we try to achieve the best,” Stuber added.
The film was eventually confirmed for cinema release first and will now land on HBO Max in the US in May.