Apple TV+Source: Bryan M. Wolfe / iMore

What you need to know

  • Hollywood legend Christopher Nolan was reportedly considered for a deal with Apple TV+.
  • A report says talks with Nolan were killed off over his demands relating to theatrical release and more.

As Apple TV+ continues to pick the very best talent for new shows and movies, Christopher Nolan's name was always going to come up. Now, a new report claims that was very much the case — but Apple balked at demands that included a theatrical window, a 20% cut, and more.

Apple wasn't the only one keen to get involved with Nolan's next project, either. Paramount, Sony, and Universal were involved in talks according to a report by The Hollywood Reporter. That project, centered around one of the names behind the atom bomb, J. Robert Oppenheimer, now looks destined for Universal.

The terms that Universal appears to have agreed to were deemed too problematic for Apple and the other big hitters involved in negotiations, the report says.

The project is meant to be a smaller-scale feature film for Nolan, which in his case, meant a production budget of around $100 million and an equal marketing spend, according to sources. He asked for total creative control, 20 percent of first-dollar gross, and a blackout period from the studio wherein the company would not release another movie three weeks before or three weeks after his release. And he asked for what insiders say was around a 100-day theatrical window. (Some sources have said the number was 110 days, with one person saying it was 130 days.) These were, in fact, many of the conditions Nolan was accustomed to enjoying at Warners.

The report goes on to say that Apple was ready to commit to a theatrical window, but not to the extent that Nolan wanted.

For its part, Universal seems to have "just said 'yes'" — it was very keen to get the deal done, apparently.

Nolan would have been a big catch for Apple, but it isn't without its own names. Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio, Will Smith. and Scarlett Johansson are all attached to Apple TV+ in some way and it's easy to imagine the company refusing to be pushed around by a director. Even if that director is Christopher Nolan.

If you want to enjoy Apple TV+ in style, be sure to check out our list of the Best Apple TV deals on the market today.

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