– by Joseph Jammer Medina

Without a doubt, Christopher Nolan is one of this generation’s most influential directors. Sure, the man gets a lot of hate for some of his work–I’ve heard him get labeled as “a filmmaker for people who think they’re smart.” All the same, Nolan’s films demand attention. With “Inception” and “Interstellar,” the director managed to make huge box office events out of purely original ideas, which is incredible in today’s film climate. Whatever this man does next will likely be big.

But what will it be? We’ve gone through some of Warner Bros.’s upcoming film options, and have brought you a handful of films that could be the next Nolan picture. 


Hollywood seems to have a lot of movies that refuse to die, and “Akira” is somewhere near the top of that list. Based on the manga of the same name, this poor flick has faced a troubled development for quite some time under Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company, Appian Way. News of this film recently hit THR when Marco J. Ramirez, co-showrunner of “Daredevil,” was brought on board to rewrite the script.

Perhaps with a new script in hand, Warner Bros. finally has the confidence to give it a director. Enter Nolan. It wouldn’t be off the table that Nolan is familiar with the manga or anime adaptation. After all, this is the guy who took inspiration from “Paprika” and used it in “Inception.” To top it all off, “Akira” is a personal tale with big ideas, and Nolan seems to love those.


This one is probably one of the least likely films. This one was acquired by Warner Bros. earlier this year in June.

“The plot centers on a young woman named Agnieszka, who lives near the border of an evil wood, with only a wizard named Dragon who seems to keep the danger at bay. The price for the man’s protection is that a woman from the village is sent to serve him for 10 years, and to everyone’s surprise, the rather plain Agnieszka is selected. Thus the adventurous journey begins.” 

So why do I think this could be a Nolan flick? It doesn’t really fit his particular flavor of scifi/fantasy, and even worst, it’s a YA book. What experience does the man have in that category?

As far as I can tell, not much. But Nolan is a filmmaker who likes to push himself. He’s done his share of mature flicks, so perhaps shooting for a new demo will be on his list of things to do. 

“Dante’s Inferno”

When it comes to big ideas, “Dante’s Inferno” is a property that’ll take the cake any day of the week. For those unfamiliar, the story, based on the 14th century epic poem, follows Dante, who descends through the nine circles of hell in order to save the woman he loves. That sounds like it’s right up Nolan’s alley.

Warner Bros. was especially excited about picking this one up due to its franchise potential. Following the conclusion of “The Dark Knight Trilogy” it would make sense that Nolan would be in search of another trilogy of sorts. Yes, many would likely think this guy might prefer to do one-offs more than a franchise, but we have to keep in mind that Nolan always tends to think big.

“Live by Night”

Wait, you say. Isn’t this supposed to be directed by Ben Affleck? Yes indeed it is. But since the film was greenlit back in July, something has happened. That’s right, his obligations as Batman have gone in full swing, including his obligation to direct. “The Batman” was set to shoot after “Live by Night,” but given how anxious Warner Bros. is to get the Batman franchise underway, it’s understandable that it would be fast-tracked, leaving “Live by Night” without a director. 

I should point out that as far as we know, Affleck is still on board to direct the film. However, if Warner Bros. really starts to love his Batman, he may be pulled off the project altogether in favor of more Batman-related material.

Based on a book of the same name, “Live by Night” is set to be a Prohibition-era crime novel. While Nolan usually dabbles in science fiction, one can’t deny the fact that “The Dark Knight” was a killer crime flick. And if Affleck truly did get pulled off this one, they wouldn’t hire just anyone to take over.

Something Original

Now comes the most obvious choice. Nolan may not be picking up any of these big titles at all. Let’s face it: Nolan likes his own ideas. And following his continued success, the man can do anything. Who’s to say he’d restrict himself to a typical studio picture? 

Plus, back in July, there was a rumor that Nolan had finished a “comprehensive draft” of his next project. 

Though this piece of news should be taken with a huge heap of salt, as there is no indication why this guy should know anything about Christopher Nolan’s next project. As far as I can tell, they’ve never worked together.

But this definitely seems like a way Nolan can go, nonetheless. Nolan is in a rare position, and it may be best to capitalize on that success for as long as possible.

What do you think is Nolan’s next project? Let us know in the comments down below!

SOURCES: THR (1), (2), Deadline (1), (2), Variety, Slashfilm

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.