We still don’t know the basic concept, the genre, or even the title of Christopher Nolan’s next film, or as Warner Bros. insists “event,” but we now know who appears to be the lead! Variety was the first to report that John David Washington, the breakout star of Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman last year, has been cast in a nondescript role in the upcoming Christopher Nolan movie.
The picture will be Nolan’s first since Dunkirk, a rather experimental war film that netted Nolan his first Best Director nomination from the Oscars and more impressively earned more than $500 million at the height of summer 2017 without featuring any superheroes or barely even dialogue. The new movie was previously and cryptically announced when WB planted a flag on a July 17, 2020 release date for a “Christopher Nolan Event.” While some have scoffed at how that was phrased by the studio, there is no denying there are few directors who can have original projects not only greenlit but given massive budgets and prime summer real estate release dates simply on the strength of their name’s appeal to audiences. Yet the filmmaker behind such modern classics as The Dark Knight, Inception, and Interstellar is such a voice.
Little else is known about the 2020 project other than it will be shot at least in part on IMAX photography, just as every Nolan film has been since 2008 (except for Inception) and that it now stars Washington.
Washington is the son of legendary actor Denzel Washington, but John David carved his own star-making way in BlacKkKlansman. Convincingly bringing the story of Ron Stallworth to life, Washington played a Colorado Springs police detective who successfully infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan by pretending to be a white racist bigot over the phone (a partner impersonated Stallworth’s voice in-person among the Klan). Stallworth even tricked former Grand Wizard and current Donald Trump cheerleader David Duke into personally having Stallworth’s application filed and approved. We discussed the project, as well as the actor’s lifelong relationship with Spike, when we sat down with him last year.
We’ll have more about Nolan’s next movie, including hopefully a title, one day soon.