Realizing just how much “Memento” proved Christopher Nolan to be a visionary storyteller, Warner Brothers quickly recruited the young director to helm their remake of the Norwegian murder mystery “Insomnia.” Released in 2002, the movie earned strong reviews and, most importantly, over $113 million at the worldwide box office, over two times its $43 million budget. “Insomnia” proved just how lucrative the Nolan business could be, and Warner Brothers has stuck by the filmmaker’s side for each massive new blockbuster ever since. But for the director’s new WWII epic “Dunkirk,” that meant signing off on one of the richest film deals ever.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Nolan is earning a huge $20 million pay day for “Dunkirk,” plus 20% of whatever the film ends of grossing at the box office. Not since Peter Jackson and “King Kong” has a deal of this magnitude been made, and it’s almost unheard of in today’s studio-driven climate. Based on numbers pulled by THR, the average director salary for a studio film is anywhere between $750,000 to $1.5 million range, depending on the number of the director’s previous credits.
Not much is known about “Dunkirk.” The story will somehow involve the Dunkirk invasion and evacuation, in which Allied soldiers attacking the beaches of Dunkirk were cut off and blockaded by German forces during the Battle of France. The film’s ensemble cast includes Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Harry Styles, James D’Arcy and Kenneth Branagh, among others. Warner Bros. released a quick teaser earlier this summer to much fanfare.
Warner Brothers will release “Dunkirk” in theaters nationwide on July 21, 2017.