[Update: We’ve been informed by a trusted source that the information provided by Production Weekly is not true. We apologize for any confusion. We’ve chosen to leave up the story rather than delete it in order to be up front with our readers.]
Christopher Nolan is a terrific director and a pretty good storyteller. His stories tend to revolve around tragic men, and within that niche, he’s succeeded wildly. While his next project is, unsurprisingly, cloaked in mystery, the first details have started to leak out as it approaches a June start date. According to a tweet from Production Weekly, the film will have Nolan reteaming with his Interstellar and Dunkirk cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema, and the untitled picture is a mashup of North by Northwest and Inception:
DoP Hoyte van Hoytema is planning to re-team with Christopher Nolan on his upcoming production scheduled to begin filming this June. The Warner Bros. feature is described as a romantic thriller, NORTH BY NORTHWEST in tone meets INCEPTION…more at https://t.co/hPqNyEDRAu pic.twitter.com/vJWAbSROGw
— Production Weekly (@prodweek) March 5, 2019
The tone of North by Northwest is pure Hitchcockian suspense in crowdpleaser mode. For those who haven’t seen the 1959 classic, Cary Grant plays an everyman caught in a tale of mistaken identity where shadowy figures chase him across the country. Unlike Hitchcock films such as Psycho, Notorious, or Vertigo, it doesn’t really have the darkness of those pictures, instead opting for something a little lighter like To Catch a Thief where it’s still exhilarating but you don’t have to worry about things like violence and murder.
But the part that gets me is the “romantic thriller” aspect because I don’t know if Nolan can do romance. I think he can do tragedy and loss where a loved one has died, but none of his movies feature romantic relationships where you believe the characters would have credible intimacy (I’m surprised that in The Dark Knight Rises Bruce Wayne doesn’t say to Miranda, “I enjoyed our fornication last night.”). The cold, cerebral attitude Nolan brings to his movies kind of precludes complicated, tender emotions, which is how you get a scene like on the one in Interstellar where Anne Hathaway’s character has to explain how love works.
I’m not saying that Nolan can’t crack a romance, but we have yet to see him try it. I’m excited to see what he comes up with.