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30 Intriguing Facts About Jonathan Nolan You May Have Not Known Before

Jonathan Nolan
(Photo : Gage Skidmore)

Jonathan Nolan, one of the most successful British-American screenwriters, directors, has won numerous accolades and prestigious nominations include Emmy and Academy Awards. In his career spanning more than a decade, he is best known for creating world famous series like “Westworld” and “Person of Interest.” His brilliant work when combined with the collaborations with his elder brother Christopher Nolan, had made their movies top-grossing movies in the industry. Here are some really interesting facts about the director that will blow your mind away:

    Jonathan Nolan"Jonathan Nolan" by Genevieve719 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

  1.  He collaborated with his brother Christopher on the screenplay of the 2008 movie “The Dark Knight,” which went on to become the most financially successful Batman movie.
  2.  It was surpassed by its sequel, “The Dark Knight Rises,” which saw the brothers collaborating again for the screenplay, and with David S. Goyer for the story.
  3.  With their successful collaborations, the Nolan brothers have developed a dedicated cult following, identifying themselves as “Nolanists,” who support the idea of Nolanism.
  4.  In the year 2014, it was reported that he was writing and producing a program based on the late writer cum professor Isaac Asimov's ‘Foundation Trilogy’ for HBO.
  5.  Nolan and Lisa Joy signed a $150 million deal in April 2019, to create a TV series adaptation of William Gibson's novel “The Peripheral” for Amazon.
  6.  Jonathan Nolan was born on June 6, 1976 to Brendan James Nolan and Christina Nolan in London. He was the youngest of three boys in the family.
  7.  His father was a British advertising executive, who worked as a creative director, while his mother was an American flight attendant, who went to become an English Teacher later.
  8.  His elder brothers are Matthew Nolan, and the famous director Christopher Nolan, who was won 11 Academy Awards till date.
  9.  During his childhood days, he would be cast by his elder brother Christopher, in various short films including “Space Wars,” which was stop motion animation homage to “Star Wars.”
  10.  With his father being a British and his mother an American, he was raised in both London and Chicago, although his English accent was not much welcomed in Chicago.
  11. Jonathan Nolan"Jonathan Nolan" by TV Cultura is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

  12.  He took great efforts to shed his London accent, in order to get on with his friends in Chicago, and has often claimed in interviews that he learned to “sound like a good Chicago kid."
  13.  He attended Georgetown University, where he majored in English. During his time in the University, he was a staff writer for The Hoya.
  14.  It was actually his short story – “Memento Mori,” that was used by his elder brother Christopher, for his breakthrough movie “Memento.”
  15.  While Jonathan was only given a “based on a story by” credit, and not the screenwriting credit, he and his brother shared the nomination for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, as the movie was released prior to the story being published.
  16.  Apart from being credited for “based on a story by” he also served as a production assistant on the 2000 movie “Memento.”
  17.  The movie’s subject matter was conceived when the brothers went on a late summer cross-country road trip. Christopher was moving to Los Angeles, and Jonathan was returning to his studies at Georgetown.
  18.  Jonathan had some time before his studies would start, and so he decided to spend the summer with his brother and help with Christopher’s moving. By the time they reached LA, the entire screenplay had been stated out loud between the brothers.
  19.  In the year 2006, Steven Spielberg hired Jonathan to write the screenplay of the movie “Interstellar,” as Spielberg was to direct the movie. However, with Spielberg’s departure from the project, he took the project to his brother Christopher.
  20.  It was said the Jonathan spent more than four years working on the script, and in an effort to learn the scientific aspects, he even studied relativity at the California Institute of Technology.
  21.  He had been pessimistic about the Space Shuttle program ending, and also about the facts that how NASA lacked financing for a human mission to Mars.
  22. Jonathan Nolan & Lisa Joy"Jonathan Nolan & Lisa Joy" by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

  23.  He drew inspirations for the story of “Interstellar,” from various science fiction movies with apocalyptic themes like “Wall-E.”
  24.  With his brother Christopher taking up the project, the brothers used the existing script and developed the movie “Interstellar” for Paramount Pictures.
  25.  In the series “Westworld,” the modern songs heard on the player piano in the Mariposa Saloon and Hotel, are actually Jonathan’s idea, and he specifically chose them personally.
  26.  While working on the script for the series, he took inspiration from various video games like “BioShock Infinite,” “Red Dead Redemption,” and “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.”
  27.  He and composer Ramin Djawadi explained that the covers try to point of that the entire world is a theme park and that every single happening is scripted.
  28.  He claims that Charles Dickens' socio-political novel "A Tale of Two Cities", which dealt with revolution and class conflict, to have been a major influence on the screenplay of “The Dark Knight Rises.”
  29.  His pilot “Person of Interest” was picked up by CBS on February 10, 2011, with plans to air in fall 2011. The series starring Jim Caviezel, Taraji P. Henson and Michael Emerson, ran for five full seasons.
  30.  He, in collaboration with Lisa Joy, wrote a pilot for an adaptation of “Westworld,” based on Michael Crichton's 1973 science fiction Western thriller of the same name.
  31.  He first met Joy at the premiere of “Memento,” and started dating her. The couple got married and has two children – a daughter and a son, together.
  32.  He made his directorial debut with the series, with J. J. Abrams, Jerry Weintraub, and Bryan Burk, as executive producers. The series has been renewed for the fourth season in April 2020.
  33.  Jonathan Nolan Net Worth: $100 Million

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