Jonathan Nolan
Nolan at the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con
Born (1976-06-06) 6 June 1976 (age 47)
London, England
Other namesJonah Nolan
Citizenship
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
Alma materGeorgetown University
Occupations
  • Screenwriter
  • producer
  • director
Years active1997–present
Spouse
(m. 2009)
Children2
Relatives

Jonathan Nolan (born 6 June 1976) is a British-American screenwriter, producer and director. He is the creator of the CBS science fiction series Person of Interest (2011–2016) and co-creator of the HBO science-fiction/Western series Westworld (2016–2022).

Nolan has collaborated on several films with his brother, film director Christopher Nolan, who adapted Jonathan's short story "Memento Mori" into the neo-noir thriller film Memento (2000). Together, the brothers co-wrote the mystery-thriller film The Prestige (2006), the superhero films The Dark Knight (2008) and The Dark Knight Rises (2012), and the science-fiction film Interstellar (2014).

Nolan was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Memento, and for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series and Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series for Westworld, among a number of other awards.

Early life

Nolan was born on 6 June 1976 in London,[1][2] the youngest of three boys. His father Brendan Nolan is British and his mother Christina Nolan is American. He was raised in both London and Chicago. Nolan attended Georgetown University, where he majored in English and was a staff writer for The Hoya.[3]

Career

Nolan at the Paley Center for Media in 2012

Nolan's short story "Memento Mori" was used by his older brother, director Christopher Nolan, as the basis for the film Memento.[4] Although Jonathan received a "based on a story by" credit, not a screenwriting credit, the brothers shared a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay as the film was released before the story was published.[5]

In 2005, Jonathan and Christopher co-wrote the screenplay for The Prestige, which is based on Christopher Priest's novel of the same title.[6] Jonathan also wrote the story springboards for the six animated short films of Batman: Gotham Knight.[7] The brothers collaborated on the screenplay for the 2008 film The Dark Knight. The film went on to become the most financially successful Batman film, which has since been surpassed by its sequel, The Dark Knight Rises.[8]

On 10 February 2011, CBS picked up Nolan's pilot Person of Interest. The show was officially picked up by CBS on 13 May 2011 to air in fall 2011. The series ran for five seasons and starred Jim Caviezel, Taraji P. Henson and Michael Emerson. Nolan served as executive producer along with J. J. Abrams.[4]

Nolan wrote the screenplay for Interstellar, a science-fiction feature based on the works of theoretical physicist Kip Thorne, who served as the film's executive producer.[9] Christopher Nolan co-wrote, directed and produced the film, with Paramount distributing domestically, while Warner Bros. distributed internationally.[10][11][12]

Nolan and Lisa Joy wrote a pilot for an adaptation of Westworld, Michael Crichton's 1973 science fiction Western thriller of the same name. On 31 August 2013, it was announced that HBO had ordered a pilot for a show, with Nolan, Joy, Weintraub, J. J. Abrams, and Bryan Burk as executive producers, and Nolan making his directorial debut.[13] The pilot was subsequently picked up to series, with Nolan and Joy as co-showrunners, and premiered on 2 October 2016. In November 2016, HBO renewed the show for a 10-episode second season, that started in April 2018.[14][15] On 1 May 2018, following the first two episodes of Season 2, the series was renewed for a third season.[16]

In 2019, it was announced that Nolan and Lisa Joy had signed a $150 million deal to create The Peripheral for Amazon Prime Video.[17] Since they signed on, they earned at least $20 million a year as part of their first-look deal with Amazon Studios. Alongside The Peripheral, they executive produced the upcoming series Fallout, based on the popular video game series, as part of the deal.[18][19]

Personal life

Nolan (middle) with Evan Rachel Wood (left) and Lisa Joy (right) at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con promoting Westworld

Nolan found that having an English accent was very unpopular after moving to Chicago, so he learned to "sound like a good Chicago kid."[6]

When contemplating the artistic differences between himself and his brother, Nolan remarked: "I've always suspected that it has something to do with the fact that he's left-handed and I'm right-handed, because he is somehow able to look at my ideas and flip them around in a way that's just a bit more twisted and interesting. It's great to be able to work with him that way."[20]

Nolan is married to Burn Notice writer and Westworld co-creator and executive producer Lisa Joy.[21][22][23] They have a daughter and a son together.[24][25]

Filmography

Film

Writer

Uncredited writer

Producer

Story springboards

Television

Year Title Credited as Notes Ref.
Creator Writer Director Executive
producer
2011–2016 Person of Interest Yes Yes Yes Yes Writer (9 episodes), director (1 episode) [30]
2016–2022 Westworld Yes Yes Yes Yes Writer (13 episodes), director (3 episodes) [31]
2022 The Peripheral No No No Yes [32]
2024 Fallout (TV series) No Yes Yes Yes Completed[citation needed] [33]
TBA The Son TBA Yes No Yes HBO miniseries

Publications

Short fiction

References

  1. ^ Based on his short story Memento Mori
  1. ^ Flans, Lindsay (6 June 2013). "FilmDistrict's Kimberly Smith Weds, Producer-Director Neil Mandt Engaged: Hitched, Hatched, Hired". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 12 October 2016. Retrieved 6 October 2016.
  2. ^ "Jonathan Nolan". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 30 July 2023.
  3. ^ McGrath, Amanda (17 May 2002). "Class of 2002 Gathers For Senior Convocation". The Hoya. Archived from the original on 8 November 2017. Retrieved 24 August 2014.
  4. ^ a b White, James (10 September 2010). "Jonah Nolan Pitching TV Crime Thriller". Empire. Archived from the original on 16 November 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
  5. ^ Taylor, Judd (16 February 2002). "The Memento Screenplay Category Controversy: Memento is an Adapted Screenplay". Archived from the original on 7 March 2014. Retrieved 8 September 2014.
  6. ^ a b Roberts, Sheila. "Jonathan Nolan Interview, The Prestige". Movies Online. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  7. ^ a b Adler, Shawn (3 July 2008). "'Batman: Gotham Knight' Offers Anime Mutant, Cyborg Versions Of The Dark Knight". MTV.com. Retrieved 29 July 2023.
  8. ^ "Christopher Nolan: The Movies. The Memories". Empire. Archived from the original on 29 December 2013. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
  9. ^ Masters, Kim; Kit, Borys (9 January 2013). "Christopher Nolan in Talks to Direct 'Interstellar' for Paramount and Warner Bros. (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 20 May 2013. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  10. ^ Sperling, Nicole (8 March 2013). "Christopher Nolan's time-travel film 'Interstellar' to bow in 2014". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 11 March 2013. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
  11. ^ Finke, Nikki (8 March 2013). "Christopher Nolan's 'Interstellar' To Be Paramount-Warner Bros Co-Production And Joint Distribution". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on 24 June 2014. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
  12. ^ Hayden, Erik (8 March 2013). "It's Official: Christopher Nolan's 'Interstellar' to be Warner Bros., Paramount Co-Production". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 12 October 2014. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  13. ^ Gelman, Vlada (31 August 2013). "HBO Greenlights Sci-Fi Pilot Westworld From J.J. Abrams and Jonathan Nolan". TVLine. Archived from the original on 15 October 2014. Retrieved 15 January 2018.
  14. ^ Porter, Rick (24 April 2018). "Sunday cable ratings: 'Westworld' Season 2 opens on par with series debut". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on 24 April 2018. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  15. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (14 November 2016). "'Westworld', 'Divorce' & 'Insecure' Renewed For Season 2 By HBO". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on 14 November 2016. Retrieved 15 January 2018.
  16. ^ "'Westworld' Renewed For Season 3 By HBO". Deadline Hollywood. 1 May 2018. Archived from the original on 13 November 2019. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  17. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (13 November 2019). "'Westworld' Creators' Futuristic Drama 'The Peripheral' Gets Amazon Pickup". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 11 February 2021. Retrieved 15 November 2019.
  18. ^ Masters, Kim (3 April 2023). "Inside Amazon Studios: Big Swings Hampered by Confusion and Frustration". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 3 April 2023. Retrieved 5 April 2023.
  19. ^ Moreau, Jordan (25 October 2022). "Amazon's 'Fallout' Series From 'Westworld' Creators Gives a First Look at Its Vault 33". Variety. Archived from the original on 9 January 2023. Retrieved 5 April 2023.
  20. ^ ADMIN (30 June 2010). "Theatre of the Mind: A Christopher Nolan Profile (Part 1)". flickeringmyth.com. Archived from the original on 21 July 2023. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  21. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (14 July 2011). "Comic-Con 2011: 'Person of Interest' EPs Jonathan Nolan and Greg Plageman on Stormtroopers and Spandex (Q&A)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 5 September 2014. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  22. ^ "On The Rise 2014: 13 Screenwriters To Watch". Indie Wire. 19 August 2014. Archived from the original on 4 May 2016. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  23. ^ Bissell, Tom (15 December 2016). "On the Ranch with the Creators of "Westworld"". The New Yorker. ISSN 0028-792X. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  24. ^ King, Larry (15 April 2014). "What Does A Showrunner Bring To A Deserted Island?". Archived from the original on 17 November 2021. Retrieved 12 September 2016 – via YouTube.
  25. ^ "Is 'Westworld' HBO's Next Big Hit?". The New York Times. 29 September 2016. Archived from the original on 13 November 2019. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  26. ^ "Interstellar poster billing block". Archived from the original on 18 May 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
  27. ^ "'Westworld' Creators Explore The 'Dark Thrills' Of The Digital Age". NPR.org. Archived from the original on 9 November 2017. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  28. ^ Sciretta, Peter (28 April 2009). "Confirmed: Jonathan Nolan Not Credited For Terminator Salvation". Archived from the original on 14 November 2019. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
  29. ^ Sancton, Julian (27 May 2009). "Did Christian Bale's Seriousness Ruin Terminator Salvation?". Vanity Fair. Archived from the original on 13 April 2015. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
  30. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (10 February 2011). "CBS Picks Up Jonah Nolan/J.J. Abrams Pilot 'Person Of Interest'". Archived from the original on 14 November 2019. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  31. ^ Gelman, Vlada (31 August 2013). "HBO Greenlights Sci-Fi Pilot Westworld From J.J. Abrams and Jonathan Nolan". TVLine. Archived from the original on 15 October 2014. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  32. ^ Maas, Jennifer (13 November 2019). "Amazon Greenlights Sci-Fi Series 'The Peripheral' From 'Westworld' Creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy". The Wrap. Archived from the original on 24 November 2019. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  33. ^ Kim, Matt (1 July 2020). "Fallout TV Show In the Works at Amazon From Westworld Creators". IGN. Archived from the original on 15 January 2021. Retrieved 2 July 2020.