Paramount to Warner Bros.: We’ll Trade You Christopher Nolan for One Horror Franchise and a South Park Movie to Be Named Later

Christopher NolanWell, you don’t see this kind of thing everyday. The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Warner Bros. managed to get in on Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar — his much-anticipated post-Batman sci-fi project that is, of course, shrouded in deepest secrecy — by pulling a trade.

Says THR:

Warners … wanted in on Interstellar so badly it gave Paramount its rights to co-finance the next Friday the 13th horror film as well as its portion of a future South Park movie. Also part of the deal was an agreement to let Paramount co-finance a to-be-determined A-list Warners property.

Turns out, due to a series of machinations that are really very totally mmmhmmm-sure super interesting, but that we’ll skip here nonetheless, both studios had a share in both the Friday series (rebooted most recently in 2009) and South Park (which dropped Bigger, Longer & Uncut way back in 1999). But the “too many cooks in the kitchen” effect was actually holding back new projects moving forward. So WB gave up its rights to the two in exchange for getting back in business with its dude Nolan, with whom it had done all the Batman flicks. The catch: Paramount only gets the rights for the next five years.

What a blockbuster! Now, some might argue with the logic on Warner Bros.’ end: trading valuable, well-priced assets for maxed-out stars has come back to haunt teams again and again. (Plus, with Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s Book of Mormon still a Broadway phenomenon, will a new South Park have a whole new demographic? Could this be the moment they break out from overachieving smartasses to full-fledged Hollywood stars?) Also, Interstellar‘s not an adaptation or a sequel: It’s a — gasp — original property. But it’s a blockbuster kind of town, and Nolan’s about as dependable a blockbuster guy as you can find these days. Warner Bros. cleaned out the farm system for him. Let’s hope he can deliver.

Amos Barshad has written for New York Magazine, Spin, GQ, XXL, and the Arkansas Times. He is a staff writer for Grantland.

Archive @ AmosBarshad