Jonathan Nolan

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Jonathan Nolan
Jonathan Nolan 2 cropped.jpg
Jonathan Nolan, 2012
Born 1976
London, England, UK
Occupation Writer, producer
Citizenship UK/US
Period 1998–present
Genre Crime, thriller, science fiction
Spouse Lisa Joy

Jonathan "Jonah" Nolan (born 1976) is an English-American television writer, producer, screenwriter and author. He is the creator of the crime drama series Person of Interest and he has co-written several screenplays with his brother, filmmaker Christopher Nolan, including The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, and Interstellar. Nolan will direct Westworld, an upcoming science fiction thriller television pilot for HBO.

Early life[edit]

Nolan was raised in London and Chicago, and attended Georgetown University, where he majored in English and was a staff writer for The Hoya.[1]


Nolan's short story Memento Mori was used by his elder brother, director Christopher Nolan, as the basis for the critically acclaimed film Memento.[2] 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 Writing (Original Screenplay) as the film was released before the story was published.[3]

In 2005, Jonathan and Christopher co-wrote the screenplay for The Prestige, which is based on Christopher Priest's novel of the same title.[4] The brothers collaborated yet again on the screenplay for the 2008 blockbuster The Dark Knight. The film went on to become the most financially successful Batman movie of all time, which has since been surpassed by its sequel, The Dark Knight Rises.[5]

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 show is currently in its fourth season. The series stars Jim Caviezel and Michael Emerson. Nolan also serves as executive producer along with J.J. Abrams.[2]

On 9 February 2010, it was announced that Nolan would be writing a screenplay based on a story by his brother Christopher and writer David S. Goyer, for the final installment of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises. After Jonathan completed the screenplay, Christopher made some changes and touched it up. The movie was released on 20 July 2012 in North America.[6][7]

Nolan has written a screenplay for Interstellar, a science-fiction feature based on the works of theoretical physicist Kip Thorne, who will serve as executive producer. Christopher Nolan was courted to direct the film, but due to it being set up at Paramount Pictures, negotiations had proven laborious due to Christopher's Syncopy Inc. being based at Warner Bros. Studios.[8] In March 2013, a deal was brokered for Christopher Nolan to co-write, direct and produce the film with Paramount distributing domestically, while Warner Bros. will distribute internationally. Emma Thomas and Lynda Obst will also produce.[9][10][11]

Nolan will direct Westworld, an upcoming science fiction thriller television pilot for HBO co-written with Lisa Joy, based on the 1973 film of the same name. Nolan will serve as executive producer along with Joy, J. J. Abrams, Jerry Weintraub, and Bryan Burk.[12]

Personal life[edit]

Jonathan found that having an English accent was very unpopular after moving to Chicago, so he learned to "sound like a good Chicago kid."[4]

When contemplating the artistic differences between him 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."[13]

Nolan is married to Burn Notice writer Lisa Joy.[14]

Writing credits[edit]

Short fiction



  • Person of Interest (2011–present) – creator and executive producer
    • "Pilot" (airdate: 22 Sep 2011) – writer
    • "Ghosts" (airdate: 29 Sep 2011) – co-writer
    • "Many Happy Returns" (airdate: 3 May 2012) – co-storywriter
    • "Firewall" (airdate: 17 May 2012) – co-writer
    • "The Contingency" (airdate: 27 Sep 2012) – co-writer
    • "Relevance" (airdate: 21 Feb 2013) – co-writer and director
    • "God Mode" (airdate: 9 May 2013) – co-writer
    • "The Devil's Share" (airdate: 26 Nov 2013) - co-writer
  • Westworld (upcoming pilot) - director, co-writer, and executive producer[12]


  1. ^ McGrath, Amanda (17 May 2002). "Class of 2002 Gathers For Senior Convocation". The Hoya. Retrieved 24 August 2014. 
  2. ^ a b White, James (10 September 2010). "Jonah Nolan Pitching TV Crime Thriller". Empire Magazine. Retrieved 20 July 2012. 
  3. ^ Taylor, Judd (February 16, 2002). "The Memento Screenplay Category Controversy: Memento is an Adapted Screenplay". Retrieved September 8, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Roberts, Sheila. "Jonathan Nolan Interview, The Prestige". Movies Online. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  5. ^ "Christopher Nolan: The Movies. The Memories.". Empire Magazine. Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  6. ^ O'Hara, Helen (29 September 2010). "Christopher Nolan Confirms Batman 3". Empire Magazine. Retrieved 20 July 2012. 
  7. ^ Reynolds, Simon; Edwards, Freddie (16 July 2012). "Exclusive: Jonathan Nolan on 'The Dark Knight Rises': 'I'm done with Batman'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 20 July 2012. 
  8. ^ Kit, Borys; Masters, Kim (9 January 2013). "Christopher Nolan in Talks to Direct 'Interstellar' for Paramount and Warner Bros. (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 8 February 2013. 
  9. ^ Sperling, Nicole (8 March 2013). "Christopher Nolan's time-travel film 'Interstellar' to bow in 2014". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 8 March 2013. 
  10. ^ Finke, Nikki (8 March 2013). "Christopher Nolan's 'Interstellar' To Be Paramount-Warner Bros Co-Production And Joint Distribution". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 8 March 2013. 
  11. ^ Hayden, Erik (8 March 2013). "It's Official: Christopher Nolan's 'Interstellar' to be Warner Bros., Paramount Co-Production". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 13 March 2013. 
  12. ^ a b Gelman, Vlada (August 31, 2013). "HBO Greenlights Sci-Fi Pilot Westworld From J.J. Abrams and Jonathan Nolan". TV Line. Retrieved September 3, 2014. 
  13. ^ ADMIN (June 30, 2010). "Theatre of the Mind: A Christopher Nolan Profile (Part 1)". Retrieved September 5, 2014. 
  14. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (July 14, 2011). "Comic-Con 2011: 'Person of Interest' EPs Jonathan Nolan and Greg Plageman on Stormtroopers and Spandex (Q&A)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 5, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Interstellar poster billing block". Retrieved July 21, 2014. 

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