With the exception of his Batman trilogy, director Christopher Nolan has only made one movie with multiple words in the title. There’s The Prestige, then there’s everything else, including his three most recent films, Interstellar, Dunkirk, and Tenet. You could chalk this weird fact up to being a coincidence, but this is Nolan we’re talking about. There was a fake rumor that he bans chairs from his sets because “if [people are] sitting, they’re not working,” as Anne Hathaway put it, and everyone believed it. Nothing is under-thought.
“For me, titles are very tricky to be too self-conscious about. You’re looking for a way of expressing something about the film. To a certain extent, it’s a branding exercise on larger-scale films. I’ve always gravitated towards the simplest version of something that gets it across,” Nolan explained on the ReelBlend podcast. He then gave an example:
“Following, I think when I wrote that script, it was The Following, so we got rid of the The and stripped that down. I think that was the beginning of my interest in trying to make things as short and a pithy as possible, really. But it’s all instinct at the end of the day.”
“Drop the ‘The.’ Just Following. It’s cleaner” — Justin Timberlake to Christopher Nolan in 1998, probably.