'Oppenheimer' will get a theatrical release in Japan, after all


Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” will get a theatrical release in Japan after all

ByThe Associated Press

December 7, 2023, 1:34 PM

This image released by Universal Pictures shows Cillian Murphy in a scene from "Oppenheimer." (Universal Pictures via AP)

This image released by Universal Pictures shows Cillian Murphy in a scene from “Oppenheimer.” (Universal Pictures via AP)

The Associated Press

“ Oppenheimer ” will get a theatrical release in Japan, after all. The Japanese distributor Bitters End said Thursday that the Christopher Nolan film will play in the country’s theaters in 2024.

In a statement, Bitters End wrote that the decision was made, “following months of thoughtful dialogue associated with the subject matter and acknowledging the particular sensitivity for us Japanese.”

“Oppenheimer” is about J. Robert Oppenheimer, the so-called “father of the atomic bomb,” and chronicles the development of the weapon during World War II. The choice to have the film address, but not explicitly depict, the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the U.S. — which killed tens of thousands of people and left many with lifelong injuries — was hotly debated in the media.

Nolan’s film was released theatrically in most territories in July, making over $950 million. It’s also already available to purchase for in-home viewing in many countries. But it had been a lingering question whether it would ever get a theatrical release in Japan.

Earlier this year, the Japanese distributor of the Warner Bros. movie “Barbie” apologized for its U.S. parent company’s reaction to social media posts about the “Barbenheimer” blitz that combined images of Barbie and a mushroom cloud. The memes triggered criticisms in Japan for what many described as minimizing the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings.

Bitters End said that, after screening “Oppenheimer,” they felt it was “a singular cinematic experience that transcends traditional storytelling and must be seen on the big screen.”



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