Christopher Nolan took a playful swipe at streaming while introducing a Los Angeles screening of “Oppenheimer” that was devoted to spotlighting the film’s craft. Crew members reunited for the event Monday evening, billed as “The Story of Our Time: The Making of ‘Oppenheimer.'” The director said a lot of time and energy has gone into assembling the “Oppenheimer” Blu-ray so that it preserves the film’s soundscape, which is one reason moviegoers should buy a physical copy as opposed to waiting for the movie to stream.
“Obviously ‘Oppenheimer’ has been quite a ride for us and now it is time for me to release a home version of the film. I’ve been working very hard on it for months,” Nolan said. “I’m known for my love of theatrical and put my whole life into that, but, the truth is, the way the film goes out at home is equally important.”
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“‘The Dark Knight’ was one of the first films where we formatted it specially for Blu-ray release because it was a new form at the time,” he continued. “And in the case of ‘Oppenheimer,’ we put a lot of care and attention into the Blu-ray version… and trying to translate the photography and the sound, putting that into the digital realm with a version you can buy and own at home and put on a shelf so no evil streaming service can come steal it from you.”
“Oppenheimer” is likely to debut on Universal’s streaming service Peacock, although no official date has been set yet. Nolan’s jab is likely referring to how films and TV shows often find themselves pulled from streaming on a whim, which is why owning physical copies of media is so important.
Cillian Murphy leads “Oppenheimer” as the theoretical physicist and “father of the atomic bomb” opposite Matt Damon as Manhattan Project director Leslie Groves Jr., Robert Downey Jr. as Lewis Strauss, a founding commissioner of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission and Emily Blunt as Katherine “Kitty” Oppenheimer. The supporting cast also includes Florence Pugh, Benny Safdie, Michael Angarano, Josh Hartnett, Rami Malek and Casey Affleck. The film earned $950 million at the worldwide box office, an unprecedented feat for a three-hour, R-rated historical drama. It’s the highest-grossing biopic of all time, although Nolan himself would not refer to his movie this way.
“It’s not a useful genre,” he recently said of biopics. “I love working in useful genres. In this film…it’s the heist film as it applies to the Manhattan Project and the courtroom drama as it applies to the security hearings. It’s very useful to look at the conventions of those genres and how they can pull the audience and how they can give me communication with the audience.”
“Oppenheimer” will hit Blu-ray and other digital platforms Nov. 21.
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