‘Oppenheimer’ to screen in Japan next year after nuclear controversy



December 6, 2023 – 7:00 PM PST

Cast member Cillian Murphy attends a photo call for "Oppenheimer" in London, Britain, July 12, 2023. REUTERS/Maja Smiejkowska/File Photo
Cast member Cillian Murphy attends a photo call for “Oppenheimer” in London, Britain, July 12, 2023. REUTERS/Maja Smiejkowska/File Photo

TOKYO (Reuters) – Universal Pictures’ “Oppenheimer” will screen in Japan next year, a local distributor said on Thursday – a launch that had been in doubt amid criticism that the film largely ignores the devastation of the atomic bombings of the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The Christopher Nolan-directed biopic about atomic bomb pioneer J. Robert Oppenheimer has grossed over $950 million globally since its July opening.

The film will open in Japan in 2024, distributor Bitters End said in a statement, noting that the movie is “considered a front runner for various film awards.” It did not give a specific date for the release.

Many Japanese were also offended by a grassroots marketing campaign linking the movie to “Barbie” another blockbuster that opened around the same time, with fan-produced images of the films’ stars alongside images of nuclear blasts.

A #NoBarbenheimer hashtag trended online in Japan in August, prompting an apology from “Barbie” distributor Warner Bros.

The dropping of atomic bombs by the United States on Hiroshima and Nagasaki toward the end of World War Two resulted in more than 200,000 deaths.

Reporting by Rocky Swift; Editing by Edwina Gibbs