While the exact release date remains unspecified, Bitters End expressed its decision as the outcome of “months of thoughtful dialogue associated with the subject matter and acknowledging the particular sensitivity for us Japanese.” The statement, released early Thursday morning in Tokyo, underscores the careful consideration given to the film’s content.
According to Deadline, Oppenheimer commenced its global rollout in July, raising questions about its potential screening in Japan due to sensitivities surrounding the subject matter. The film delves into the life of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the brilliant physicist tasked with leading the Manhattan Project, exploring the moral and political struggles that ensued. Notably, the narrative abstains from explicit depictions of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a decision Nolan attributes to the subjective storytelling from Oppenheimer‘s point of view.
The phrase #NoBarbenheimer gained traction on Japanese social media this summer, reflecting public concern about fan-generated content trivializing nuclear weapons and their catastrophic aftermath.
Bitters End, recognized for handling award contenders, including titles like “Darkest Hour” and “Licorice Pizza,” expressed its excitement for Nolan’s creation. In their official statement, they emphasized the film’s unique cinematic experience, transcending traditional storytelling, and urged Japanese audiences to witness it on the big screen: “After screening the film, we feel Christopher Nolan has created a singular cinematic experience that must be seen on the big screen. We invite the audience to watch the film with their own eyes when it comes to Japan.”
Featuring a stellar cast including Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr., Florence Pugh, Josh Hartnett, Casey Affleck, Rami Malek, and Kenneth Branagh, Oppenheimer has become a global success, grossing over $950 million worldwide.
As anticipation builds, Japanese audiences can look forward to experiencing Nolan’s masterful storytelling in Oppenheimer in the cinematic landscape in 2024.