(Bloomberg) -- Oppenheimer, the Christopher Nolan-directed movie about the development of the atomic bomb, will finally open in Japan in 2024, as concerns about how it would be received there sparked speculation over its release in the country.
“As the subject matter of this film has a very important and special meaning for us Japanese people, we decided to release it in Japan after various discussions and considerations,” Tokyo-based film distributor Bitters End Inc. said in a statement Thursday, without specifying a date.
While it’s common for Hollywood films to be shown in Japan well after their US premiere dates, there were heightened sensitivities about Oppenheimer’s release in the only country ever to experience a nuclear attack.
The biopic about J. Robert Oppenheimer, the American physicist who led the development of the nuclear bomb in the 1940s, was a blockbuster hit this summer around the world alongside Barbie. That prompted the global “Barbenheimer” phenomenon that saw social media users jokingly juxtapose the two films against each other.
However, the meme fell flat in Japan. Japanese users, who were already sharing the “#NoBarbenheimer” hashtag, were further angered when the US account for the Barbie film said in a post: “It’s going to be a summer to remember.” Aug. 6 and Aug. 9 are the anniversaries for the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which Japan marks with solemn ceremonies and calls for nuclear non-proliferation.
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