Oppenheimer Is Christopher Nolan’s First R-Rated Movie in Two Decades
Oppenheimer has officially earned an R rating, making it Christopher Nolan’s first film since 2002’s Insomnia to receive this rating. Variety first reported on it after confirming with Universal Pictures, noting that it’s got ‘some sexuality, nudity, and language.’ A TV spot also confirmed the information. It also marks the longest movie of his career, running just short of 3 hours — a mighty task to produce since Nolan only shoots on film. The IMAX film prints are reportedly 11 miles (about 17.7 km) long and weigh nearly 600 pounds (about 272.1 kg). Oppenheimer is slated to release July 21 in theatres worldwide.
It’s unreal that for nearly two decades, Nolan hasn’t released an R-Rated project, ultimately resulting in great box office numbers. Over the years, this style of filmmaking has revealed some flaws — specifically with 2017’s Dunkirk, a war movie which had a severe lack of blood to keep the PG-13 rating. While there was certainly no shortage of fear in the film, any explosions would simply cause dirt to fly off the ground instead of blowing the characters’ limbs off into the air. Such conveniences are fine with comic-based movies such as the The Dark Knight trilogy, but have often been points of critique in recent entries.
For Oppenheimer, Nolan also parted ways with longtime partners Warner Bros., and picked Universal Pictures. The filmmaker was appalled at the idea of WB releasing all major films on their novel streaming platform HBO Max — calling it, “the worst streaming service.”
In an interview with Associated Press, Nolan revealed that in order to have the ‘best possible experience’ watching Oppenheimer in theatres, one must view it in IMAX 70mm presentation. “The sharpness and the clarity and the depth of the image is unparalleled,” he said. “The headline, for me, is by shooting on IMAX 70mm film, you’re really letting the screen disappear. You’re getting a feeling of 3D without the glasses. You’ve got a huge screen and you’re filling the peripheral vision of the audience.” The film has been shot on 65mm film and will be projected on 70mm — a ‘visual enhancement’ that used the additional 5mm reserved for the soundtrack back in the day. With the advent of digital sound, that additional space has been rendered useless.
Oppenheimer explores the politics and drama surrounding the creation of the first atomic bomb, through the eyes of the renowned theoretical physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer. Longtime Nolan collaborator Cillian Murphy has been cast in the titular role, as he obsessively navigates the Manhattan Project amidst World War II, all the way up to the Trinity Test, which marked the first-ever nuclear explosion. Nolan, who is heavily reliant on practical effects, recreated the explosion without CGI, amidst extraordinary weather challenges in Los Alamos, New Mexico. The film also stars Emily Blunt as Katherine Oppenheimer, Robert Downey Jr. as Atomic Energy Commission chairman Lewis Strauss, Matt Damon as the Manhattan Project director Leslie Groves Jr., and Florence Pugh as Jean Tatlock, who maintained a secret relationship with the renowned physicist.
Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer will release July 21, exclusively in theatres worldwide.