• 'Oppenheimer' will finally be released in Japan
  • The film had to wait for political reasons
  • THIS is how the decision was made

Film fans in Japan are buzzing with the latest Hollywood thriller, but it's not your typical action flick! 'Oppenheimer,' the sizzling blockbuster about the creation of the atomic bomb, is set to light up Japanese screens in 2024, and it's been a bumpy road to release!

A delicate decision

Bitters End, the film's Japanese distributor, has been tiptoeing around the sensitive subject like it's hot radioactive lava. "Because the subject matter... has special significance to us Japanese," they said, they've been weighing the pros and cons like a nuclear physicist with a Geiger counter.

On Thursday they said that its decision to release the movie in the East Asian nation next year, the exact date remains unspecified, was "made following months of thoughtful dialogue associated with the subject matter and acknowledging the particular sensitivity for us Japanese. After screening the film, we feel Christopher Nolan has created a singular cinematic experience that transcends traditional storytelling and must be seen on the big screen. We invite the audience to watch the film with their own eyes when it comes to Japan."

History is hard to ignore, and the atomic bomb was used on Japanese soil, so it's understandable if folks there don't want to glorify what happened with a movie. But fear not, film buffs, the distributor assures us that Nolan's "one-of-a-kind cinematic experience" is too good to pass up! 

Director Christopher Nolan was asked by NBC in July about his decision not to directly depict the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the film, to which he said that it was a deliberate choice "to depart" from Oppenheimer’s experience, he said

He added that the Manhattan Project’s director only learned about the bombings and their fallout through the radio, "would betray the terms of the storytelling."

A big success anyway

Globally, 'Oppenheimer' has been raking in the cash, with a whopping $950 million in its coffers. But in Japan, the film's focus on American physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer without showing the Hiroshima and Nagasaki aftermath has some locals seeing red. 

Director Christopher Nolan, the maestro behind the lens, told MSNBC's Chuck Todd that 'Oppenheimer' isn't a history lesson but a deep dive into the mind of the man himself. But that hasn't stopped the critics from firing shots!

Oppenheimer opened in South Korea in August and proved a box office hit in China and other Asian markets, but no date was set for a Japan release, prompting some to ask if the country’s cinemas would ever show it. The film was also criticized by anti-nuclear groups for failing to depict the true horror of the devastation the bombs caused in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The destruction wrought on the two cities, which many in the US believe forced Japan to surrender several days later, is alluded to but not shown in the movie. 'Oppenheimer’s' commercial success may have been a factor in the Japanese distributor’s decision to relent; it has made more than $950m worldwide since its release in July.

Also interesting:

In a bizarre twist, the film's promotion got tangled up with 'Barbie,' the light-hearted romp about the iconic doll. The internet went wild with "Barbenheimer" memes, mixing the pink, playful world of Barbie with the grim, grave themes of 'Oppenheimer.' Japanese netizens were not amused, sparking a #NoBarbenheimer movement and calling for a boycott of both flicks.

Warner Bros., caught in the crossfire, issued a mea culpa for their "insensitive social media engagement." Meanwhile, 'Barbie' tiptoed into Japanese theaters and, well, let's just say she didn't exactly set the box office on fire.

As Hiroshima and Nagasaki continue to honor their history with calls for a nuke-free world, 'Oppenheimer' prepares to make its controversial debut. Will Japanese audiences embrace Nolan's vision, or will the film fizzle out in the land of the rising sun? Only time will tell!