Oppenheimer to finally be released in Japan after 'Barbenheimer' backlash

Internet references conflating the two films drew anger in Japan, which was twice attacked by nuclear weapons during the second world war

TOKYO, Dec 07 (The Guardian) - Audiences in Japan will finally get to see Oppenheimer – Christopher Nolan's hit biopic about the creator of the nuclear bomb – following criticism that it was marketed in a way that trivialised the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The movie’s distributor in Japan, Bitters End, said on Thursday that the film, which examines L. Robert Oppenheimer’s moral quandary over his key role in the world’s first nuclear attack on 6 August 1945, would be released in 2024.

In a statement carried in Japanese media, the firm said it had taken the decision after lengthy discussions that took into account the backlash it had sparked in Japan after it went on international release at the same time as the comedy movie Barbie in July.

Social media users blasted online “Barbenheimer” memes conflating Greta Gerwig’s comedy with Oppenheimer, a biopic of the physicist behind the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and, three days later, Nagasaki, killing an estimated 200,000 people.

The official account of the Barbie movie on X, formerly known as Twitter, said in reply to one of the images: “It’s going to be a summer to remember”, accompanied by a blowing kiss emoji. ...continue reading

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