March 5, 2024

Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer has not only earned critical acclaim but also shattered records as the highest-grossing biographical drama globally, raking in a staggering $958 million. Nolan, appearing on the ‘Countdown to the BAFTAs’ podcast, shared his reflections on the unprecedented success, emphasizing its significance in an industry often speculated to be in decline.

Amid discussions about the health of the movie business, Nolan expressed his bewilderment at the continuous predictions of cinema’s demise. With Oppenheimer, a dense, three-hour, R-rated historical drama, crossing the billion-dollar mark, Nolan challenged the notion of fading audience interest. “Our view is that the audience is there and they’re excited to see something new,” he asserted.

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“The success of Oppenheimer certainly points to a post-franchise, post-IP landscape for movies… It’s kind of encouraging,” Nolan added, highlighting the film’s ability to demonstrate an appetite for original and unexplored narratives. As blockbuster superhero movies like The Flash, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, and The Marvels face recent disappointments, Nolan’s vision of a changing cinematic landscape gains momentum.

Nolan acknowledged the importance of balance between franchise filmmaking and original content, citing his own contribution to the Dark Knight trilogy. He emphasized the need for Hollywood to find equilibrium, respecting the audience’s desire for both familiar titles and innovative storytelling.

“Something like Oppenheimer working gives other filmmakers a point of reference for how something can work in the marketplace,” Nolan expressed on the BAFTA podcast. Despite the success of franchises, Nolan underscored the audience’s powerful desire for surprise and novelty in theatrical films.

Oppenheimer, with 13 nominations at both the BAFTA Film Awards and the Academy Awards, stands as a testament to Nolan’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of storytelling.

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