Nolan's Favourite Genre Trick Makes $100m Oppenheimer Even … – Screen Rant

Christopher Nolan revealed a lot about Oppenheimer at CinemaCon, including that it might not just be a biographical drama but an espionage thriller.
At CinemaCon, Christopher Nolan previewed footage of his period biopic Oppenheimer, revealing that it isn't just a biographical drama but a pulse-pounding thriller. Nolan's Oppenheimer looks just as epic as any of his previous movies, and with a budget of $100 million and literally recreating huge explosions, it could be his most epic yet. Up until now, the movie has always seemed like a stripped-back narrative with an isolated story about the physicist's inner turmoil and struggle. But after Universal's presentation at CinemaCon, it has been all but confirmed that the movie will be just as much of a genre mash-up as any of Nolan's other movies.
With CinemaCon currently in progress, Universal started its presentation by bringing out Nolan to talk about Oppenheimer, and opening with the biggest act is such a bold move. Universal has put so much into Oppenheimer, as the studio isn't focusing on any other movie three weeks before or three weeks after the biopic's release. It has a theatrical window of at least 100 days too, so it's totally unsurprising that the film was heavily showcased to theatre owners at CinemaCon. While Nolan dropped a bunch of hyperbolic declarations, it was the footage that did the real talking, and it's way more than just a biopic.
Nolan excited the CinemaCon audience by explaining that the film has "the highest stakes imaginable," adding, “J. Robert Oppenheimer is the most important person who ever lived.” That couldn't be truer, as Oppenheimer's involvement in the Manhattan Project defined the world that we live in today. But the new footage highlights not just his part in the bomb's creation during World War II, but his ties to the Communist Party and the espionage and spying he was involved in. It continues a trend that makes Nolan's films such a spectacle, as The Dark Knight was both a superhero and crime movie, Inception was a heist movie with elements of sci-fi, and Tenet was essentially a James Bond movie with time travel.
Now, Oppenheimer might not just be a period drama, and it might not just be a war movie, but it could also be an espionage spy thriller. $100 million always seemed too much for Oppenheimer, as that high of a budget for a drama is totally unnecessary, but now that budget is starting to make sense. Along with the genre-bending, Oppenheimer will likely play with time too, as almost every single Nolan-directed movie has used time in some capacity, even if the movie simply plays out non-linearly. Even Nolan's very first movie, Following, which had a microscopic budget of $6,000, cleverly deceived audiences with its bending of time. As such, Oppenheimer's amalgamation of genres makes the movie extra exciting.
Nolan's last movie was 2020's Tenet, which underperformed at the box office by Nolan standards, as it made just $365 million off a $200 million budget (via Box Office Mojo). The movie also had a less-than-stellar reception from both critics and general audiences. The polarizing movie has 69% on Rotten Tomatoes and 7.3 on IMDb. It couldn't deliver on the promise of the exciting time-bending premise of the movie, and while Nolan's films are often complex, Tenet was too confusing and didn't have a satisfying payoff. Conversely, Oppenheimer's combination of historical drama and grounded, realistic action already helps it stand apart from Tenet's outlandish premise. This makes it seem more tempting to viewers than Tenet ever could be.
Source: Box Office Mojo

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Currently splitting his time between Madrid and Chicago, Stephen Barker has been a staff writer at Screen Rant since 2020. Since graduating from Manchester Metropolitan University with a bachelor’s degree in Film, Television, and Cultural Studies in 2014, he has written for numerous movie and music websites. Visit Stephen’s personal blog, Quaranste, where he writes about guilty pleasure movies, his latest musical discoveries, and how he stays creative during global pandemics.







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