Did Japan ban Oppenheimer?

Chris Tilly
Cillian Murphy in Oppenheimer

Did Japan ban Oppenheimer? Christopher Nolan’s latest movie explores the creation of the atomic bomb and its subsequent use – here’s what you need to know about if the movie is banned in Japan.

Oppenheimer hits screens on July 21, 2023. On the same day as Barbie. Heralding the biggest box office battle of the year.

Christopher Nolan movies normally make a mint at the box office. The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises both grossed more than $1 billion. While Inception, Interstellar, and even a period piece like Dunkirk were all bona fide blockbusters.

But Oppenheimer is a challenge. At three hours, the movie is Nolan’s longest yet. While multiple sequences play out in black and white. With a reported $100 million budget, the film will have to do big business globally to turn a profit. But there are rumors Oppenheimer might not even release in one major territory.

Did Japan ban Oppenheimer?

At this point in time, Japan has not banned Oppenheimer.

But due to Nolan’s movie revolving around the creation of the atomic bomb – and knowing what followed – there remains a chance that Universal might decide to not release Oppenheimer in the country.

Here’s how Variety recently described the issue: “Oppenheimer centers on American theoretical physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer (played by Cillian Murphy), who led the efforts to build the weapons of mass destruction that ended the war. Approximately 200,000 Japanese civilians died after two atomic bombs were dropped in 1945 over the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Though the movie’s focus may not be enough to prevent the country from playing Oppenheimer in its theaters, if it does secure a release date, it’s not clear that Japanese moviegoers will be interested in seeing a film about the topic.”

At the end of June, Variety reported a spokesperson from the studio stating: “Plans have not been finalized in all markets.” Since then, rumors have raged that it will be shut out of the country. But the decision still rests with Toho-Towa – who release American films in Japan – and who had not seen the film when that statement was issued.

Oppenheimer hits most territories next week, but Japan normally falls at the end of a film’s release schedule, so it remains to be seen what will happen in the country.

Oppenheimer is in cinemas now, and you can find more coverage below:

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About The Author

Chris Tilly is the TV and Movies Editor at Dexerto. He has a BA in English Literature, an MA in Newspaper Journalism, and over the last 20 years, he's worked for the likes of Time Out, IGN, and Fandom. Chris loves Star Wars, Marvel, DC, sci-fi, and especially horror, while he knows maybe too much about Alan Partridge. You can email him here: chris.tilly@dexerto.com.