Christopher Nolan Calls Streaming Services “Evil” Ahead of Oppenheimer’s Physical Release

The FPS Review may receive a commission if you purchase something after clicking a link in this article.

Image: Universal Pictures

Oppenheimer is out on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and other platforms tomorrow, but if its director had a choice, it’d probably be available to watch on disc only.

Speaking during a Los Angeles screening of Oppenheimer last week, director Christopher Nolan threw a new jab at streaming services, calling them “evil” in front of crew members as he highlighted all of the special attention that his team had given toward the movie’s impending physical releases.

Everyone knows that physical has streaming beat in terms of video and audio quality, but what Nolan seems to be particularly peeved about here is the spontaneity of today’s streaming platforms—or, more specifically, titles suddenly disappearing without a trace—per his statement about how “no evil streaming service can come steal it from you.”

Here’s what Nolan had to say, per Variety:

Obviously Oppenheimer has been quite a ride for us and now it is time for me to release a home version of the film. I’ve been working very hard on it for months. I’m known for my love of theatrical and put my whole life into that, but, the truth is, the way the film goes out at home is equally important.

The Dark Knight was one of the first films where we formatted it specially for Blu-ray release because it was a new form at the time. And in the case of Oppenheimer, we put a lot of care and attention into the Blu-ray version… and trying to translate the photography and the sound, putting that into the digital realm with a version you can buy and own at home and put on a shelf so no evil streaming service can come steal it from you.

Funny enough, The Dark Knight’s Blu-ray release wasn’t the greatest one, featuring a transfer that was severely over-sharpened in an effort to match its IMAX scenes, but Oppenheimer looks to be one of Nolan’s better efforts, with a gallery of sample screenshots here that show off what the UHD looks like.

In a separate event at CUNY, Nolan suggested that he doesn’t really like the idea of Oppenheimer being regarded as a biopic, although that’s pretty much what it is, telling the story of the American theoretical physicist who later went on to becoming, for better or worse, the “father of the atomic bomb”:

It’s not a useful genre. I love working in useful genres. In this film…it’s the heist film as it applies to the Manhattan Project and the courtroom drama as it applies to the security hearings. It’s very useful to look at the conventions of those genres and how they can pull the audience and how they can give me communication with the audience.

Here’s a portion of Universal Pictures’ description for Oppenheimer, which has earned $950,191,715 worldwide since its release in July, according to figures from Box Office Mojo:

Written and directed by Christopher Nolan, Oppenheimer is an IMAX-shot epic thriller that thrusts audiences into the pulse-pounding paradox of the enigmatic man who must risk destroying the world in order to save it.

The film stars Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer and Emily Blunt as his wife, biologist and botanist Katherine “Kitty” Oppenheimer. Oscar winner Matt Damon portrays General Leslie Groves Jr., director of the Manhattan Project, and Robert Downey, Jr. plays Lewis Strauss, a founding commissioner of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission.

The film is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and the late Martin J. Sherwin. The film is produced by Emma Thomas, Atlas Entertainment’s Charles Roven and Christopher Nolan.

Oppenheimer is filmed in a combination of IMAX 65mm and 65mm large-format film photography including, for the first time ever, sections in IMAX black and white analogue photography.

Join the discussion for this post on our forums...

Tsing Mui
Tsing has been writing the news for over 5 years, first at [H]ard|OCP and now at The FPS Review. He has a background in journalism and makes sure to give his readers the relevant context to why each news post matters.

Recent News