Christopher Nolan Calls Out 'Evil Streaming' Platforms While Explaining Why Audiences Should Own Oppenheimer

 Christopher Nolan directing Cillian Murphy on Oppenheimer set.
Christopher Nolan directing Cillian Murphy on Oppenheimer set.

Christopher Nolan been a Hollywood heavy-hitter for two decades now, but there’s no question that this year has been one of the biggest of his career. In addition to Oppenheimer earning critical acclaim, his contribution to the 2023 movies schedule has grossed nearly $950 million worldwide, making it this year’s third highest-grossing movie. Oppenheimer is now just days away from being able to buy on home media, and while explaining why audiences should physically own his latest movie, Nolan called out the “evil streaming” platforms.

Anyone who follows along with the filmmaker knows the man not only values the theatrical experience, but also isn’t particularity fond of streaming services. Nolan is among the cinephiles who believe it’s important to own a physical copy of a movie rather than rely on streaming services or digital versions, and he brought this up while attending an Oppenheimer screening in Los Angeles. He started off by saying (via 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.

As Christopher Nolan laid out, there’s no substitute for being able to truly own a movie and hold the disc in your hands. He also mentioned that a lot of work was poured into making Oppenheimer’s physical release the best it could be since he knows how many people will be watching his latest movie, be it for the first time or as rewatches, in the comfort of their homes for years to come. While continuing to address that subject, the director threw in a snipe at streaming services:

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.

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Perhaps the most well-known example of Nolan’s distaste of streaming services is when he cut ties with Warner Bros. in 2021 after the studio decided to release all its movies that year both in theaters and directly to HBO Max subscribers on the same day, which was done in response to the pandemic. This led to Nolan setting Oppenheimer up at Universal, although it remains to be seen if his future movies will be released by that studio too or elsewhere.

But as far as his most recent statement goes, while “steal” might be a tad strong a term, he does bring up a good point about how streaming services often remove movies from their platforms, whether they’re licensed out from other sources or even ones they outright own/have access to through their parent companies. Now granted, there will come a day when people with a Peacock subscription will be able to stream Oppenheimer, but Nolan is still insistent that anyone who’s remotely interested in the movie obtain a physical copy so they can stick it on their shelf and never worry about these studios/companies taking it away from them.

Oppenheimer becomes available to purchase on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD on November 21, as well digitally for those of you who don’t mind your collection of movies being something intangible. Also, keep your eyes peeled on CinemaBlend for when Oppenheimer will premiere on Peacock, as well as what Christopher Nolan’s next movie will be about.