Oppenheimer Movie Script Was Modified By An Actor
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Christopher Nolan Allowed Actor to Modify Oppenheimer Movie Script

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BY August 3, 2023

The movie Oppenheimer continues to sweep theaters worldwide, and much of its success is due to the script. Viewers are thrilled to learn more about the process of creating the atomic bomb and the ordeal of its protagonist. Christopher Nolan wrote this plot. However, he admitted that some actors tweaked some parts.

In a recent interview, the director admitted allowing an actor to modify a line of the script of vital importance in Oppenheimer’s film. This caused several actors to dig a little deeper into the events during those times and complemented the narrative much more. Strangely, the filmmaker allowed such an action, but he explained his reasons for doing so.

Actor Modifies Important Line in Oppenheimer Movie Script

Oppenheimer true story: Who was J Robert Oppenheimer? | Radio Times

The director and screenwriter of Oppenheimer, Christopher Nolan, stated in an interview that there is a line in the script of the movie that he did not write. It is the scene where the protagonist, played by Cillian Murphy, has a meeting with Henry Stimson, the U.S. Secretary of War.

In this part, both Robert Oppenheimer and Stimson are discussing along with other officials. The conversation is about the places they will attack using the atomic bomb. In this part, the Secretary of War asked that Kyoto be removed from the list because it is the place where he had his honeymoon with his wife.

The filmmaker revealed in the interview that the actor who plays Stimson, James Remar, developed this part of the plot. After doing some research, the actor contributed his grain of sand to Oppenheimer’s movie script. In his research, he investigated several details of his character and discovered that he had his honeymoon in Kyoto. Besides that, he was the reason why they changed this part of the scene.

Christopher Nolan’s Comments to The New York Times

Nolan emphasized that initially, he would have designed the movie’s script around Oppenheimer’s character. However, he emphasized to all the actors portraying the secondary elements that they would investigate more. Several cast members did so, including Remar, according to Nolan’s comment to The New York Times, who told him: 

“There’s a moment where James Remar… He kept talking to me about how he learned that Stimson and his wife had honeymooned in Kyoto. That was one of the reasons that Stimson took Kyoto off the list to be bombed. I had him crossing the city off the list because of its cultural significance, but I’m like, ‘Just add that.’ It’s a fantastically exciting moment where no one in the room knows how to react.”

The Oppenheimer director also pointed out that it wasn’t the cast’s only change to the script because many did their homework and added something else to their character. Nolan pointed out another scene that was modified: the one where the scientists are discussing in the classroom.

In this part of the film, they had written what the conversation between the experts would be like. However, the director allowed them to improvise in this part as long as they showed both mastery and passion for their character. This indicated that this scene had more impact than initially planned in the script. On these changes to the Oppenheimer movie script, Nolan stated:

“Each actor was coming to the table with research about what their real-life counterpart had been. They had tons of homework to do. They had a great resource with ‘American Prometheus.’ They then did their own research and what it meant for me, which isn’t something I’d ever really been able to do in the past. So, for example, with the scene in the section classroom with all the scientists, we would be able to improvise the discussion. The script is there, but they could come into it with passion and knowledge based on all of their own learning”.   

A Flawed but Successful Story

Oppenheimer Movie Image: Universal

Criticism of Oppenheimer is growing daily, mostly positive, but there are some negative ones. The vast majority of them refer to historical errors in this film. Some parts of Oppenheimer’s movie script have some inaccuracies.  

However, it must be considered that it is an adaptation, and certain licenses were taken. For the moment, these inaccuracies do not affect the box office. The movie maintains the second place in terms of box office takings, with a total of 412 million dollars globally, being surpassed by Barbie, which already exceeds 500 million dollars in revenues. The results of these films surpassed the last installment of Mission Impossible, starring Tom Cruise. 

These results are quite good, considering the existing strike among actors and screenwriters against television and movie studios. Due to this, the actors cannot promote in any way the films to be released in theaters, streaming platforms and television.

If Oppenheimer continues in this way, it could exceed 500 million dollars in box office. This figure is very positive if we consider that the production costs were $100 million.

Featured Image Via Universal Pictures 

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I am a circus aerialist influenced by Dick Grayson and Spider-Man. Fortunate to write about the characters that inspired me. I also have a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and a Master's degree in International Trade.

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