Christopher Nolan’s R-rated historical drama “Oppenheimer,” shattered Hollywood expectations and brought in a staggering $80.5 million in its opening weekend. The reviews have been amazing and the movie may hand James Woods a best picture Oscar.
“Around the world, we’ve seen sellouts at 4 a.m. shows and people traveling hours across borders to see ‘Oppenheimer’ in Imax 70mm,” says Imax CEO Rich Gelfond. “This is a phenomenon beyond compare in Imax and we’re just getting started.”
“This is a 1940s period piece,” says Universal’s president of domestic distribution Jim Orr. “That speaks volumes to the appeal of Nolan and his prowess as a filmmaker. He has an amazing reputation for storytelling in the biggest format possible.”
None of it would have happened without James Woods. An old friend from MIT couldn’t get the movie made so he reached out to Woods who got it done. James is as an executive producer on the film.
He said recently: “Because I wholeheartedly support both my unions (SAG-AFTRA and WGA) while on strike, I am not allowed to do promotional work on productions in which I performed services as an actor or writer.
“I am extremely proud of this work as an executive producer, however. #Oppenheimer”
After the movies received an A from CinemaScore, Woods said:
“Our audiences are why we make movies. Thank you for your support.
“And thank you for supporting our striking actors and writers.
According to The LA Times:
Then in September of 2021 — 40 years after Sherwin started the book and 16 since it was published — a friend of Bird’s sent him a curious item in Variety noting that Nolan’s next project would be about Oppenheimer.
Bird and Sherwin had heard nothing about this. “I assumed maybe he was using a different book, or just going from the public record,” Bird said.
But Nolan was indeed basing his movie on “American Prometheus,” thanks in part to the tenacity of someone who had never worked in Hollywood. Since 2015, the film rights had been under option by J. David Wargo, a successful New York businessman who studied physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was itching to get the book into production. Various scripts had been commissioned and rejected.
“Then, during the midst of the pandemic, Wargo got frustrated with the project and flew out to L.A. on a rented private plane and went to Hollywood,” Bird explained.
In L.A., Wargo met with the actor James Woods, an old friend, who set up a meeting with Charles Roven, one of Nolan’s longtime producers. Roven handed the book to the director. (Wargo and Woods are both executive producers on “Oppenheimer.”)
As it happened, Nolan had recently completed “Tenet,” a movie that references the atomic bomb, and one of its stars, Robert Pattinson, had given the director a book of Oppenheimer’s speeches as a wrap gift.
I was today years old that I learned James Woods is an executive producer on Oppenheimer. Hope he wins a Best Picture Oscar! https://t.co/CAREdeb9gN
— Andrew @ Don’t Walk, RUN! (@DontWalkRUN) July 22, 2023
Because I wholeheartedly support both my unions (SAG-AFTRA and WGA) while on strike, I am not allowed to do promotional work on productions in which I performed services as an actor or writer.
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) July 18, 2023