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SYFY WIRE Oppenheimer

Christopher Nolan Calls Barbenheimer Double Feature "Terrific" Idea

Oppenheimer's director is ready for the Barbenheimer phenomenon.

In a little more than a week, Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer and Greta Gerwig's Barbie will drop in theaters simultaneously, creating what many moviegoers have already dubbed the must-see double feature of the summer. For Nolan, that's just fine. 

"Summer, in a healthy marketplace, is always crowded, and we've been doing this a long time,” Nolan told IGN while promoting his new film about the legendary theoretical physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer. “I think for those of us who care about movies, we've been really waiting to have a crowded marketplace again, and now it's here and that's terrific."

Nolan's star, Cillian Murphy, is also on board, and ready to see Barbie as soon as he gets the chance. 

"I think it's great. I mean, I'll be going to see Barbie. I can't wait to see it,” Murphy said. “I think it's just great for the industry and for audiences that we have two amazing films by amazing filmmakers coming out the same day. Could spend a whole day in the cinema, what's better than that?"

(L to R) Cillian Murphy and Christopher Nolan work on the set of Oppenheimer (2023).

RELATED: Barbenheimer Explained

This is certainly not the first time that two anticipated films have gone head-to-head at the box office on an opening weekend, but moviegoers seem to have especially embraced this one, even giving it the "Barbenheimer" moniker and creating memes galore. Theater chains have already reported that tens of thousands of fans have booked double features that will allow them to see both films in one weekend (or even in one day), and even Tom Cruise -- whose competing Mission: Impossible film is already in theaters -- has gotten in on the action. It definitely makes sense that Nolan and Murphy would follow suit, and that Gerwig and Barbie star Margot Robbie would do the same thing on their side of the double feature. In terms of the final box office, Barbie might still have the upper hand thanks to its PG-13 rating (with Nolan's three-hour epic Rated R), but both films are in for a healthy reception from audiences.

Released by Warner Bros. Pictures, Barbie will tell the story of the title doll (Robbie) and her friends as they start to ponder the implications of the real world and even plan a journey to see what life among humans is all about. Released by Universal Pictures, Oppenheimer will follow the title physicist as he becomes the father of the atomic bomb, then examine the fallout from his own creation. 

Both films are in theaters July 21. Get tickets now at Fandango.