According to Comic Book Resources, Christopher Nolan thinks his upcoming movie Oppenheimer could be considered a horror film.
One of the joys of following a director is watching them maneuver through genres. Even though every director has their own idiosyncratic voice and usually aligns themselves with a coterie of reliable collaborators, both in front of and behind the camera, most filmmakers try to make each new project feel wholly unique from their last effort.
The easiest way that most directors attempt to diversify their filmography is by working in a multitude of genres. Throughout his career, Christopher Nolan has ventured into a host of genres that seem, at least at first, entirely divergent from his previous work. Prior to working on his Dark Knight trilogy, few people would have envisioned Nolan helming a superhero movie.
At present, Nolan has worked in pretty much every genre, from superheroes to war films. However, with his new film Oppenheimer, it might seem like Nolan is working on a biopic, but according to Comic Book Resources, the director thinks certain critics branding the film as horror aren't wrong either.
Speaking with Wired, Nolan addressed the tone of Oppenheimer, which chronicles the life and work of theoretical physicist-turned-nuclear bomb developer J. Robert Oppenheimer. The award-winning helmer recalled a conversation with another filmmaker about Oppenheimerand the "darkness" it contained throughout. That talk, among early reviews of the film, led Nolan to agree with those who believe Oppenheimer should be branded a horror movie. "It is an intense experience, because it's an intense story. I showed it to a filmmaker recently, who said it's kind of a horror movie. I don't disagree," he said. "As I started to finish the film, I started to feel this color that's not in my other films, just darkness. It's there. The film fights against that."
Nolan revealed that the early screenings of Oppenheimer were so emotional for viewers that he saw "some people leave the movie absolutely devastated" after witnessing some of the film's hardest-hitting material. The movie was so taxing and dramatic for Nolan, he was "relieved" to complete it, though he enjoys watching it back. However, he understands if some moviegoers struggle with what they see when Oppenheimer hits cinemas, saying about the screening audience, "They can't speak. I mean, there's an element of fear that's there in the history and there in the underpinnings." He also quipped Oppenheimer captured the "most dramatic moment in history."