Christopher Nolan Says Streaming-Only Content Is a ‘Danger’ and Can ‘Get Taken Down,’ Guillermo del Toro Calls Owning Physical Media a ‘Responsibility’

Christopher Nolan made headlines earlier this month when he took a playful jab at streaming platforms while discussing the upcoming home release of “Oppenheimer.” The atomic bomb drama, which grossed a staggering $950 million in theaters worldwide, is hitting Blu-ray and other digital platforms this month. Nolan said at a recent “Oppenheimer” screening that it’s important to own the film on Blu-ray so that “no evil streaming service can come steal it from you.”

“It was a joke when I said it. But nothing’s a joke when it’s transcribed onto the internet,” Nolan recently told The Washington Post in a follow-up interview.

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“There is a danger, these days, that if things only exist in the streaming version they do get taken down, they come and go,” the director added.

Streamers have become notoriously known in the last year for pulling original titles from their platforms in order to license them out elsewhere and open up potential revenue streams. When such titles are streaming-only offerings, their removal makes it impossible to view the films elsewhere. Such was the case this year with the Disney+ movie “Crater,” for instance. The streaming-only family adventure was pulled from Disney+ in June and could not be viewed anywhere until it was reissued as a digital release months later in September. For Nolan, owning physical media is the only way to combat such streaming trends.

Guillermo del Toro agrees, having shared Nolan’s recent quotes on X (formerly Twitter) and adding his own commentary on the issue.

“Physical media is almost a Fahrenheit 451 (where people memorized entire books and thus became the book they loved) level of responsibility,” del Toro wrote to his followers. “If you own a great 4K HD, Blu-ray, DVD etc etc of a film or films you love…you are the custodian of those films for generations to come.”

Nolan previously said that he has spent months preparing “Oppenheimer” for home release so that the Blu-ray version of the film sounds and looks as pristine as the film’s theatrical release.

“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,” Nolan said. “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.”

“‘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,” he continued. “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.”

“Oppenheimer” arrives Nov. 21 on Blu-ray and digital platforms.

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