Margot Robbie’s cut-throat response to Oppenheimer producer’s request

‘Barbie’ star and producer was asked to change her film’s release date to avoid clashing with ‘Oppenheimer’

Margot Robbie has recalled standing her ground against an Oppenheimer producer who requested that Barbie change its cinematic release date to avoid clashing with Christopher Nolan’s war drama.

The 33-year-old Barbie star and producer shared the anecdote with Oppenheimer lead Cillian Murphy on a recent episode of Variety’s “Actors on Actors”.

“One of your producers, Chuck Roven, called me, because we worked together on some other projects,” Robbie remembered.

“And he was like, ‘I think you guys should move your date.’ And I was like, ‘We’re not moving our date. If you’re scared to be up against us, then you move your date.’ And he’s like, ‘We’re not moving our date. I just think it’d be better for you to move.’ And I was like, ‘We’re not moving! I think this is a really great pairing, actually’.”

Both blockbusters were ultimately released in cinemas on the same day – 21 June – creating a global summer phenomenon, coined Barbenheimer.

The viral frenzy saw fans going to see Greta Gerwig’s existentialist comedy the same day as Nolan’s three-hour biopic about the “Father of the Atomic Bomb” J Robert Oppenheimer.

“It’s a perfect double billing… Clearly the world agreed. Thank God,” Robbie added.

The Peaky Blinders alum, 47, explained that Nolan is a bit superstitious about that specific date, revealing that a majority of the director’s films are typically released on or around that time.

In the first 17 days of its global release, Barbie surpassed $1bn at the box office, breaking several records, including making Gerwig the first-ever solo female filmmaker with a billion-dollar hit. The movie is currently the number-one-grossing film of 2023.

Oppenheimer, meanwhile, earned a jaw-dropping $952.6m at the global box office, making it the third-highest-grossing film of 2023.

According to data from research company The Quorum, Oppenheimer received a significant box office boost thanks to the commercial success of Gerwig’s picture.

The two films both earned rave feedback, with The Independent’s film critic Clarisse Loughrey declaring Barbie a “near-miraculous achievement” in her five-star review. She separately praised Oppenheimer for being “clever and imaginative” in her four-star review.

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