The movie stars Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer, the scientist who ran the Manhattan Project that directed the creation of the atomic bomb during World War II. The movie has been defined as an “epic thriller that thrusts audiences into the pulse-pounding paradox of the enigmatic man who must risk destroying the world in order to save it.”
When creating the movie, Nolan had the dream of creating a nuclear explosion without using any CGI. He said: “I think recreating the Trinity test [the first nuclear weapon detonation, in New Mexico] without the use of computer graphics, was a huge challenge to take on. Andrew Jackson – my visual effects supervisor, I got him on board early on – was looking at how we could do a lot of the visual elements of the film practically, from representing quantum dynamics and quantum physics to the Trinity test itself, to recreating, with my team, Los Alamos up on a mesa in New Mexico in extraordinary weather, a lot of which was needed for the film, in terms of the very harsh conditions out there – there were huge practical challenges.”
This featurette focus on the parts of the movie and jokes that Nolan and his team had to detonate a real nuke to get the ideal shot for the movie.
Murphy is joined in the movie by Emily Blunt as biologist and botanist Kitty Oppenheimer; Robert Downey, Jr. as founding commissioner of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission Lewis Strauss; Matt Damon as Manhattan Project director Leslie Groves Jr.; Florence Pugh as psychiatrist Jean Tatlock; Benny Safdie as theoretical physicist Edward Teller; and Josh Hartnett as pioneering American nuclear scientist Ernest Lawrence. The movie also stars Rami Malek, Gary Oldman, Michael Angarano, Olivia Thirlby, Dane DeHaan, Jack Quaid, Matthew Modine, Alden Ehrenreich, Jason Clarke, David Krumholtz, Kenneth Branagh, and David Dastmalchian.
Oppenheimer will be released in theaters on July 21, 2023.