Christopher Nolan wants to bring the arms race to the big screen in the biggest way possible. The director, who has been obsessed with telling stories about time or significant moments in history, is in the final stages of finishing his latest film, Oppenheimer. The film centers around the true story of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the lead scientist behind the Manhattan Project and the creation of the atomic bomb.
Billed as a thriller that thrusts audiences into the pulse-pounding paradox of the enigmatic man who must risk destroying the world in order to save it, the film Cillian Murphy as the real-life figurehead who helped build the weapon of mass destruction. It also stars Emily Blunt as his wife, biologist, and botanist Katherine “Kitty” Oppenheimer. Oscar® winner Matt Damon portrays General Leslie Groves Jr., director of the Manhattan Project, and Robert Downey, Jr. plays Lewis Strauss, a founding commissioner of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission.
The film is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and the late Martin J. Sherwin. The film is produced by Emma Thomas, Atlas Entertainment’s Charles Roven, and Christopher Nolan.
And this wouldn’t be the first time that Nolan has chronicled World War II. He’s already done it in “Dunkirk.” But “Oppenheimer covers completely new territory for the director who hasn’t helmed a biopic of this size and scope. So it should be interesting to see how he can strike a balance between telling the title person’s life story with the spectacle (and destructive nature) of the explosions that come with testing nuclear bombs.
On the technical side of things, Oppenheimer is filmed in a combination of IMAX® 65mm and 65mm large-format film photography, including, for the first time ever, sections in IMAX® black and white analog photography. He used real-life explosives in order to recreate the Trinity nuclear tests.
The film also stars Florence Pugh, Benny Safdie, Michael Angarano, Josh Hartnett, and Kenneth Branagh.
Nolan’s films, including Tenet, Dunkirk, Interstellar, Inception and The Dark Knight trilogy, have earned more than $5 billion at the global box office and have been awarded 11 Oscars and 36 nominations, including two Best Picture nominations.
Oppenheimer opens in theaters on July 21, 2023.