Christopher Nolan’s latest film, complete with a star-studded cast that includes Cillian Murphy, Florence Pugh, Rami Malek, Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr and Emily Blunt, is the twisted true story of the man who gave the world nuclear warfare.
With over 11 Academy Awards from 36 nominations, British filmmaker Christopher Nolan is widely considered one of Hollywood’s very best directors.
From mind-bending Inception to space drama Interstellar, along with Tenet and Christian Bale’s Batman trilogy, Nolan has a reputation for thrillingly complex and high-octane films with a touch of darkness.
We can expect his latest film, Oppenheimer, a gritty thriller about the scientist who invented the atomic bomb, to be no different then.
When The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that Cillian Murphy and Emily Blunt had been cast as leads, we knew this film was going to be a special one. Then the already starry cast reached new heights with the announcements of Florence Pugh, Rami Malek, Matt Damon and Robert Downey Jr all featuring in the blockbuster.
Now, we finally have our first glimpse of Cillian Murphy in the anticipated film’s new trailer. With that, here’s everything you need to know about Oppenheimer.
What’s the plot of Oppenheimer?
As per Deadline, the upcoming biopic will track the life of J. Robert Oppenheimer (played by Murphy), the scientist who ran the Manhattan Project that led to the invention of the atomic bomb. Blunt will take on a role as his wife, Katherine “Kitty” Oppenheimer Vissering.
Universal describes the project 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.”
Who stars in Oppenheimer?
As the release date edges closer, the cast has shaped up to be a star-studded one.
Murphy and Blunt were the first join “what is believed to be an all-star ensemble,” which later added Hollywood legends Matt Damon and Robert Downey Jr to the cast, alongside Florence Pugh, Rami Malek and Benny Sadie. Talk about star power.
Pugh will play Jean Tatlock, a member of the Communist Party of the United States who has an off-and-on affair with Oppenheimer and was the cause of major security concerns for government officials.
Benny Safdie will take the role of Edward Teller, the Hungarian physicist who is known as the father of the hydrogen bomb and a member of the Manhattan Project, the U.S. research initiative that developed the first atomic bomb.
Malek is playing a scientist.
Damon was previously confirmed as Lt. Gen. Leslie Groves, the director of the Manhattan Project. Downey is playing Lewis Strauss, the infamous chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission who initiated hearings that questioned Oppenheimer’s loyalty to the United States and famously had the scientist’s security clearance revoked.
The newest additions include You’s Dylan Arnold and Manifest actor Olli Haaskivi. We know that Arnold will play Oppenheimer’s younger brother, Frank Oppenheimer, but Haaskivi’s character details have not yet been revealed.
Nolan will write and direct the film, while his creative partner and wife, Emma Thomas, will produce with Charles Roven of Atlas Entertainment.
What is the true story behind Oppenheimer?
Nolan’s Oppenheimer is based on American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer, a 2005 book by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin that won the Pulitzer Prize.
J. Robert Oppenheimer (1904-1967) was an American theoretical physicist. During the Manhattan Project – the World War II project that produced the first ever nuclear weapons – Oppenheimer was director of the Los Alamos Laboratory and responsible for the research and design of an atomic bomb.
A child genius and Harvard graduate, Oppenheimer is widely considered the “father of the atomic bomb”.
The first ever atomic bomb was detonated in New Mexico on 16 July 1945. Later, in August 1945 two atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which ultimately pushed the Japanese to surrender to US forces.
Oppenheimer was largely credited with the success of the Manhattan Project, however he spoke about feeling that “he had blood on his hands” for his role in its development.
In 1946, Oppenheimer told a university audience that when the Manhattan Project team spoke of what they had done, “we thought of the legend of Prometheus, of that deep sense of guilt in man’s new powers that reflects his recognition of evil, and his long knowledge of it.” He felt he held responsibility for the ensuing arms race and threat to civilization brought about by the bomb.
Later in his life, along with Albert Einstein, he established the World Academy of Art and Science in 1960. He continued lecturing physics around the world, before passing away from throat cancer in 1967.
Is there a trailer for Oppenheimer?
There most certainly is and it’s a chaotic, tense whirlwind of a trailer. In it, we hear multiple voices talking about Oppenheimer. “This is your moment,” Blunt can be heard saying.
“You gave them the power to destroy themselves – it made him the most important man who ever lived,” one voice declares.
As the countdown to the film’s release date flashes up on the screen, it’s also joined by another countdown of 11 months, 24 days, 15 hours, 29 minutes – alluding to the launch of the first nuclear weapon by the United States at 5:29am on 16 July 1945. Teamed with the tense sound effects of the trailer, you get the sense that this is going to be one hell of a cinematic release.
Watch it for yourself here:
When will Oppenheimer be available to watch?
Oppenheimer will be released in cinemas on 21 July 2023.
Too long to wait? Check out our list of the other best biopics of 2022 that you should most certainly have on your radar.
Images: Universal Pictures; Getty