Trailer for ‘Oppenheimer’ Released – Here’s What We Know About the Movie

Photo Credit: GLOWWORM / MovieStillsDB

The trailer for the much-anticipated biopic about notable theoretical physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer has been released. Directed by Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight trilogy, Dunkirk), the film is slated for release during the competitive summer box office season in 2023. If the trailer is anything to go by, Oppenheimer has a chance of becoming one of the year’s most successful films.

Who was J. Robert Oppenheimer?

Portrait of J. Robert Oppenheimer
J. Robert Oppenheimer. (Photo Credit: CORBIS / Getty Images)

J. Robert Oppenheimer was an American theoretical physicist known as the “father of the atomic bomb” for his work on the Manhattan Project. From an early age, he showed an interest in education, but it wasn’t until his final year at the Ethical Culture Society School that he decided to pursue chemistry. He went on to study the subject at Harvard University, before continuing his studies in Europe, where he earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree at just 23 years old.

Oppenheimer subsequently returned to the United States, where he made contributions to a number of physics-related fields. When the Second World War began, the theoretical physicist became involved in the development of the first atomic bomb. Dubbed the “Manhattan Project” by the US Army in June 1942, it involved the construction of the laboratory at Los Alamos (Project Y), where the best scientists were brought together.

As the war progressed, anxiety increased over the possibility the Germans could develop an atomic bomb before the US, which added pressure to the some 3,000 physicists employed by Oppenheimer at Los Alamos. He focused his energy on developing a process to separate uranium-235 from natural uranium, which would allow him to determine the critical mass needed to create a nuclear device.

Fast forward to July 1945, Oppenheimer was present at the “Trinity” test in New Mexico, the first time an atomic bomb was successfully detonated. This led to the deployment of Fat Man and Little Boy, which devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and forced Japan to surrender.

Following World War II, Oppenheimer served as the chairman of the General Advisory Commission, fighting for control measures when it came to nuclear power, to prevent an arms race with the Soviet Union. He also opposed the development of the hydrogen bomb. This caused disagreements with military and government officials, which led the theoretical physicist to lose his security clearance in 1954. US officials have since come out to say this shouldn’t have happened.

What is Oppenheimer about?

Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer in 'Oppenheimer'
Oppenheimer, 2023. (Photo Credit: yassi / MovieStillsDB)

Directed by Christopher Nolan, Oppenheimer is a biographical film based on American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer, a biography written by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin. Published in 2005, the book went on to win the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography and was named the Chicago Tribune‘s Best Book of the Year.

Put together following two decades of research, American Prometheus covers Oppenheimer’s involvement in the Manhattan Project and his later pivot into a figurehead for atomic bomb ethics and political discourse. The book also delves into the theoretical physicist’s personal life and his relationships with others in the field.

In a recent interview with Total Film, Nolan shared that any preconceived notions about the film need to be thrown away, saying, “It’s a story of immense scope and scale, and one of the most challenging projects I’ve ever taken on in terms of the scale of it, in terms of encountering the breadth of Oppenheimer’s story. There were big, logistical challenges, big practical challenges. But I had an extraordinary crew, and they really stepped up.”

What we know about the film thus far

Christopher Nolan was announced as heading Oppenheimer in September 2021, with Universal Pictures as the film’s distributor. A star-studded cast was then announced, with Irish actor Cillian Murphy portraying the famed theoretical physicist, alongside co-stars Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr., Florence Pugh, Gary Oldman, Josh Harnett and Rami Malek.

Filming for the project began in February 2022 and wrapped that May, with a production budget of $100 million. It then entered post-production, with Nolan teaming up with Ludwig Göransson for the movie’s score. The composer had previously worked with the director on Tenet (2020).

Most interesting is the fact Nolan was able to recreate the first ever atomic explosion without the use of computer-generated imagery (CGI). Speaking with Total Film, the director said the task was a huge undertaking:

“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.”

More from us: Apple TV+ Teases Release of Miniseries Developed By Creators of ‘Band of Brothers’

Oppenheimer is slated to debut in theaters on July 21, 2023.

Clare Fitzgerald

Clare Fitzgerald is a Writer and Editor with eight years of experience in the online content sphere. Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from King’s University College at Western University, her portfolio includes coverage of digital media, current affairs, history and true crime.

Among her accomplishments are being the Founder of the true crime blog, Stories of the Unsolved, which garners between 400,000 and 500,000 views annually, and a contributor for John Lordan’s Seriously Mysterious podcast. Prior to its hiatus, she also served as the Head of Content for UK YouTube publication, TenEighty Magazine.

In her spare time, Clare likes to play Pokemon GO and re-watch Heartland over and over (and over) again. She’ll also rave about her three Maltese dogs whenever she gets the chance.

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