‘Dunkirk’ Director Christopher Nolan To Direct Film About J. Robert Oppenheimer, The ‘Father of the Atomic Bomb’

(Original Caption) Washington: Dr. Oppenheimer Testifies. Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer (above) former head of the Los Alamos, N. M. Atomic Installation, as he told Joint Congressional atomic Energy Committee today he sees "no way" in which isotopes would better Russia's war potential if isotopes got into her hands.

Christopher Nolan, the director behind the riveting “Dunkirk” movie and the Batman “Dark Knight” trilogy, is preparing to tell the story of the atomic bomb race. Nolan will focus on scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer and his race to build the first atomic bomb during WWII. The movie will have an estimated budget of $100 million.

Oppenheimer was a Theoretical physicist and University of California Berkeley processor who started working with the U.S. government in 1942 to develop the world’s first A-bomb. He is often referred to as the “father of the atomic bomb.”

Robert Oppenheimer and Albert Einstein
Oppenheimer Learning from Einstein (Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

The choice to name Oppenheimer as the head of the program came as a surprise to many people in the scientific community. He was chosen by General Leslie Groves to lead the team which included more notable scientists, including Nobel Prize winners. Ultimately, under Oppenheimer’s surprising leadership, the Manhattan Project succeeded in winning the atomic bomb race.

In July 1945, Oppenheimer’s team set off their first test bomb. The test was of an implosion-design plutonium device that his team called “The Gadget.” The bomb is the same design as the Fat Man bomb which was later detonated over Nagasaki, Japan, on August 9, 1945.

Gadget Atomic Bomb
‘Gadget’, the first atomic bomb explodes at Alamogordo, New Mexico, on July 16, 1945. The successful test cleared the way for use of a nuclear device against Japan at the end of World War II. (Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

Following President Truman’s decision to drop atomic bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, Oppenheimer became wracked with guilt. Oppenheimer would become a pacifist following the atomic detonations in Japan.

The new movie is being produced by Universal Pictures, marking the first time in a decade that Nolan has stepped outside of his contract with Warner Bros. Nolan fled from his long-time partner studio after it promised to stream all of its new movies on HBO Max the same day as they’re released in theaters. Nolan reportedly visited with Sony, Paramount, and MGM before coming to a decision.

Details about the actual film have not yet been released. Given Nolan’s ability to tell stories about characters on the fringe of society and his excellent storytelling in Dunkirk, we’re excited to see what comes from his provocative and historically important story.

We’ll have to wait a while for the new atomic bomb movie to hit theaters. Filming is scheduled to start in early 2022 and a release date is expected for 2023.