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Oppenheimer Trailer: Cillian Murphy Muses on the Destructive Power of the First Atomic Bomb

Oppenheimer trailer is here. The upcoming much-awaited biopic from Christopher Nolan, directed by Cillian Murphy, got a new trailer early Monday (India time), which explores the politics and drama surrounding the creation of the first atomic bomb. While World War II is not uncharted territory for Nolan – Dunkirk was set in the same period – it would be the first time he has cast longtime collaborator Murphy as the lead in one of his films. And in contrast to Oppenheimer teaser trailer, which debuted in July and is still running as a live stream, this new one Oppenheimer trailer is presented in color. The film itself is ready to switch to monochrome film stocks periodically.

That Oppenheimer trailer opens with an explosion, with engulfing flames turning into snow-like ash, depicting the eerie aftermath of the detonation. “We imagine a future, and our imaginings terrify us,” theoretical physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer (Murphy) tells us as we are presented with landscape images of the site of the US government-controlled Manhattan Project in the midst of World War II. “They won’t fear it until they understand it. And they won’t understand it until they’ve used it.” That Oppenheimer the trailer is quite dreamlike, in what feel like memory vignettes, where the titular physicist appears to be a troubled man whose faults are ignored in favor of his brilliance.

“I don’t know if we can trust such a weapon. But we have no choice,” he says horrified in the Oppenheimer trailer, contemplating the unprecedented, destructive force he has created. There is a brief shot of Josh Peck (Drake and Josh) as American physicist Kenneth Bainbridge, who can be seen flicking some switches before the Trinity explosion is triggered. Jack Quaid (The Boys) as theoretical physicist Richard Feynman is also seen anxiously awaiting the test results with his peers. Throughout Oppenheimer trailer, if you pay close attention, you might hear the ticking of a geiger counter similar to the HBO miniseries Chernobyl, which is an instrument used to detect ionizing radiation. As the timer ticks down, we see a hand, presumably Oppenheimer’s, hover over a large red button, though we never get to see the giant mushroom cloud.

Director Nolan, who is notorious for avoiding CGI in his films, confirmed last week that the nuclear explosion in the upcoming Oppenheimer was practically recreated. “I think to recreate the Trinity test [the first nuclear detonation in New Mexico] without the use of computer graphics was a huge challenge to tackle,” he told Total Film. “Andrew Jackson – my visual effects supervisor, I brought him on board early – looked at how we could practically do many of the visuals in the film, 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, much of which was needed for the film, in terms of the very harsh conditions out there – there were great practical challenges.”

In addition to Murphy, Peck, and Quaid, Oppenheimer also stars Robert Downey Jr. as Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission Lewis Strauss, Matt Damon as Manhattan Project director Leslie Groves Jr., Emily Blunt as wife Katherine Oppenheimer, Florence Pugh as Jean Tatlock, who had a relationship with Oppenheimer, Benny Safdie as Edward Teller, Rami Malek, Kenneth Branagh and Gary Oldman.

The film marks Nolan’s first collaboration with Universal Pictures, after serving a nearly two-decade stint with Warner Bros. That switch came about because Nolan didn’t take too well to Warner releasing all major 2021 films on its streaming platform HBO Max under Covid19 pandemic. (Nolan’s last film at Warner, Tenet, was not affected by that decision.)

Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer releases exclusively in theaters on July 21, 2023 in India and around the world.


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