Following 2020's Tenet, Christopher Nolan is back to big screens with his next project Oppenheimer, which tells the story of the father of the atomic bomb, J Robert Oppenheimer. A new trailer for the movie was recently dropped, which shows Cillian Murphy in the titular role as he builds a team responsible for the invention of the atom bomb.
Written and directed by Nolan, the movie will be jointly produced by Nolan and his wife Emma Thomas, Atlas Entertainment's Charles Roven and Universal Pictures. The filmmaker will reunite with some of his longtime collaborators for the film, including cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema, editor Jennifer Lame, and composer Ludwig Göransson.
Here are five things to know about Oppenheimer before its release on July 21, 2023.
5 interesting facts to know about Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer
1) The movie is a biopic on J Robert Oppenheimer
The film will revolve around the story of J Robert Oppenheimer, who is more popularly known as the father of the atomic bomb. Oppenheimer was a scientist who led The Manhattan Project for the United States of America during World War II.
An adaptation of the book, American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin, the movie is expected to be a biographical take on the scientist's life and his work on nuclear warfare.
The film will also explore in detail the personal events that occurred in the man's life, from his love affairs to his academic rivals, as well as the political issues that later affected the scientist's life.
2) Cillian Murphy will play the titular role
Oppenheimer marks the sixth collaboration between Christopher Nolan and Cillian Murphy, following Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight (2008), Inception (2010), The Dark Knight Rises (2012), and Dunkirk (2017). Murphy will play the lead role of the eponymous scientist, which also makes it the first time the actor stars in a lead role in a Nolan film.
Murphy is supported by an ensemble cast that includes the likes of Emily Blunt as his wife Katherine, Matt Damon as General Leslie Groves Jr., Robert Downey, Jr. as Lewis Strauss, and Florence Pugh plays psychiatrist Jean Tatlock. The film also stars Gary Oldman, Rami Malek, Benny Safdie, Josh Hartnett, Kenneth Branagh, Dane DeHaan, and Dylan Arnold, among others.
3) The movie will be released by Universal Pictures
Unlike most of Nolan's films which have been produced and distributed by Warner Bros., Oppenheimer will be distributed by Universal Pictures. The movie marks the director's first collaboration with Universal following his falling out with Warner Bros. after the studio announced that their future films will be released on the same day in theaters as well as on the streaming platform HBOMax.
After a heated bidding war that involved some of Hollywood's biggest film studios, Universal won and was chosen as the film's distributor in September 2021. This will be the first Christopher Nolan movie since Memento (2000) to not be distributed by Warner Bros.
4) The movie will feature minimal CGI
Christopher Nolan's films are known for their practical imagery and realistic portrayal. Like his previous works, the new movie will also feature minimal computer-generated imagery.
In a recent interview with Total Film, the director explained the challenges behind recreating the Trinity nuclear test without the help of graphics:
"I think recreating the Trinity test without the use of computer graphics was a huge challenge to take on. 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...there were huge practical challenges."
5) Nolan made several demands to Universal Pictures regarding the film
Before Universal Pictures was signed on as producers, the studio had to agree on several demands that Nolan required from them. From complete creative control to a 100-day theatrical window, Universal had to agree to the conditions placed by the director.
Nolan's demands also included a production budget of around $100 million and an equal marketing budget, 20 percent of the movie's first-dollar gross, and a six-week blackout period where the studio cannot release another film three weeks before and after the release of the film.