A first brief glimpse of Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer has been offered in the form of a new teaser and you can see it below:
Oppenheimer stars Cillian Murphy and is a biopic of scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer. It will trace Oppenheimer’s role in the development of the atomic bomb during World War II. The scientist led the Manhattan Project, a research and development venture that emerged during World War II that eventually produced the first nuclear weapons.
Nolan is in the director’s chair, working alongside his producing partner Emma Thomas. The film is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer. It will be released in theaters on July 21, 2023.
As with all Christopher Nolan movies, the cast list is stellar, so with Murphy, you have Emily Blunt, Florence Pugh, Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr., Rami Malek, Josh Hartnett, Matthew Modine, Dane DeHaan, Jack Quaid, Dylan Arnold, Olli Haaskivi, Benny Safdie, Kenneth Branagh, Alden Ehrenreich, David Krumholtz and Michael Angarano.
Murphy plays Oppenheimer himself with Emily Blunt playing his wife, Kitty. Matt Damon will play Lieutenant General Leslie Richard Groves Jr, a United States Army Corps of Engineers officer who directed the Manhattan Project, while Robert Downey Jr. will play former US Secretary of Commerce Lewis Strauss.
Florence Pugh is set to play Jean Tatlock, a member of the Communist Party of the United States who had an affair with Oppenheimer, and Safdie will offer a portrait of Hungarian physicist Edward Teller, now known as the father of the hydrogen bomb. Dylan Arnold will play Oppenheimer’s brother Frank and Harnett will play pioneering nuclear scientist Ernest Lawrence.
The teaser doesn’t reveal much and largely consists of a series of characters talking about clips of fire and destruction, along with some new footage of Murphy in character.
Fire is the theme of this new ad, as you can see in the newly revealed poster for the film below:
Oppenheimer marks new territory for Nolan in many ways.
First and foremost, it’s Nolan’s first for Universal Pictures after his nine-film run with Warner Bros. came to an end with the release of Tenet in 2020; and second, the film is being shot on a combination of IMAX 65mm and 65mm wide-format film. It is the first time that a film has been made with sections in IMAX black and white analog photography. Nolan is an IMAX devotee and has used technology throughout his career.
Analysis: Is Oppenheimer new territory for Nolan?
While you could argue that with 2017’s Dunkirk, Nolan was portraying real events, but none of his characters ever existed, so making a drama around the life of a very real and very significant figure from the story changes Nolan’s dynamic a bit.
But a look at this teaser reveals that all of Nolan’s classic hallmarks are there. The elegant settings, the frenetic scoring, and its incredible ability to build tension with every frame.
It seems unlikely to be an intimate portrait with scenes of Murphy’s Oppenheimer hunched over lab tables. Like everything Nolan does, it has scale, pomp and enthusiasm. Rock next summer.