Cillian Murphy Ponders Morality in Christopher Nolan’s Explosive New ‘Oppenheimer’ Trailer

"They won't fear it until they understand it, and they won't understand it until they use it."

Universal Pictures has shared the first official trailer for Christopher Nolan’s upcoming film Oppenheimer starring Cillian Murphy. The film chronicles the life of J. Robert Oppenheimer, a theoretical physicist known as the “father of the atomic bomb.” The protagonist was a crucial player in the Manhattan Project, a government research undertaking to develop nuclear weapons in the 1940s.

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“We imagine a future, and our imaginings horrify us,” Murphy’s Oppenheimer says in narration. Footage of explosions and the desert location of the Los Alamos Laboratory roll as he grapples with the morality of his duties. “They won’t fear it until they understand it, and they won’t understand it until they use it.” The film is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin. Additional cast members include Robert Downey Jr., Florence Pugh, Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Rami Malek, and Benny Safdie.

Shot in New Mexico, the film used a combination of IMAX 65mm and 65mm large-format photography along with sections of IMAX black-and-white analog film. Christopher Nolan recently confirmed that storytelling will oscillate between color photography and black-and-white similar to his 2000 film Memento. Additionally, Nolan also revealed that his team recreated a nuclear explosion for the film “without the use of computer graphics.”

Oppenheimer premieres in theaters on July 21, 2023. You can view the first official trailer in the player above.

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