“Oppenheimer” is here, and while the world might not be forever changed, the trailer will certainly be an event.
Universal Pictures unveiled the full trailer of Christopher Nolan’s upcoming biographical feature about J. Robert Oppenheimer to CinemaCon 2023 attendees Wednesday night to rapturous applause from the audience. During the presentation, Nolan, who called the physicist “the most important person who ever lived” onstage, revealed that the trailer will release to the public in two weeks, during screenings of Disney’s upcoming blockbuster “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.”
The trailer debut comes ahead of the film’s theatrical debut on July 21 — famously, that’s the same day that Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” starring Margot Robbie also hits theaters, creating the perfect double feature.
The trailer sees Oppenheimer, played by Nolan favorite Cillian Murphy, and his team ponder the ethics of their experiments. “Are we saying that there’s a chance that when we push that button that we destroy the world,” Matt Damon, one of the many ensemble cast members in the film, says in the trailer. Several sections are shot in black and white, including an extended sequence with Robert Downey Jr., although Nolan assured the audience that there’s “not too much black and white, don’t worry.”
Based on Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin’s Oppenheimer biography “American Prometheus,” “Oppenheimer” will explore the physicist’s leadership of the Manhattan Project, the World War II initiative that resulted in the creation of two atomic bombs used against Japan to force the nation into ending the war. The 1945 bombings, of the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki respectively, killed over 200,000 people, many of them civilians, and debate about the ethical and legal justification for the action still exists today. Oppenheimer himself had complex feelings about his creation, and latter became an advocate for controlling nuclear power.
Murphy leads a large ensemble cast playing Oppenheimer’s family and the Manhattan Project staff, including Emily Blunt, Robert Downey Jr., Rami Malek, Florence Pugh, Benny Safdie, Michael Angarano, Josh Hartnett, Kenneth Branagh, and many, many more.
“Oppenheimer” is Nolan’s 12th feature, and his first for Universal Pictures. All of the director’s films since “Insomnia” in 2002 have been distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, but Nolan publicly broke from the studio after Warner Bros. Discovery’s decision to put his 2020 film “Tenet” on streaming due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The film has been hyped up by Universal as an event; a full year beforehand, the studio dropped a teaser that continuously counts down, in real time, to the film’s release. And the film promises an epic scale; it’s three-hours long, and was shot using a combination of IMAX 65mm and 65mm film photography, with sections in IMAX black and white analog photography — a first for any feature.
Check out all the details we know about Nolan’s latest here.
Additional reporting by Brian Welk