“Oppenheimer” brings the story of the moral dilemma over the atomic bomb

Christopher Nolan, one of the most influential filmmakers of the 21st century, writes and directs Oppenheimer.

Photo courtesy Georges Biard

Christopher Nolan, one of the most influential filmmakers of the 21st century, writes and directs “Oppenheimer”.

“Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds,” J. Robert Oppenheimer said after the successful Trinity nuclear test in 1945, testing the nuclear bomb which would be used less than a month later on the city of Nagasaki in Japan.

From legendary film director Christopher Nolan comes a new film about the father of the atomic bomb, set during the time period of World War II. The movie is set to release on July 21 of this summer, with a budget of $100 million. J. Robert Oppenheimer is the namesake for the film, and the main character, who will be played by Cillian Murphy.

J. Robert Oppenheimer was a theoretical physicist born in 1904; making significant contributions to theoretical physics. In 1943 he was recruited to the Manhattan Project, which was a research project created by the United States with other allies.

The film includes other historical figures such as physicists Albert Einstein and Werner Heisenberg, U.S. president Harry Truman and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Lewis Strauss. Beside Cillian Murphy leading the film as Oppenheimer, other actors include Emily Blunt as Katherine Oppenheimer, Matt Damon as Leslie Groves, Florence Pugh as Jean Tatlock, Robert Downey Jr. as Lewis Strauss, Josh Hartnett as Ernest Lawrence and Matthew Modine as Vannevar Bush.

Nolan, who both wrote and directed the film, says that Oppenheimer is “by far the most ambiguous and paradoxical” character he has dealt with. The main themes of the film will likely deal with the morals of creating an atomic bomb which creates so much destruction.

Oppenheimer himself knew that the creation of the atomic bomb was inevitable, and he helped create it for fear that Germany would use its power first. He also argued that its power was excessive and that nuclear weapons should be banned. This moral dilemma was extremely difficult and still is, making his story necessary to be told.

“Like it or not, J. Robert Oppenheimer is the most important person who ever lived,” Nolan said at CinemaCon 2023. This film of the race to harness the power of the atomic bomb and its moral quandaries will surely be a thrilling movie and a must-see.