This summer, renowned filmmaker Christopher Nolan returns to the big screen with “Oppenheimer,” his second movie based on actual wartime events, the first was “Dunkirk” (2017). This time, however, he’s not taking us to the frontlines of World War II but instead dealing with the complicated process behind the creation of the first nuclear weapons.
The biopic follows the “father of the atomic bomb,” J. Robert Oppenheimer. It’s being marketed as a cautionary tale of sorts and may be a good reminder of the astounding destructive power of nuclear weapons.
The London premiere of Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer is set to take place on July 14, 2023. Here are some things you should know about J. Robert Oppenheimer and the movie Oppenheimer before you watch it:
Who was J. Robert Oppenheimer?
J. Robert Oppenheimer (April 22, 1904 – February 18, 1967) was an American theoretical physicist who played a vital role in developing the atomic bomb during World War II. He was the director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory from 1943 to 1945.
Oppenheimer was born in New York City to wealthy German Jewish parents. He attended Harvard University, where he studied physics and mathematics. After graduating from Harvard, he attended the University of Cambridge in England, where he worked with the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Niels Bohr.
Oppenheimer was a brilliant scientist and a gifted leader. He assembled a team of the best physicists in the world at Los Alamos, and they were able to develop the atomic bomb in a relatively short period. The bomb was first tested in New Mexico in July 1945 and was used to destroy the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.
After the war, Oppenheimer became a vocal advocate for nuclear disarmament. He believed that the atomic bomb threatened humanity, and he worked to prevent its spread. He was also a strong supporter of international cooperation in science.
Oppenheimer’s legacy is complex and controversial. Some remember him as a hero who helped to save the world from Nazi Germany, while others remember him as a villain who helped to create a weapon of mass destruction. Ultimately, Oppenheimer’s legacy is up to each individual to decide.
However, there is no doubt that Oppenheimer was a significant figure in history. His work on the Manhattan Project profoundly impacted the course of the 20th century, and his story continues to be relevant today.
What was the Manhattan Project?
The Manhattan Project was established in World War II to produce the first nuclear weapons before Nazi Germany did. While the project was spread across several locations, the name “Manhattan Project” stuck after an early component of the work began at the U.S. Army’s Manhattan District.
The project led to the detonation of an implosion-type bomb during the Trinity test, conducted at New Mexico’s Alamogordo Bombing and Gunnery Range on July 16, 1945. A month later, the U.S. dropped two atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. These are still the only time nuclear weapons have been used in war.
Here are some additional things to keep in mind when watching Oppenheimer:
- Oppenheimer was a theoretical physicist who played a vital role in developing the atomic bomb during World War II. He directed the Manhattan Project, the U.S. government’s program to build the bomb.
- Oppenheimer was a complex and controversial figure. He was brilliant and charismatic, but he was also deeply troubled by the implications of his work. He famously quoted from the Bhagavad Gita after the first atomic test: “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”
- The movie Oppenheimer is directed by Christopher Nolan, known for his epic and visually stunning films. The movie is based on the book American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin.
- Oppenheimer is a historical drama, but it is also a meditation on the nature of power and the destructive potential of science. The movie is sure to be a challenging and thought-provoking experience.
- The movie is set during a time of great political and social upheaval. The world was at war, and the threat of nuclear annihilation was genuine.
- Oppenheimer was a brilliant scientist but also a human being with flaws and doubts. The movie explores his inner turmoil as he grapples with the moral implications of his work.
- The movie is not a simple morality tale. It is a complex and nuanced exploration of a man who was both a genius and a tragic figure.
Oppenheimer is a movie written and directed by Christopher Nolan. It’s based on the Pulitzer-winning book ‘American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer’ by the late Martin J. Sherwin and Kai Bird. The movie is produced by Nolan, his wife Emma Thomas and Atlas Entertainment’s Charles Roven.
J. Robert Oppenheimer was a theoretical physicist who is now considered the Father of the Atomic Bomb. He was responsible for the research and development of the first nuclear bombs, later called the Manhattan Project.
The biographical movie by Nolan sees Peaky Blinders’ star Cillian Murphy essaying the lead role of J. Robert Oppenheimer. The movie released in theaters on July 21, 2023.