The 2024 Oscars race received a jolt on Monday morning with the debut of a new trailer for Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer.”
In the best teaser yet for Nolan’s upcoming drama about J. Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb, title star Cillian Murphy and supporting player Matt Damon as Lt. General Leslie Groves Jr. are given the lion’s share of material
In Dunkirk, one of the best films of his career, director Christopher Nolan turned the real-world stakes of World War II into a pulse-pounding, every-second-counts thriller – and the result was just as exciting as one of the mind-benders on which he built his reputation. Judging by the new trailer for his latest film, it looks as if that more traditional approach (for him) is about to pay dividends again in Oppenheimer, Nolan’s film about the titular scientist, J. Robert Oppenheimer (Cillian Murphy) and the creation of the atomic bomb. Something about WWII just seems to inspire Nolan to play it straight (well, straighter).
Whereas previous teasers focused on Murphy’s portrayal of the infamous scientist, this trailer, offers an extended look at Matt Damon’s Manhattan Project director Leslie Groves, emphasizing the film’s race-against-the-clock, heist-film quality. It also showcases the rapid construction of the top secret towns where scientists and their families lived and worked on this covert project and the myriad of tests and experiments done at the Los Alamos Laboratory. As in Dunkirk, this time around, the real-world stakes are baked-in. In case you failed to grasp them, Damon’s Groves shouts, in a classic trailer line, “This is the most important thing to ever happen in the history of the world!”
The latest trailer also offers more extensive looks at the film’s stacked ensemble, featuring Emily Blunt, Kenneth Branagh, Florence Pugh, and, in one especially portentous reveal, Tom Conti as Albert Einstein.
“Our work here will ensure a peace mankind has never seen,” Oppenheimer says.
The last third of the trailer calls that into question, with Benny Safie’s Edward Teller warning him that someone will always come along to create a larger, more devastating weapon. The trailer concludes with several poignant black-and-white shots of what appear to be a post-war hearing, potentially the 1954 investigation into Oppenheimer himself, poking into the scientist’s history with various communist and communist-sympathizing organizations.
The trailer is, however, remarkably restrained at showing off Oppenheimer’s absolutely huge cast which includes, but is not limited to: Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man himself), Florence Pugh (Little Women), Rami Malek (Night at the Museum), Kenneth Branagh (The Road to El Dorado), David Krumholtz (Bernard the Hot Elf of Santa Clause franchise fame), Josh Peck (Drake and Josh), and Devon Bostick (the hot older brother from the first three Diary of a Wimpy Kid movies, also CW’s The 100).
Murphy has collaborated with Nolan on past films such as “Inception,” “Dunkirk” and “The Dark Knight” trilogy, though “Oppenheimer” marks the performer’s first time taking on a lead role in one of the director’s films.
Other actors confirmed to appear in the film include Rami Malek, Kenneth Branagh, Benny Safdie, Dane DeHaan, Jack Quaid, Matthew Modine, Alden Ehrenreich, Josh Peck, Jason Clarke, David Dastmalchian, Alex Wolff, Gary Oldman and James D’Arcy.
In preparation for the film’s release this summer, the British Film Institute announced they will re-release some of Nolan’s films in theaters. “The Dark Knight” saga, “Inception,” “Interstellar,” “Tenet” and “Dunkirk” will all be available for theatrical viewing in 70mm IMAX.
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