It’s been three years since a new Christopher Nolan film hit theaters, but fans of the director won’t have to wait long to see his latest work. “Oppenheimer” has become one of the most anticipated films of 2023 thanks to its star-studded cast and Nolan’s proven track record with WWII subjects (see: “Dunkirk”).
The Cillian Murphy-directed biopic of atomic bomb inventor Robert Oppenheimer is Nolan’s smallest film in recent years in terms of budget and size. But it wouldn’t be a Christopher Nolan project without a few anecdotes about the director’s obsessive attention to detail and commitment to spectacle. In a new interview with Entertainment WeeklyNolan and Murphy talked about the meticulous effort the entire cast put into making sure every scene was accurate.
“Every day, you had these phenomenal actors, who are my heroes, on the way,” Murphy said. “Every day you had to raise the bar to work with these legends. Everyone was so incredibly well-prepared. his character in the story, each of them had this enormous depth of knowledge that they could draw upon.
Nolan explained that the film’s extras were also well versed in the source material, which was pretty easy for them, because he decided to cast real scientists as the background actors.
“We were in the real Los Alamos and had a lot of real scientists as extras,” Nolan said. “We needed the crowd of extras to give reactions and improvisation, and we were getting sort of impromptu and very educated speeches. That was really fun to listen to. You’ve been on sets where you have a lot of extras around and they’re kind of thinking about lunch. These guys were thinking about the geopolitical implications of nuclear weapons and knew a lot about it. It’s actually been a big reminder every day of: we’ve got to really be on our game, we’ve got to be true to the story here and really know what we’re doing.
Universal Pictures will release “Oppenheimer” in theaters on Friday, July 21.