The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has given an ‘R’ rating to ‘Oppenheimer,’ directed by Christopher Nolan. This marks Christopher Nolan’s return to R-rated film after a gap of over two decades since his last R-rated film, ‘Insomnia,’ was released in 2002. (The “R’ rating indicates that the content of the film may include material that is not suitable for viewers under the age of 17 unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.) The film hits theaters on July 21, 2023.
From Christopher Nolan, Oppenheimer tells the story of J. Robert Oppenheimer (played by Cillian Murphy), a brilliant theoretical physicist who was appointed as the director of the Los Alamos Laboratory during World War II, and Oppenheimer’s journey as he works tirelessly to develop the atomic bomb as part of the Manhattan Project, a top-secret government initiative. He works closely with Leslie Groves (played by Matt Damon), a military leader tasked with overseeing the project, and faces opposition from scientists who question the morality of creating such a destructive weapon.
Nolan, who directs ‘Oppenheimer,’ made sure that every aspect of the film was historically accurate. He recreated bomb tests without CGI, hired real scientists as extras, filmed inside original Manhattan Project buildings (including Oppenheimer’s home), and faithfully replicated the remote site of Los Alamos, where Oppenheimer conducted his secret laboratory.
In an interview with Total Film magazine, Nolan explained that in ‘Oppenheimer,’ the color scenes are subjective, while the black-and-white scenes are objective. He wrote the color scenes from the first-person perspective, which he found potentially daunting for the actors. Nolan said, “I wrote the script in the first person, which I’d never done before. I don’t know if anyone has ever done that or if that’s a thing people do or not. The film is objective and subjective. The color scenes are subjective; the black-and-white scenes are objective. I wrote the color scenes in the first person. So for an actor reading that, in some ways, I think it’d be quite daunting.”
The film stars Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer, Emily Blunt as Katherine “Kitty” Oppenheimer, Matt Damon as Leslie Groves, Robert Downey Jr. as Lewis Strauss, Florence Pugh as Jean Tatlock, Rami Malek, Benny Safdie as Edward Teller, Michael Angarano as Robert Serber, Josh Hartnett as Ernest Lawrence, Kenneth Branagh, Dane DeHaan, Dylan Arnold as Frank Oppenheimer, David Krumholtz as Isidor Isaac Rabi, Alden Ehrenreich, Matthew Modine as Vannevar Bush, Jack Quaid, David Dastmalchian, Jason Clarke, Josh Peck as Kenneth Bainbridge, Devon Bostick as Seth Neddermeyer, Alex Wolff, Tony Goldwyn, Scott Grimes, Josh Zuckerman, and James D’Arcy.
Oppenheimer hits theaters on July 21, 2023, by Universal Pictures.