The first poster for Christopher Nolan's latest directorial endeavor, Oppenheimer, has been released. The banner features Cillian Murphy's J. Robert Oppenheimer rocking a wide brim open crown hat as he is surrounded by clouds of flames. Oppenheimer is a biographical tale that follows the titular character's involvement in the Manhattan Project and the ultimate creation of the atomic bomb. "The world forever changes," the tagline reads. Top billed stars beyond Murphy include Emily Blunt (A Quiet Place), Matt Damon (The Last Duel), Robert Downey Jr. (Avengers: Endgame), and Florence Pugh (Black Widow). While the film isn't due for another year, the first Oppenheimer trailer is playing in front of Nope this weekend.
Aside from the featured players, Oppenheimer boasts one of the most star-studded ensembles in recent memory. Oscar winners Rami Malek, Kenneth Branagh, Gary Oldman, and Casey Affleck are all scheduled to appear, while recent standouts like Jack Quaid (The Boys) and David Dastmalchian (The Suicide Squad) fill out the supporting cast.
Oppenheimer represents Nolan's first film not distributed by Warner Bros. since 2000's Memento. Nolan infamously departed Warner in September 2021, following frustrations on the release of his previous picture, Tenet. The acclaimed director said he was in "disbelief" over Warner's decision to make its entire 2021 theatrical slate available to stream for no extra charge on HBO Max the same day of release.
"There's such controversy around it, because they didn't tell anyone," Nolan said in 2020 about the hybrid release model. "In 2021, they've got some of the top filmmakers in the world, they've got some of the biggest stars in the world who worked for years in some cases on these projects very close to their hearts that are meant to be big-screen experiences. They're meant to be out there for the widest possible audiences… And now they're being used as a loss-leader for the streaming service — for the fledgling streaming service — without any consultation. So, there's a lot of controversy."
Tenet was notably one of the only blockbuster films to arrive in theaters during the summer of 2020. The height of the pandemic resulted in the project only generating $58.5 million in the United States and Canada, a significant dip from Nolan's previous film, Dunkirk, which did $189.5 million domestically.
Nolan has championed movie theaters for decades, and stressed their vitality in an op-ed he scribed at the beginning of the pandemic.
"Movie theaters have gone dark, and will stay that way for a time. But movies, unlike unsold produce or unearned interest, don't cease to be of value. Much of this short-term loss is recoverable," Nolan wrote in The Washington Post. When this crisis passes, the need for collective human engagement, the need to live and love and laugh and cry together, will be more powerful than ever. The combination of that pent-up demand and the promise of new movies could boost local economies and contribute billions to our national economy. We don't just owe it to the 150,000 workers of this great American industry to include them in those we help, we owe it to ourselves. We need what movies can offer us."
That theater first mentality continues with Oppenheimer, which notes on its poster that it is "written for the screen."
Oppenheimer arrives on July 21, 2023.0comments