Christopher Nolan Had To Reassure Fans That He Didn’t Detonate A Real Atomic Bomb On ‘Oppenheimer’


Like his frequent cheerleader (though sometimes secret critic) Tom Cruise, Christopher Nolan prefers realism. They hate CGI and prefer to do things old school. But where Cruise will really put his life in jeopardy just to entertain, Nolan has a line. One of the big centerpieces of the director’s latest movie, Oppenheimer, is its depiction of the Trinity test, aka the very first detonation of a nuclear weapon. Nolan and team didn’t use computers to show the blast and subsequent mushroom cloud. But it should be pretty obvious that he didn’t go so far as to actually denote an actual atom bomb. Or one would think.

In a new profile of the film by The Hollywood Reporter (in a bit teased out by Insider), Nolan responded to rumors that the atomic bomb detonation is the real deal. (Spoiler: It’s not. That would be nuts.)

“It’s flattering that people would think I would be capable of something as extreme as that on the one hand,” Nolan said, “but it’s also a little bit scary.”

Nolan didn’t specify what he meant by “a little bit scary.” Did he mean it’s scary that people think he would ever consider — or be able to acquire — nuclear weapons? Or did he mean that moviegoers could ever think that an atom bomb in a movie would ever be real — especially in a film that is almost certainly not gung ho about the possibility of nuclear warfare?

Or perhaps he’s distressed that people nowadays don’t know about “movie magic,” and that filmmakers were able to depict the impossible in creative, analogue ways, well before sophisticated computers had even been invented.

Whatever the case, Nolan’s own daughter volunteered herself to be one of the film’s (again, fake) victims.

Oppenheimer hits theaters on July 21, the same day, of course, as Barbie and the new Blur.

(Via THR and Insider)