Oppenheimer: What is Oppenheimer about, who was Robert J. Oppenheimer and how long is Oppenheimer

What is Oppenheimer about? (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)What is Oppenheimer about? (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)
What is Oppenheimer about? (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images) | Getty Images
Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer cleaned up at the Oscars, winning a number of big awards. But what is the film about and who was Robert J. Oppenheimer?

Oppenheimer was quite simply one of Christopher Nolan's successful films of all time, cleaning up a number of big awards at last night's Oscars and being one of the highest grossing films at the Box Office this past 12 months.

Directed by Christopher Nolan, the iconic British director began writing the script as far back as the summer of 2021 and started filming less than a year later in February of 2022. In true Nolan style, the movie has an epic run time and made use use of extensive practical effects and minimal computer-generated imagery (CGI) that he has become so well known for.

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Here is everything you need to know about the film, who is in the cast and the man the film is based on.

What is Oppenheimer about

The film is the latest blockbuster from acclaimed director Nolan (The Dark Knight trilogy) and is a biographical thriller based on the life and times of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the theoretical physicist who helped develop the first nuclear weapons.

Oppenheimer is set during World War II as Oppenheimer leads a team of scientists during the Manhattan Project.

The film is said to be an accurate portrayal of Oppenheimer's life and the series of events that led to the creation of the powerful, yet extremely controversial, weapons that changed the world.

Who was Robert J. Oppenheimer, what did Oppenheimer do and how did Oppenheimer do

Born in New York in 1904, he worked as a theoretical physicist. A student of Harvard University, he was awarded a bachelor's degree in chemistry in 1925 before studying physics at the University of Cambridge and University of Göttingen, receiving his PhD just two years later.

After holding numerous academic positions in the United States, he was recruited to work the Manhattan Project and latterly was was appointed as director of the Los Alamos Laboratory in New Mexico in 1943 and given the task of creating weapons. He was one of few that witnessed the 'Trinity test' in July 1945 that saw the successful detonation of the atomic bomb. These bombs were later used on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki - still the only use of nuclear weapon in conflict.

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Following the war, he lobbied for international control of nuclear power and also opposed the development of the hydrogen bomb. While Oppenheimer never openly expressed his regret about the bomb used on Japan, he spent also two decades following the detonation of the bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki trying to stop their multiplication until his death due to throat cancer in 1967.

He famously said he was reminded of the phrase “now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds" when he oversaw the first atomic bomb detonation in 1945.

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Oppenheimer retired in 1966 and died of throat cancer a year later on February 18, 1967.

Oppenheimer full cast - from Cillian Murphy to Emily Blunt

The lead is taken by popular Irish actor Cillian Murphy, who plays "Father of the Atomic bomb" J. Robert Oppenheimer.

Alongside Murphy is Emily Blunt who plays J. Robert's wife, Katherine "Kitty" Oppenheimer. However, the A-star cast does not stop there, with confirmed roles for Robert Downey Jr, Matt Damon, Rami Malek, Florence Pugh, Josh Hartnett, Benny Safdie, Michael Angarano, Kenneth Brannagh and Jack Quaid.

It's quite literally wall to wall with Hollywood quality.

Oppenheimer running time, age rating UK certificate

Oppenheimer has a confirmed run time of three hours - a true epic, in typical Christopher Nolan fashion! The BBFC has handed a rating of 15 to the film for strong language, sex.

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