Audiences who raced to see Avatar: The Way of Water in theaters got the first real peek of another anticipated film, Christopher Nolan's star-studded Oppenheimer.
As reported, frequent Nolan player Cillian Murphy plays J. Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb, in the drama based on the Pulitzer-winning 2005 book American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer.
The trailer shows Matt Damon as Leslie Richard Groves Jr., a United States Army Corps of Engineers officer who directed the Manhattan Project, which gave birth to The Bomb. "You're a dilettante, a womanizer, unstable, theatrical, neurotic," he tells Oppenheimer.
"Brilliance makes up for a lot," the scientist quips back.
The trailer shows the bomb's construction, which is cited as the "one hope" to stop World War II. It also delves into the danger of theoretical physics becoming real: Some of the scientists thought testing the bomb would incinerate the Earth's atmosphere.
"Are we saying there's a chance when we push that button, we destroy the world?" Damon's character asks, incredulous.
Oppenheimer answers flatly, "Chances are near zero."
As military men and scientists brace for the test, the tension amps up, until detonation.
"Well, we all know what happened later," Robert Downey Jr. understates as eventual U.S. Atomic Energy Commission head Lewis Strauss in a Capitol Hill meeting.
"What happened later" was two atomic bombs were dropped on Japan, one on Hiroshima and another on Nagasaki, killing hundreds of thousands of people and leading to Japan's surrender.
Oppenheimer also stars Oscar winner Gary Oldman as President Harry Truman and Emily Blunt, playing Oppenheimer's botanist wife, Kitty, as well as Oscar winner Rami Malek, Jack Quaid, Florence Pugh, Matthew Modine, Kenneth Branagh and James Remar, among others.
The trailer has yet to be posted online.
Oppenheimer debuts in theaters July 21, 2023.