Oppenheimer’s latest trailer pits theory against reality

No one becomes death, destroyer of worlds without a little help from their friends. After initial teasers for Christopher Nolan’s long-awaited historical drama Oppenheimer focused closely on the “father of the atomic bomb” J. Robert Oppenheimer (Cillian Murphy) himself, a new trailer widens the scope, exploring the vast range of individuals who came into play as one of the most consequential ideas in human history became a tangible, terrifying thing.

« Oppenheimer » horrifies some audience members for not being 100% historically accurate

The film’s latest teaser finally begins to reveal the more linear aspects of the atomic bomb creation story, which has its roots in an American desire to prevent the Nazis from obtaining an atomic bomb. Working alongside Manhattan Project director Lieutenant General Leslie Groves (Matt Damon) and the U.S. Army, Oppenheimer rushes to create and test the atomic bomb, crafting an isolated makeshift New Mexico town where scientists and their families can live uninterrupted as work on the bomb continues.

Oppenheimer | New Trailer

While Oppenheimer is the esoteric, stony-faced theorist of the film (he’s referred to as the “great improviser”), Groves has more material concerns: namely, whether or not the bomb will lead to the destruction of the entire world. Oppenheimer’s answer to that question—that the chances of mass extinction via nuclear explosion are “near zero”— doesn’t exactly satisfy. But the dream of (as Oppenheimer puts it) ensuring “a peace mankind has never seen,” takes precedence, ultimately begetting a devastating end to WWII that cost hundreds of thousands of civilian lives.

Aside from introducing Damon as Groves, the new trailer also offers first glimpses at characters like businessman and naval officer Lewis Strauss (Robert Downey Jr.), Oppenheimer’s wife Kitty (Emily Blunt), physicists Jean Tatlock (Florence Pugh) and Isidor Isaac Rabi (David Krumholtz, and even Albert Einstein (Tom Conti). Oppenheimer’s heavyweight cast also includes Rami Malek, Benny Safdie, Michael Angarano, Josh Hartnett, Kenneth Branagh, Dane DeHaan, Dylan Arnold, Alden Ehrenreich, Matthew Modine, Jack Quaid, Josh Peck, Devon Bostick, Alex Wolff, Gary Oldman, Casey Affleck, Tony Goldwyn, and more.

Oppenheimer premieres in theaters on July 21.

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