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‘Oppenheimer’ Containing Zero CGI Shots, Says Christopher Nolan

Director Christopher Nolan has never veiled the fact that he does not want to use CGI to stretch a vast budget or create a spectacle. To avoid having his work feel wholly manufactured, he prefers to use authentic camera work whenever possible, only using effects to create the appearance of continuity when absolutely essential. Nolan, on the other hand, took on a tremendous challenge with Oppenheimer: recreating the testing of an atomic weapon. In an interview with Collider Editor-in-Chief Steve Weintraub, Nolan stated that his most recent film not only places a significant emphasis on realism, but also contains no CGI moments.

Considering what Oppenheimer is trying to do, that may seem like a long shot. The movie is based on the life of American scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer, who is best known for creating the atomic bomb. Cillian Murphy plays Oppenheimer.

It is based on American Prometheus, a book by Kai Bird and the late Martin J. Sherwin that won the Pulitzer Prize. So, there will be scenes that show how terrible an atomic explosion is, especially when scientists try to recreate the desert tests they did to see how their work turned out.

We already knew that at least some of the work would be valuable. Nolan previously discussed how the Oppenheimer team avoided utilizing computer-generated pictures to recreate the Trinity test, the first-ever nuclear weapon test detonation in the New Mexico desert in 1945.

Even doing so seemed like a huge accomplishment considering the logistical planning required to equal the brilliance of the explosion as told by onlookers at the time of the event, but Nolan pulled it off. Given the efforts this crew went through, including devising a totally new method of capturing the IMAX black-and-white segments, it shouldn’t be surprising.

Oppenheimer Is Already On The Verge Of Exploding On The Big Screen

With each new element revealed about Oppenheimer, it appears to grow bigger and more amazing from a purely cinematic aspect. When combined with a dream cast that included Florence Pugh, Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Robert Downey Jr., and Jack Quaid, Benny Safdie, Rami Malek, Matthew Modine, Dane DeHaan, Josh Hartnett, Michael Angarano, David Krumholtz, Alden Ehrenreich, and Kenneth Branagh. The film does have one more advantage, and that is its competition with another A-list blockbuster Barbie, as well as the mania to see the two together as “Barbenheimer.”

Because the two are premiering on the same day and could not be more tonally different, it has created the best of circumstances for both films, as they feed off of each other’s hype. Both marketing teams did an excellent job of promoting their respective films, with Oppenheimer highlighting the amazing imagery and explosive action. Safdie has even called the picture Nolan’s best work to date, which sets a very high bar for what audiences will see on July 21.


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