Acclaimed film director Christopher Nolan turns his attention to J Robert Oppenheimer for his new blockbuster movie, taking audiences back to when the American theoretical physicist oversaw the creation of the atomic bomb during World War II.
Based on the 2005 biography "American Prometheus" by Kai Bird and Martin J Sherwin, Nolan's biological thriller "Oppenheimer" features a stellar cast including Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr, Emily Blunt and Cillian Murphy in the titular role, portraying the man known as "the father of the atomic bomb".
"Oppenheimer's story is one of the most dramatic that I know of and there are many, many aspects to what makes it so compelling," Nolan told Reuters in a joint interview with Murphy.
"I just thought to take the audience there, to be there in that room with these people as they had to make these horrifying decisions that have defined the world we now live in... what a remarkable dramatic event to bring the audience to.”
Oppenheimer headed the secret Los Alamos Laboratory, established under President Franklin D Roosevelt as part of the Manhattan Project to build the first atomic bomb.
He oversaw the first atomic bomb detonation in the New Mexico desert, code-named "Trinity", before the weapons were used in the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
"There is so much information (about Oppenheimer)... My job as an actor is really to go after the humanity and the emotion, and the complexity and the morality of the character," Murphy, who has worked with Nolan previously, said.
"So I didn't really waste too much time on the physics, I did a little bit... but it was the man I was after."
Nolan is known for conceptual narratives and visual style in films like "Inception" "Tenet" and an instalment of the Batman film franchise.
'Oppenheimer' is kind of the amalgam of every Chris Nolan movie ever, all of which have been leading to a statement as kind of profound as this but it's still edge of your seat entertainment," Downey Jr said.
"It was crazy to be part of shooting it and even crazier to watch it.”