Search icon

Movies & TV

07th Jun 2023

Christopher Nolan reveals he wrote Oppenheimer in a very specific way

Simon Kelly

Christopher Nolan

“It was a reminder to me of how to shoot the film.”

The countdown to the release of Oppenheimer is well and truly on, With just over a month until it releases, the excitement for Christopher Nolan’s newest film is building steadily.

Clocking in at 3 hours and 5 minutes, the war-time drama will be Nolan’s longest film to date. Not only that, it will also be the first movie written by Nolan in a very specific way: in first person.

“I actually wrote in the first-person, which I’ve never done before,” Nolan told Empire this week.

“I don’t know if anyone’s ever done it before. But the point of it is, with the colour sequences, which is the bulk of the film, everything is told from Oppenheimer’s point of view – you’re literally kind of looking through his eyes.”

Centering around J. Robert Oppenheimer (played by Cillian Murphy) an American theoretical physicist who helped develop the first atomic bomb, Oppenheimer features sections filmed entirely in black and white.

Murphy and his supporting cast would have been given the script written entirely in first-person to closer align them with the character of Oppenheimer and to get into his head.

Admitting it was an “odd thing to do,” Nolan added, “it was a reminder to me of how to shoot the film. It was a reminder to everybody involved in the project, ‘Okay, this is the point of view of every scene.'”

“I said to [Andrew Jackson, visual effects supervisor on Oppenheimer] ‘We have to find a way into this guy’s head. We’ve gotta see the world the way he sees it, we’ve gotta see the atoms moving, we’ve gotta see the way he’s imagining waves of energy, the quantum world.

“And then we have to see how that translates into the Trinity test. And we have to feel the danger, feel the threat of all this somehow.”

Oppenheimer releases in Irish cinemas on July 21.

Related articles:

LISTEN: You Must Be Jokin’ with Aideen McQueen – Faith healers, Coolock craic and Gigging as Gaeilge