Oppenheimer is set during World War II, portraying the theoretical physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer (played by Cillian Murphy) as he is tasked with creating a new super weapon, the atomic bomb, for the United States—a weapon that could potentially end the war with a single explosion. The Manhattan Project, established in 1943 at the secret Los Alamos laboratory, led to the first test of the atomic bomb in Alamogordo.
The Trinity nuclear test on July 16, 1945, was a first of its kind, and less than a month later, the United States dropped two devastating atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6th and 9th, effectively concluding the Second World War. As the chairman of the United States Atomic Energy Commission, Lewis Strauss, moves towards the Senate and greater power at the onset of the Cold War, Oppenheimer realizes his partial responsibility for nuclear armament and the potential threat of nuclear war to humanity. Towards the end of his career, once a naive idealist, he finds himself embroiled in courtroom drama, political power plays, and intrigue.
Oppenheimer is written by Christopher Nolan. The film was shot using 65-millimeter IMAX® cameras on regular 65-millimeter film, marking the first time IMAX® cameras have been used to capture analog black-and-white footage.