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SYFY WIRE Oppenheimer

Oppenheimer: Cillian Murphy Calls Atomic Bomb Thriller "A Truly Essential Cinematic Experience"

Oppenheimer hits the big screen Friday, July 21.

By Josh Weiss
Oppenheimer Trailer

Earlier this month, it was reported that Tom Cruise was none too pleased with the fact that Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer (arriving exclusively in theaters July 21) will monopolize the majority of the country's IMAX screens a mere week after Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One opens on the big screen July 12.

But as the old saying goes: "Finders keepers, losers weepers." Okay, maybe that's a little harsh. Nevertheless, Universal — which was able to poach Nolan away from his longtime studio home at Warner Bros. almost two years ago — beat Paramount to the theatrical punch with a locked-in exhibition deal for the 3-hour historical thriller centered around the heated race to develop the first atomic weapon.

To quote another old turn of phrase: "All's fair in love and blockbuster distribution."

RELATED: Oppenheimer Star Cillian Murphy Says Playing Father of Atomic Bomb Both 'Terrifying and Exciting'

A longtime proponent of IMAX cameras, practical effects, and seeing movies on the silver screen (whatever you do, don't admit to watching Tenet on your cell phone), Nolan shot a great deal of Oppenheimer on the largest format available to contemporary filmmakers. IMAX 70 millimeter prints of the blockbuster are so massive, in fact, that they allegedly contain 11 miles of film. Plus, the man went to a lot of trouble of recreating an atomic detonation without CGI. That alone is worth seeking out the biggest and loudest multiplex around.

"You rarely get the chance to really talk to moviegoers directly about why you love a particular format and why if they can find an IMAX screen to see the film on that’s great," the director explained to the Associated Press. "We put a lot of effort into shooting the film in a way that we can get it out on these large format screens. It really is just a great way of giving people an experience that they can’t possibly get in the home."

Cillian Murphy, who plays the titular scientist behind the classified Manhattan Project, took it one step further during an interview with Empire (the magazine's July 2023 issue is now on sale), describing Oppenheimer as "a truly essential cinematic experience."

"And I know that's what I'm supposed to say, that's the studio line," the actor continued. "But you have to see this in the cinema on the biggest f—ing screen possible. There are moments in it that will blow people's lids off."

Oppenheimer hits the big screen Friday, July 21. Click here for tickets!

Jonesing for another thriller based on true events? A Friend of the Family is now streaming on Peacock.