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Oppenheimer: Cillian Murphy & Matt Damon Race Against the Nazis in Explosive New Trailer

Oppenheimer arrives in theaters everywhere Friday, July 21.

By Josh Weiss
Oppeneheimer poster header UNIVERSAL PRESS

"We'll ensure peace mankind has never seen," declares Cillian Murphy's J. Robert Oppenheimer in the second trailer for writer-director Christopher Nolan's forthcoming biopic centered around the father of the atomic bomb. "Until somebody builds a bigger bomb," parries Edward Teller (Benny Safdie), a scientist who proved instrumental in building the worst weapon of them all: the dreaded hydrogen bomb.

Thermonuclear devices would, of course, serve as the backbone for Cold War tensions between the United States and Soviet Union, but the original intention of developing an atomic bomb was not to bring about the end of the world. At a time when it seemed like the Nazis might unleash the devastating power of the humble atom upon the Allied powers, Dr. Oppenheimer and General Leslie Groves (played onscreen by Matt Damon) set up the top-secret Manhattan Project in an effort to beat Adolf Hitler to the irradiated punch.

RELATED: Cillian Murphy On the 'Huge Responsibility' of Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer

America's brightest minds were recruited and shipped out to the temporary community in Los Alamos, New Mexico to lend their expertise to an invention that forever changed the course of human history. The latest trailer tackles the dissonance head-on, weighing the heavy pros and cons of whether or not the bomb should ever have been made, let alone dropped on an enemy nation in August 1945.

Watch the trailer — which played alongside screenings of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 this past weekend — now:

In addition to the actors mentioned above, Oppenheimer also stars Emily Blunt (Katherine “Kitty” Oppenheimer), Robert Downey Jr. (Lewis Strauss), Florence Pugh (Jean Tatlock), Josh Hartnett (Ernest Lawrence), Michael Angarano (Robert Serber), Kenneth Branagh, Rami Malek, Alden Ehrenreich, David Dastmalchian, Dane DeHaan, Jack Quaid, Matthew Modine, Dylan Arnold, and David Krumholtz.

Nolan, who previously explored the World War II period in Dunkirk, wrote the screenplay, basing it on the Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Oppenheimer's life — American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer — by Kai Bird and the late Martin J. Sherwin. The director also served as producer on the film alongside Emma Thomas and Charles Roven.

For the cinematography, Nolan reunited with Hoyte van Hoytema (Interstellar, Tenet, Nope), shooting the project in a combination of IMAX 65mm and 65mm large-format film photography. The film is also the first Hollywood release to ever utilize IMAX black and white analogue photography.

Oppenheimer arrives in theaters everywhere Friday, July 21 — the same day as Greta Gerwig's Barbie.

Oppenheimer poster UNIVERSAL PRESS

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