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'Oppenheimer': Cillian Murphy stars in first fiery teaser for Christopher Nolan's atomic bomb thriller

Nolan's latest take on World War II arrives on the big screen July 21, 2023.

By Josh Weiss
Cillian Murphy is J. Robert Oppenheimer in Oppenheimer (2023)

"Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds..." Five years after he explored the Battle of Dunkirk, writer-director Christopher Nolan returns to the World War II period in the first teaser trailer for Universal Pictures' Oppenheimer.

The vague footage — which includes shots of Murphy and voiceover from various cast members — places Nolan's fascination with time front and center as a clock ominously ticks down to the moment that humanity unlocks the devastating power of the atom. Whether or not the film will play around with its chronological order remains to be seen. Slated to detonate on the big screen next summer, the historical thriller stars longtime Nolan-Verse veteran, Cillian Murphy, as J. Robert Oppenheimer, the American scientist who proved himself instrumental in the construction of the world's first atomic bomb as part of the top-secret Manhattan Project.

Based upon American Prometheus (the Pulitzer-winning biography written by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin), the fiery biopic boasts a mind-boggling supporting cast of Emily Blunt, Kenneth Branagh, Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr., Florence Pugh, Rami Malek, Alden Ehrenreich, David Dastmalchian, Josh Hartnett, Benny Safdie, Josh Hartnett, Dane DeHaan, Jack Quaid, Matthew Modine, and more.

“What a gift, man. He’s one of the greatest filmmakers of all time," Dastmalchian, who previously worked with Nolan on 2008's The Dark Knight, exclusively told SYFY WIRE over the weekend at San Diego Comic-Con. "I mean, he started my career, so I’m really excited for him and for the film that he’s making. I’m always excited for a Christopher Nolan film. Always. He pushes the boundaries of cinema and that’s always what makes a film that he has helmed so exciting.”

Check out the teaser — which made its public debut alongside theatrical screenings of Jordan Peele's Nope this past weekend — below:

Speaking to The Guardian earlier this year, Murphy revealed that his preparation for the titular role involved “an awful lot of reading."

He continued: "I’m interested in the man and what [inventing the atomic bomb] does to the individual. The mechanics of it, that’s not really for me – I don’t have the intellectual capability to understand them, but these contradictory characters are fascinating. Tommy Shelby’s [the actor's character in Peaky Blinders] a complete contradiction, too. People identify with that, because we all walk around with these contradictory ideas coexisting in our heads."

Oppenheimer detonates in theaters everywhere on July 21, 2023.