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SYFY WIRE Oppenheimer

Oppenheimer Featurette Highlights Realism Of Nolan's "Monumental" WWII Bomb Thriller

Oppenheimer arrives exclusively in theaters Friday, July 21.

By Josh Weiss

"Everything Chris Nolan has done has been a prelude to this," Robert Downey Jr. (Lewis Strauss) proclaims in a brand-new featurette chronicling the massive undertaking that was Oppenheimer (catch it on the big screen July 21). "This is, I think, a definitive moment in the history of modern filmmaking. Do yourself a favor and go see this on as big a screen as you can."

"This is not a film, this is an experience. It is a heart-in-your-mouth thriller," echoes fellow cast member Emily Blunt (Katherine "Kitty" Oppenheimer). "With the sound design and the score and the emotionality of it, this is an unforgettable, unmissable experience in a theater."

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Clocking in at just over six minutes (a mere drop in the bucket compared to the movie's 3 hour, 9 minute runtime), the fresh look behind-the-scenes of the Universal release takes viewers through several aspects of production — from casting to production design to special effects. The underlying momentum behind it all, of course, is Nolan's unyielding commitment to realism.

That not only applied to the explosive centerpiece of the entire film — the historical Trinity test (recreated without the use of CGI) — but also to the secret desert laboratory of Los Alamos.

Production designer Ruth De Jong (Nope), for instance, constructed a full replica of the New Mexico town "along the same mountain range" as the actual site of the Manhattan Project nerve center. "We built all of these buildings 360," she continues. "We want it to feel like you are right there, you are in this. This is happening, this is real. This isn’t a backlot."

"We made Oppenheimer on the largest scale possible because the idea is to come and experience this," adds Nolan, who wrote, directed, and produced the World War II biopic centered around the titular physicist (played by Cillian Murphy). "His story is monumental and epic and extraordinary. It really has to be seen on a big screen to be believed."

Watch a new featurette for Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer below:

The cast also features the talents of Matt Damon (General Leslie Groves), Florence Pugh (Jean Tatlock), Kenneth Branagh (Niels Bohr), Dylan Arnold (Frank Oppenheimer), Josh Peck (Kenneth Bainbridge), Benny Safdie (Edward Teller), Michael Angarano (Robert Serber), Olivia Thirlby (Lilli Hornig), Josh Hartnett (Ernest Lawrence), Jack Quaid (Richard Feynman), David Krumholtz (Isidor Rabi), Gustaf Skarsgård (Hans Bethe), Matthew Modine (Vannevar Bush), Danny Danny Deferrari (Enrico Fermi), Dane DeHaan, Alden Ehrenreich, Rami Malek, and David Dastmalchian.

"The world that Oppenheimer inhabits is filled with rock star scientists and I think because we have all these fantastic actors, you really buy that," producer Emma Thomas states in the featurette.

Pugh likened the experience to "playing sports with some of the best athletes" in the world. "Every single person has come to set knowing that they have been hired because somewhere along the line Chris thought that you did a good job."

Oppenheimer arrives exclusively in theaters everywhere next Friday — July 21.

Want more blockbuster thrills in the meantime? Jaws, Jurassic Park, The Da Vinci Code, The Hunger Games, Fast Five, Jurassic World, Knock at the Cabin, Cocaine Bear, Renfield, and more are now streaming on Peacock!