Created Nuclear Weapon Explosion Without CGI for Oppenheimer: Christopher Nolan

13 December, 2022 | Pranay Lad

Oppenheimer Entertainment

Filmmaker Christopher Nolan has disclosed that he recreated the first nuclear bomb explosion without the use of CGI effects as part of the making of his new film, "Oppenehimer."

An American media site claims that Nolan, who has traditionally favoured real effects over VFX, revealed the movie’s existence to Total Film magazine. Longtime Nolan colleague Cillian Murphy plays J. Robert Oppenheimer, a key player in the Manhattan Project and the development of the atomic bomb during World War II, in the movie “Oppenehimer.”

Without the use of computer images, Nolan stated, “I believe replicating the Trinity test [the first nuclear weapon detonation, in New Mexico] was a significant undertaking to take on.”

“Andrew Jackson, my visual effects supervisor, whom I brought on board early in the process, was looking at how we could do a lot of the visual elements of the film practically, from representing quantum dynamics and quantum physics to the Trinity test itself to recreating, with my team, Los Alamos up on a mesa in New Mexico in extraordinary weather, much of which was needed for the film, in terms of the very harsh conditions out there — there were huge practical challenges,” he continued.

The director said, “It’s one of the hardest projects I’ve ever taken on in terms of the magnitude of it, and in terms of facing the breadth of Oppenheimer’s tale.” Oppenheimer is a “story of great scope and scale,” he continued.

“There were significant practical and logistical difficulties. But I had a fantastic team, and they went above and above. We won’t be done for quite some time. I’m delighted with what my team has been able to do as I see the results come in and as I’m editing the film, but “Nolan said, according to the news source.

For “Oppenheimer,” Nolan has recruited an all-star cast. Along with Matt Damon, Florence Pugh, Rami Malek, Benny Safdie, Josh Hartnett, Dane DeHaan, Jack Quaid, Matthew Modine, Alden Ehrenreich, David Krumholtz, Michael Angarano, and Kenneth Branagh, the cast also includes Matt Blunt, Robert Downey Jr., and Michael Murphy.

The project, slated for publication on July 21, 2023, is based on Kai Bird and the late Martin J. Sherwin’s book “American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer.” The book was published in 2005 and awarded the Pulitzer Prize.