No, director Christopher Nolan didn’t set off a real nuke for ‘Oppenheimer’


Christopher Nolan has a well-earned reputation of striving for realism for his films whenever possible, but because of this, speculation went figuratively nuclear regarding his latest film, Oppenheimer.

Specifically, rumor had it that the CG-adverse director set off a real nuclear bomb to film the movie’s atomic bomb test sequence.

Yes, the filmmaker has seen the scuttlebutt, he tells The Hollywood Reporter, but no, he didn’t actually do that.

“It’s flattering that people would think I would be capable of something as extreme as that on the one hand, but it’s also a little bit scary,” he admitted.

That said, Nolan wouldn’t reveal exactly how he and his team managed to bring to life the history-changing explosion J. Robert Oppenheimer and the rest of the members of the Manhattan Project created.

He did say how he didn’t do it, however: computer graphics.

“CG inherently is quite comfortable to look at,” Nolan explained. “It’s safe, anodyne. And what I said…is, ‘This can’t be safe. It can’t be comfortable to look at it. It has to have bite. It’s got to be beautiful and threatening in equal measure."”

Incidentally, Nolan fans are apparently going to great extremes to see the movie in the best possible setting.

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, one IMAX theater in Prague is seeing ticket sales from moviegoers in Germany, Poland and elsewhere in Europe, while movie fans in Japan, Sri Lanka and New Zealand are headed to an IMAX theater in Melbourne, Australia.

In the U.S., some are planning weekends around hourslong trips to that perfect cinema seat.

Oppenheimer hits theaters July 21.

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