The first trailer for Christopher Nolan’s next movie, Oppenheimer, is — pun intended — blowing up the Internet.
Expected to be one of the next summer’s biggest blockbusters, the trailer is nearing 9 million views on YouTube less than a day after its release. For those hearing about the project for the first time, it revolves around the creator of the first atomic bomb.
The sensational, two-minute trailer features spectacular special effects — of explosions in particular. They’re contrasted with images of physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, played by Cillian Murphy, deeply troubled by the possible ramifications of his invention.
It may seem implausible that a biopic about a physicist, presumably set in the 1940s, would be building so much hype. However, Nolan turned Dunkirk, a film with a cast of mostly unknown actors — almost all British, mind you — into the third-biggest war movie of all time.
That 2017 flick featured events taking place around the same time as Oppenheimer, for which only an enigmatic teaser was released before Sunday. But this time around, Nolan is armed with possibly the most star-studded cast in any film released this century.
Christopher Nolan Assembles a Cast for the Ages
The main cast alone is, to put it simply, incredible. For starters, there’s Murphy, who is a regular in virtually every Nolan movie. Other major players include Emily Blunt, Robert Downey Jr., Matt Damon, Rami Malek, Florence Pugh, Josh Hartnett, and Kenneth Branagh.
As if that isn’t enough, the list of actors who flesh out the cast in supporting roles is hard to believe. They include Gary Oldman, Matthew Modine, Dane DeHaan, Jason Clarke, Jack Quaid, and also Casey Affleck.
That ensemble even towers over the casts that Nolan assembled for 2010’s Inception and 2014’s Interstellar. Both those summer releases did gangbusters at the box office.
Which isn’t to suggest that Oppenheimer won’t face some challenges. The biopic is Nolan’s first film foray since 2018’s Tenet, the biggest disappointment of the director’s otherwise untouchable career.
Tenet was the first major release in theaters after the onset of COVID. Adding to that hurdle, its overcomplicated, complex still has even Nolan fans scratching their heads four years later.
Oppenheimer hits theaters on July 21.