You’ll have to wait until next week to see the full trailer for Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, the film that tells the story of physicist Robert Oppenheimer and his role in creating the atomic bomb. And also after that, during the Cold War, as those attending CinemaCon on Wednesday night saw. Nolan himself appeared on stage during the Universal presentation to introduce a series of snippets from the film to whet the appetites of the assembled theater owners.
“I don’t know of a more dramatic story with more stakes,” Nolan told the crowd, before showing footage from the film.
It began in black and white, when Senator Lewis Strauss (Robert Downey Jr.) learned that the Soviets have their own atomic bomb. Strauss is not happy that the United States is apparently falling behind in the nuclear arms race.
“We were in a race against the Nazis,” Oppenheimer says of Cillian Murphy, and without that they lost their urgency.
“Well, now we’re in a race with the Soviets,” Strauss replies, referring to the race to develop a hydrogen bomb in the late 1940s and early 1950s.
From there, attendees saw a series of shots of engineers and others working on the pump at Los Alamos, including several looks at the bushy mustache of Matt Damon, who plays General Groves, the head of the Manhattan Project.
There were also hints of intrigue, with characters concerned and on the hunt for a possible spy in Los Alamos stealing America’s nuclear secrets.
The footage ended with a long, dramatic shot of the first atomic bomb to be dropped on Japan, as it was trucked in from Los Alamos.
When Oppenheimer hits theaters on July 21, it will feature several black-and-white scenes. But “not too black and white, I assure you,” Nolan told the CinemaCon audience.
The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors. GameSpot may earn a share of the revenue if you purchase something featured on our site.