Christopher Nolan's Latest Film Recreates Nuclear Explosion Without CGI

Christopher Nolan truly cut it loose for his upcoming movie "Oppenheimer."

The highly-anticipated film from Nolan, which comes out in July 2023, chronicles the life of atomic bomb developer J. Robert Oppenheimer (Cillian Murphy).

The scientist was instrumental in the development of the weapon, which eventually ended WWII. Nolan took the film so seriously that he recreated the first ever nuclear detonation without the use of CGI.

The legendary filmmaker told Film Total the following about the situation:

I think recreating the Trinity test without the use of computer graphics, was a huge challenge to take on. Andrew Jackson – my visual effects supervisor, I got him on board early on – 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, a lot of which was needed for the film, in terms of the very harsh conditions out there – there were huge practical challenges.

Christopher Nolan pushes the limits in "Oppenheimer"

Nolan didn't really expand on how he managed to recreate a nuclear detonation without using computer graphics, but I think it's safe to say millions of fans will be interested in finding out this summer.

Imagine how Nolan must have pitched this to the studio. Did he just come right out and say he was going to recreate a nuclear detonation without special effects or was it a do it and ask for forgiveness later situation?

How many pounds of explosives do you even need to recreate a small nuclear detonation? A quick Google search tells me the first atomic bomb was the equivalent of 16,000 tons of TNT being detonated.

That's going to create one hell of a massive explosion. It's highly-unlikely Nolan came close to that most explosive power, but whatever he did, fans are going to be interested to find out.

There's also a serious downside here. You can't tease recreating a nuclear detonation and then not follow it up with something epic. We now need to see something absolutely insane on the screen next summer.

You can catch "Oppenheimer" starting July 21, 2023, and it's definitely on my list to crush. Now that I know about this detonation, I'm even more in.

Written by
David Hookstead is a reporter for OutKick covering a variety of topics with a focus on football and culture. He also hosts of the podcast American Joyride that is accessible on Outkick where he interviews American heroes and outlines their unique stories. Before joining OutKick, Hookstead worked for the Daily Caller for seven years covering similar topics. Hookstead is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.