Christopher Nolan, one of the most celebrated filmmakers of the 21st century, is gearing up for the release of his next film, Oppenheimer, which will depict the life of nuclear weapon pioneer J. Robert Oppenheimer. Nolan, who famously does not use CGI for his movies and recreates special effects in the studio, chose to do the same for the upcoming multi-starrer project. The 52-year-old filmmaker has told Total Film that he re-created the Trinity test, the first-ever nuclear weapon test, in a New Mexico desert without using any special effect.

In the interview, Nolan said, “I think recreating the Trinity test [the first nuclear weapon detonation, in New Mexico] without the use of computer graphics, was a huge challenge to take on”.

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He further added,  “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.”

Nolan and Tom Cruise are widely regarded as Hollywood’s two champions of practical effects. Despite making films that often need a high level of technological proficiency, Nolan still shoots on film and is not a big fan of movies being released directly on streaming platforms.

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Regarding his upcoming film, Nolan has said, “It’s a story of immense scope and scale,” adding, “And one of the most challenging projects I’ve ever taken on in terms of the scale of it, and in terms of encountering the breadth of Oppenheimer’s story.”

He thanked the members of his crew for bringing his vision to life. The film stars Cillian Murphy in the titular role, and is set to release on July 21, 2023, when it will clash with Greta Gerwig’s Barbie.