Christopher Nolan has said there’s an “interesting relationship” between the endings of Oppenheimer and his 2011 film Inception.
In the director’s upcoming biopic, Cillian Murphy plays scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer who is credited as the “father of the atomic bomb” for his role in the Manhattan Project. The film is set to be released on July 21, 2023.
Speaking in an interview with Wired, Nolan explained that there’s some similarities between Oppenheimer’s ending and the ambiguous final scene in Inception, where it was left unclear whether Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) was still in a dream.
Asked whether he believed his films have an optimistic or “anti-nihilistic” outlook, Nolan said: “I mean, the end of Inception, it’s exactly that. There is a nihilistic view of that ending, right? But also, he’s moved on and is with his kids. The ambiguity is not an emotional ambiguity. It’s an intellectual one for the audience.”
“It’s funny, I think there is an interesting relationship between the endings of Inception and Oppenheimer to be explored. Oppenheimer’s got a complicated ending. Complicated feelings.”
Asked how audiences have reacted to the ending so far, Nolan replied: “Some people leave the movie absolutely devastated. They can’t speak. I mean, there’s an element of fear that’s there in the history and there in the underpinnings. But the love of the characters, the love of the relationships, is as strong as I’ve ever done.”
Other cast members in Oppenheimer include Emily Blunt, Robert Downey Jr., Matt Damon, Florence Pugh, Benny Safdie, Josh Hartnett, Michael Angarano and Jack Quaid.
The biopic marks the director’s 12th feature film, following 2020 sci-fi thriller Tenet starring Robert Pattinson and John David Washington.