Oppenheimer Biographer Still ‘Emotionally Recovering’ From Christopher Nolan’s Film: It’s a ‘Stunning Artistic Achievement’06/18/2023
Historian Kai Bird, co-author of the 2005 book that inspired Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer,” has shared his thoughts about the upcoming film, revealing that he has high hopes for how it can resonate with the public during a conversation with David Nirenberg at Leon Levy Center for Biography in New York.
“I am, at the moment, stunned and emotionally recovering from having seen it,” Bird said. “I think it is going to be a stunning artistic achievement, and I have hopes it will actually stimulate a national, even global conversation about the issues that Oppenheimer was desperate to speak out about — about how to live in the atomic age, how to live with the bomb and about McCarthyism — what it means to be a patriot, and what is the role for a scientist in a society drenched with technology and science, to speak out about public issues.”
Bird co-wrote the Pulitzer-winning “American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer,” working alongside the late Martin J. Sherwin. The screenplay for Nolan’s film is adapted from the book, which serves as a biography of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the American physicist who led the Manhattan Project in the creation of the atomic bomb. Cillian Murphy plays Oppenheimer in Nolan’s film. Bird is renowned for his varying biographies, including books about John J. McCloy, McGeorge Bundy and William Bundy.
“Oppenheimer” will make its theatrical debut on July 21 from Universal Pictures. Along with Murphy, the film stars Emily Blunt, Robert Downey Jr., Matt Damon and Florence Pugh.
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