Christopher Nolan says there are no CGI shots in Oppenheimer

(Image credit: Universal)

Director Christopher Nolan has confirmed there are no CGI shots in Oppenheimer.

As per Collider, Nolan revealed in an interview that there is "zero" use of CGI in the historical biopic. It’s worth noting, however, that CGI shouldn’t be confused with VFX – digital software can still edit and manipulate a live-action image, though it’s now clear if – or how – it will be utilized in Oppenheimer.

Still, it’s quite the triumph for Nolan, who recently opened up to Total Film magazine about the challenges of practical effects – including recreating the Oppenheimer-led first nuclear weapon detonation in New Mexico.

"I think recreating the Trinity test without the use of computer graphics, was a huge challenge to take on," Nolan explained. 

"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."

Oppenheimer, based on the 2005 book American Prometheus, sees Cillian Murphy playing J. Robert Oppenheimer, the nuclear physicist who helped develop the atomic bomb. The film also stars Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr., and Florence Pugh. It will be released on July 21, the same day as Barbie – an act that has sparked all-out meme wars.

For more on what’s coming to cinemas, check out our guides to upcoming movies and our movie release dates calendar.

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.