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'Oppenheimer' trailer shows Chris Nolan's take on the birth of the atomic bomb

The movie doesn't end with the explosion.

Universal Pictures

You'll soon see Hollywood's treatment of one of the most important (and dangerous) moments in scientific history. Universal has released a trailer for Oppenheimer, Christopher Nolan's biopic of the physicist who played a key role in developing and testing the first atomic bomb. The clip underscores the ethical issues surrounding the Manhattan Project and its work. While the team is hopeful that nuclear weapons will end World War II and usher in a new era of peace, they're also worried abut sparking an apocalyptic arms race — the movie doesn't end with the detonation.

The adaptation of Kai Bird and Martin Sherwin's American Prometheus book stars Cillian Murphy (Peaky Blinders) as its namesake scientist, with Emily Blunt as Oppenheimer's wife Katherine. Matt Damon plays Manhattan Project directo Gen. Leslie Groves Jr., while Robert Downey Jr. plays US Atomic Energy Commission co-founder Lewis Strauss. Rami Malek, Matthew Modine and Alden Ehrenreich also star.

Nolan's reputation and the top-tier cast will be the draws for many. However, this is also a rare movie that explores the role science played in WWII, not to mention in setting the stage for the Cold War and nuclear energy. The production of the movie is also notable. This is the first movie to feature sections of IMAX black-and-white film footage, so it may be worth heading to a supporting theater to get the full experience.