Christopher Nolan recalls recreating nuclear explosion for Oppenheimer

Christopher Nolan has opened up about recreating a nuclear explosion without the use of CGI for his new movie Oppenheimer.

The upcoming thriller stars Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer, a theoretical physicist who helped develop the first nuclear weapons. The movie depicts the landmark Trinity test, when Oppenheimer and his team detonated the atomic bomb for the first time in a desert in 1945.

Nolan, who has always preferred practical effects over digital, opened up about recreating the actual explosion for real during an interview with Empire magazine.

"I mean, I've done a lot of explosions in a lot of films," he said. "But there is something very unique and particular about being out in a desert in the middle of the night with a big cast, and really just doing some enormous explosions and capturing that. You couldn't help but come back to this moment when they were doing this on the ultimate scale, that in the back of their minds they knew there was this possibility that they would set fire to the atmosphere. It was pretty amazing to engage in that kind of tension."

The Inception filmmaker added that Oppenheimer's story is "an involving, compelling tale" with seriously high stakes - after all, the bomb could have destroyed everything.

"Look, the ultimate stakes of any big blockbuster is the survival of the world," Nolan stated. "And that's what this story is. I know of no story with higher stakes than Oppenheimer's story... It's tricky using a word like entertainment when you're talking about something so serious, but entertainment in movies takes many forms."

Oppenheimer will be released in cinemas on 21 July.