JTA — “Oppenheimer,” Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated biopic about the Jewish nuclear physicist who developed the atomic bomb, will include another familiar Jewish face when it opens this summer: Albert Einstein.
A new trailer for the drama, released this week, includes a brief glimpse of the scientist’s unmistakable face, as rendered by Oscar-nominated Scottish actor Tom Conti. Underscoring the seriousness of the bomb’s development, this Einstein has forgone his usual cheerful demeanor and instead wears a serious frown.
It seems fitting for the film, which follows J. Robert Oppenheimer (Cillian Murphy) as he and the other members of the Manhattan Project race to develop the bomb by building the Los Alamos laboratory in New Mexico in the mid-1940s. Oppenheimer and his team of scientists tested the weapon there before it was finally dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II, killing more than 110,000 people.
According to legend, the scientist first announced the success of the bomb test by quoting the Hindu text Bhagavad Gita: “I have become death, destroyer of worlds”. He will end up regretting his creation, telling US President Harry Truman that he had blood on his hands.
Einstein’s role in developing the bomb is often overstated, but still notable. According to the American Museum of Natural History, when the physicist and Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany learned that German scientists had successfully split the uranium atom in 1938, he urged the then US president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, to accelerate the development of nuclear weapons in the world. UNITED STATES. He feared the Nazis would develop the bomb first, relying in part on his own scientific equations. Einstein was later banned from participating in the Manhattan Project, as his left-leaning politics were enough to consider him a security risk.
As soon as the bomb was dropped on Japan, Einstein was reportedly devastated and came to regret even his small role in pushing Roosevelt to develop it.
Several other atomic-age Jewish figures will make appearances in the historical drama, including former US Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Lewis Strauss (played by Robert Downey Jr.), Manhattan Project physicist Richard Feynman ( Jack Quaid), hydrogen bomb developer Edward Teller (Benny Safdie), and nuclear physicist Isidor Isaac Rabi (David Krumholtz).
“Oppenheimer” will open on July 21. Nolan, a filmmaker known for his grandiose style in blockbusters like “The Dark Knight” and “Inception,” shot the entire film with large-format IMAX cameras to add to its epic scale. This will be his second World War II story, following 2017’s “Dunkirk.”
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