Oppenheimer's grandson disagrees with this scene in Christopher Nolan's film | Hollywood - Hindustan Times

Oppenheimer's grandson reveals he disagrees with this scene in Christopher Nolan's film

Jul 26, 2023 02:35 PM IST

In Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer, Cillian Murphy played the theoretical physicist. The film also stars Florence Pugh, Emily Blunt, and Robert Downey Jr.

Mild Oppenheimer Spoiler Ahead:

J Robert Oppenheimer's grandson Charles Oppenheimer has spoken about a scene in Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer when asked if he thought any part in the film was 'inaccurate'. In an interview with TIME, Charles pointed out that the part he liked the least in the film was the 'poison apple reference'. He also added that he disagreed with the part, not because of Nolan but because it was a ‘problem’ in American Prometheus. (Also Read | Oppenheimer does much better business in India than Barbie)

Cillian Murphy plays J Robert Oppenheimer in Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer.
Cillian Murphy plays J Robert Oppenheimer in Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer.

What is American Prometheus

American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J Robert Oppenheimer was a Pulitzer Prize-winning 2006 biography of the theoretical physicist written by Kai Bird and Martin J Sherwin. Nolan's Oppenheimer is based on the book. In the said scene, a young Robert Oppenheimer, played by Cillian Murphy, injects potassium cyanide into a green apple. He then leaves it for his university tutor, Patrick Blackett (James D'Arcy). Later, Oppenheimer has second thoughts and throws away the fruit before Niels Bohr (Kenneth Branagh) can take a bite.

Charles talks about poison apple scene

Charles said to TIME, "There are parts that I disagree with, but not really because of (Christopher) Nolan. The part I like the least is this poison apple reference, which was a problem in American Prometheus. If you read American Prometheus carefully enough, the authors say, 'We don't really know if it happened.' There's no record of him trying to kill somebody. That's a really serious accusation and it's historical revision. There's not a single enemy or friend of Robert Oppenheimer who heard that during his life and considered it to be true."

Charles on if the scene in Oppenheimer bothered him

He also added, "Sometimes facts get dragged through a game of telephone. In the movie, it's treated vaguely and you don't really know what's going on unless you know this incredibly deep backstory. So it honestly didn't bother me. It bothers me that it was in the biography with that emphasis, not a disclaimer of, this is an unsubstantiated rumour that we want to put in our book to make it interesting. But I like some of the dramatizations. I thought Einstein's conversation with Oppenheimer at the end was really effective even though it wasn't historical."

About Nolan's Oppenheimer

Oppenheimer, a Universal Pictures project, also stars Florence Pugh, Emily Blunt, Robert Downey Jr, Matt Damon, Josh Hartnett, Casey Affleck, Rami Malek, and Kenneth Branagh among others. The biopic, set during World War II, follows Oppenheimer, known as the Father of the Atomic Bomb, during a period in history when he feared that testing the atomic bomb would ignite the atmosphere and destroy the world, yet he pushed the button anyway.

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