Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer nailed the Los Alamos portion of its production design. But the Dark Knight director went to extreme lengths to make life easier on production designer Ruth De Jong.
On an episode of the Team Deakins podcast — a podcast co-hosted by legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins and his wife James — they spoke to De Jong. The production designer spoke about the creation of Los Alamos, revealing that Nolan reportedly cut 30 days of filming in order to save money for the production design and set locations.
That means Nolan shot the entire three-hour epic that Oppenheimer is in just 55 days. This allowed De Jong to create the Los Alamos set from scratch in New Mexico.
Oppenheimer, based on Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin's book American Prometheus, chronicles the career of the titular physicist (played by Cillian Murphy). Not only does the film observe the Manhattan Project and development of the first nuclear weapons, but Nolan's epic also focuses on the aftermath.
While going against the summer's biggest hit in Barbie, Oppenheimer has had box office success. It has grossed $778 million worldwide to date and is currently the fourth highest-grossing film ever (trailing just the first two Deadpool films and Joker).
Christopher Nolan is a legendary filmmaker known for Memento, his Dark Knight trilogy, and Inception. Oppenheimer is Nolan's first film since 2020's Tenet, which was released during the peak of the pandemic. This film was also distributed by Universal Pictures, ending his lengthy streak of working with Warner Bros.
Oppenheimer is in theaters now.