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“I was absolutely blown away”: Christopher Nolan Claims Cillian Murphy Will Eclipse Christian Bale’s Batman Performance in Oppenheimer

christopher nolan, batman and oppenheimer

Longtime collaborators, Christopher Nolan and Cillian Murphy have been making mammoth claims over their upcoming movie, Oppenheimer, wherein Murphy plays the challenging role of J. Robert Oppenheimer. As the project appears to be the biggest film of 2023, its director compared Murphy’s performance with his Batman, Christian Bale, claiming that his portrayal as the father of the atomic bomb would eclipse the latter.

Cillian Murphy and Christopher Nolan on the sets of Oppenheimer
Cillian Murphy and Christopher Nolan on the sets of Oppenheimer

Cillian Murphy Dug Into Oppenheimer’s Psyche

In an insightful interview with Total Film, Christopher Nolan, the man behind the epic World War II story, Dunkirk, expressed the level of potential, Cillian Murphy’s performance holds as J. Robert Oppenheimer in another World War II story about the visionary scientist, who ironically became the “the destroyer of worlds.”

Also Read: “I don’t actually want to read the script”: Cillian Murphy Accepted Christopher Nolan’s Offer in $1B Movie to Shoot His Favorite Scene to Avoid Spoilers

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Even though the director has made three Batman films, he didn’t hesitate in claiming that his upcoming film, Oppenheimer is by far the “most ambiguous and paradoxical.” Nolan revealed that he was blown away by Cillian Murphy’s progress each day.

A still from Oppenheimer
A still from Oppenheimer

Showering praises on his go-to guy, he said:

“In truth, there are just not that many actors that you could say, on a first-person approach, ‘Yeah, we’re going to be this guy for three hours. You’re making a demand of an actor that very few actors in the history of film can rise to.

I will say that even with that confidence in him, he was continually surprising me on set every day. And when we got into the edit suite and were putting the performance together, and seeing the truth of it, I was absolutely blown away.” 

Interestingly, Murphy, who eventually played Scarecrow in Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy, was a frontrunner for the role of Nolan’s caped crusader. A clip of Murphy’s audition tape impressed Nolan, but it was Christian Bale who smashed it. Now, Nolan claims that Murphy’s performance in Oppenheimer will eclipse Bale’s performance in his Batman movies.

From Wikipedia-Level Knowlege Of J. Robert Oppenheimer To Walking In His Shoes

Cillian Murphy considers Christopher Nolan as one of his most valuable mentors. During his recent interviews, the Peaky Blinders star spoke highly about Nolan’s vision for the upcoming movie. Murphy claimed that Oppenheimer is the best script he ever read. Murphy stated:

“I think it’s the best script I ever read. I wanted it to be solely from Oppenheimer’s perspective. And I think the film is sensational.

As a person who loves films — I’m not saying it ’cos I’m in the fucking thing, I hate looking at myself —  but as a lover of film, as a cinephile, I’m a Chris Nolan fan.”

Robert Downey Jr. (left) and Cillian Murphy on the sets of Oppenheimer (2023).
Robert Downey Jr. (left) and Cillian Murphy on the sets of Oppenheimer (2023).

Not only this, but Murphy shared insights on how he would be living his dream of portraying one of the extraordinary strategic brains. Even though the role comes with a fair share of challenges, Murphy admitted that he enjoyed being around “insanely intelligent men and women and going for dinner to talk about normal shit.”

This helped him prepare for J. Robert Oppenheimer’s role which could and should serve as one of the most rewarding roles of his lifetime. He explained how he managed to dig into the scientist’s psyche after he managed to get past the “surface level” historical facts. Murphy said:

“I think I had kind of Wikipedia-level of knowledge of Oppenheimer, like most people,” Murphy said. “So then it was… Well, it was just starting from scratch, really.

Chris guided me through that. You can only do it one bite at a time. You have to go slowly. And thankfully we had time.”

Cillian Murphy in Oppenheimer

Oppenheimer is based on the 2005 book American Prometheus. The movie will take viewers through the process of the Manhattan Project, which changed the world forever, and with a role like that, Christopher Nolan has certainly paved Murphy’s way to the Oscars.

The Christopher Nolan-directed film hits theatres on July 21, 2023.

Also Read: “I feel a little sad that I can’t provide”: Cillian Murphy Regrets Peaky Blinders’ Fame Ahead of Oppenheimer Premiere, Claims He’s Nothing Like Tommy Shelby

Source: Total Film

Written by Mallika Singh

I am Mallika Singh, a lawyer and writer by profession. Writing gives me a sense of freedom and independence. I am a keen observer and an ardent reader. When not at work, you can find me at the stable. Horse riding is another passion that keeps me going.