Christopher Nolan Reveals Sting Influenced The Movie “Oppenhemier”

via Sting / Youtube

Christopher Nolan, the visionary director behind films like ‘Inception’ and ‘The Dark Knight Trilogy,’ recently sat down with the stars of his upcoming movie ‘Oppenheimer’ in an Entertainment Weekly ‘Around the Table’ chat. During the conversation, Nolan revealed an unexpected influence on the film’s creation—Sting’s song ‘Russians,’ which references J. Robert Oppenheimer’s “deadly toys.”

Sting’s Song Sparks Childhood Memories

In the ‘Around the Table’ chat, Christopher Nolan disclosed his first encounter with the story of ‘Oppenheimer’ during his childhood. The iconic Sting song ‘Russians’ made reference to Oppenheimer’s “deadly toys,” piquing Nolan’s curiosity and planting the seed for future exploration. The song’s themes of nuclear war resonated with the filmmaker, who was growing up in the U.K. during a period of heightened concern about nuclear armaments.

Nolan reminisced about the fear of a nuclear war prevalent during his adolescence, stating:

“I was 12 or 13, my friends and I were absolutely convinced that we were going to experience a nuclear war at some point in our lives.”

This underlying anxiety about the looming nuclear threat stayed with him, and Oppenheimer’s significance as a historical figure became a topic of fascination that would later inspire his cinematic journey.

The Influence of ‘American Prometheus’

‘Oppenheimer,’ the movie, draws inspiration from the Pulitzer Prize-winning book ‘American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer’ by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin. Nolan revealed how the book provided valuable insights and shaped the film’s narrative. One aspect that captivated the director was the personal connection to history highlighted in the book.

During the ‘Around the Table’ chat, Nolan shared his takeaway from the book, emphasizing “the personal with the historical” connection. He found it captivating to learn that the historically significant Los Alamos, where pivotal moments of Oppenheimer’s life unfolded, was once a place where he and his brother enjoyed camping trips. This blending of personal anecdotes with grand historical events added depth and nuance to Oppenheimer’s character, making the story even more engaging for Nolan.