Oppenheimer's grandson has big issue with 'serious accusation' against scientist in the film
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It was one of this year’s most anticipated films. And it was based on a true story.
However, a relative of its real-life titular character has a bit of an issue with it.
Oppenheimer was finally released in cinemas last Friday (21 July).
The film, directed by Christopher Nolan, tells the story of American scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer (played by Cillian Murphy) and his role in developing the atomic bomb that was used in World War II. This led to him being titled as the ‘father of the atomic bomb’.
It’s been praised by many as one of the ‘best’ movies of the year but Oppenheimer’s actual grandson is not happy with a ‘serious accusation’ made in it.
Oh, and this could be a slight spoiler to some of the content if you’re yet to see the film - take this as a warning.
So in one scene, Oppenheimer injects potassium cyanide into a green apple, leaving it on the desk of his university tutor Patrick Blackett (played by James D’Arcy) in an attempt to kill him.
However, he has second thoughts over this poisonous act and throws the apple into the bin.
And his real-life grandson Charles Oppenheimer, 48, isn’t too pleased.
He told TIME Magazine: “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.”
He did add that this poisoning allegation isn’t necessarily filmmaker Nolan’s fault as it was already a ‘problem’ in the biography the movie is based on - Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin’s American Prometheus.
Charles said: “If you read American Prometheus carefully enough, the authors say, ‘We don't really know if it happened’.
“American Prometheus got it from some references talking about a spring break trip, and all the original reporters of that story - there was only two maybe three - reported that they didn't know what Robert Oppenheimer was talking about.
"Unfortunately, American Prometheus summarizes that as Robert Oppenheimer tried to kill his teacher and then they [acknowledge that] maybe there's doubt.”
Nolan is forgiven by the scientist’s grandson though, as the reference is treated more ‘vaguely’ in the movie and ‘didn’t bother’ him as much as the original 2006 Pulitzer Prize-winning book.
Oppenheimer is in cinemas now.