10 Best Reddit Reactions To Cillian Murphy As J. Robert Oppenheimer

The arrival of the first teaser trailer for Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer instantly captured the internet's attention and primed the anticipation of the divisive filmmaker's fans. Nolan's latest is a biopic about J. Robert Oppenheimer, the so-called "father of the atomic bomb", and stars Peaky Blinders favorite Cillian Murphy in the lead role.

To date, Murphy has amassed a dedicated fanbase and he's previously worked with Nolan on a variety of his films. However, when it comes to lead roles, Oppenheimer undoubtedly marks one of, if not the biggest opportunities of Murphy's career. Reddit users have been particularly vocal about this, as evidenced by the best reactions below.


10  No Delight With Black & White

Cillian Murphy as Oppenheimer

Oppenheimer marks Nolan’s first foray into black and white cinema since 2000’s Memento. His filmmaking has grown considerably since then, as has his ability to cast some of the best actors currently working. But as Reddit user AOHare worries: “A black and white movie with Cillian Murphy!? But then, how can I get lost in his ocean blue eyes!!??"

Related: 7 Christopher Nolan Movie Plot Twists That Everyone Saw Coming

It might seem a trivial point to many, but casting Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer inevitably means that his fanbase is going to be highly engaged with the film. Much of that is due to his acting abilities, of course, but a portion of that fanbase is also more than a little enamored by the Irish star. For these people, the idea of a black and white film takes away from at least one of Murphy’s nicest attributes.

9 A Dramatic Change

Peaky Blinders Cillian Murphy as Thomas Shelby season 6

Though excitement is rapidly building for Oppenheimer, the truth of the matter is that it’s a bit of departure from the sorts of films that Nolan is known for. Murphy may look promising in the eponymous lead role, but Reddit user Aboveground_Plush makes a good point, stating: “Anytime he wears a fancy suit I feel like he's going to start beating people up.”

Having starred as Thomas Shelby in the hit series Peaky Blinders for six seasons, Murphy has earned something of a tough guy reputation. This might seem at odds with some of his earlier work like 28 Days Later or Breakfast on Pluto, but by now fans have a distinct impression of him that doesn’t completely measure up to a far tamer role of a theoretical physicist. Nonetheless, anticipation remains high.

8 An Explosive Presence

Oppenheimer Header

Because Oppenheimer follows the story of Oppenheimer and his development of the atomic bomb, there will be plenty of opportunities to see some big screen explosions. But bombs being detonated isn’t the central focus of the film, and Reddit user behold_the_man sums up how beloved Murphy is by very simply stating, “Dude is the bomb.”

The slang term may fit well in this particular context, and it might also make more than a few people groan. However, even from a literal point of view, calling Murphy the bomb is quite apt. Oppenheimer links the life of the infamous scientist and the creation of the atomic bomb, and Murphy could very well deliver an explosive performance as the man who created the world’s deadliest weapon.

7 Targeting Awards Season

Oscars Statues Academy Awards

Oppenheimer has such a star-studded cast and the subject matter is so grandiose, that it’s hard not to consider its Oscar hopes. Reddit user mystlurker says what many of us are thinking with, “Given how much the Academy loves biopics, this has Oscar bait written all over it. If it's even halfway decent movie/acting he'll get at least get a nomination.”

Despite a lengthy and impressive career, to date, Murphy has never received an Oscar nomination. And although he’s worked with Christopher Nolan before, it’s Oppenheimer who finally provides Murphy with the sort of leadership role that can change his status as an actor. Because of this potential, his casting in Oppenheimer is arguably the most important one of his life – even if some feel it’s all Oscar bait.

6 He’s Got The Look

Oppenheimer Trailer World Forever Changes

Biopics may often be awards favorites, but there’s always a certain degree of authenticity that needs to be met before things can progress to that level. What typically matters most is how accurately the subject of the biopic is portrayed. As Reddit user CaptainCAAAVEMAAAAAN points out, “Great casting. Cillian Murphy looks remarkably like Oppenheimer.”

Related: Peaky Blinders Movie: Everything We Know So Far

Whether or not Murphy looks like Oppenheimer is debatable, and this will likely be the source of much speculation both before the film arrives as well as after. Sometimes looking like the source of the biopic can be overshadowed by an air-tight performance, and in that case, it’s fair to say that Murphy can pull this role off. For now, however, fans seem to approve of his Oppenheimer transformation.

5 A Different Kind Of Oppenheimer

Oppenheimer Movie Trailer Countdown

The idea of a black and white biopic about J. Robert Oppenheimer doesn’t exactly scream sex appeal. After all, Oppenheimer was responsible for the creation of the most lethal weapon mankind has ever produced. This information didn’t stop Reddit user Forty_Six_and_Two, from stating, “Oh, I see...it's gonna be sexy Oppenheimer.”

Again, for a certain portion of Murphy’s fanbase, his status as a sex symbol is paramount. That being said, simply because Murphy is attractive to many doesn’t mean that’s how the character will be played. It’s almost a guarantee that sex appeal won’t factor into Oppenheimer’s plot. However, Nolan may imbue Oppenheimer’s story with a glorification of power, which many find sexy.

4 Not For Everyone

Cillian Murphy; Christopher Nolan; Oppenheimer

Christopher Nolan’s films can certainly be divisive. Even with its impressive cast and Murphy as Oppenheimer, the film’s first teaser trailer didn’t land well with everyone. Reddit user AndLetRinse sums this feeling up, saying, “Such a pretentious trailer. Shows absolutely nothing. Only Nolan would think this was worthy of a teaser trailer. It’s literally just Murphy walking down a hallway.”

Ignoring the fact that a teaser trailer is specifically designed not to show too much, there isn’t a lot to judge Murphy by yet. He’s won what some would say is the most important part of taking on a biopic role, by having a substantial amount of fan support behind him. However, it remains to be seen just what he’ll do with the role and how engaging his performance is.

3 Too Cool For School

Oppenheimer Movie Trailer Hat

Oppenheimer’s academic history was an extensive one. Despite excelling at chemistry, he later shifted his focus to theoretical physics before being employed by the U.S. to oversee work on an atomic bomb. In short, he was a genius, but some don’t see him in Murphy. Reddit user TreasonableBloke opined, “He looks way too cool. Oppenheimer was a nerd.”

Related: 10 Cillian Murphy Movies To Watch If You're Already Missing Peaky Blinders

Dismissing Murphy’s casting as Oppenheimer based on whether or not he looks cool is more than a little frivolous. Even considering Oppenheimer’s academic achievements as “nerdy” is a meaningless qualifier, mainly because the idea of what constitutes a nerd lacks any solid definition. Oppenheimer was a man of science – a designation that Murphy is fully capable of portraying.

2 Oppenheimer Or Eilish?

Cilliam Murphy covering his eyes from camera flashes in the Oppenheimer teaser

With the internet and social media platforms what they are, the unveiling of a biopic’s lead actor is guaranteed to involve joking from the public. The first teaser for Oppenheimer was no different in this respect, as illustrated by Reddit user AllNightPony, who addressed Murphy’s appearance with, “Looks like Billie Eilish wearing a men's suit and hat.”

This is arguably one of the most ridiculous statements regarding Murphy’s Oppenheimer look. True, there is a very faint resemblance between the famed popstar and Murphy, but it’s not enough to justify the comparison. The statement will likely get a few laughs, but ultimately Murphy deserves to be given the benefit of the doubt regarding his ability to capture Oppenheimer’s look and character.

1 Lots Of Enthusiasm

Cillian Murphy standing before a curtain in a suit in Peaky Blinders

If there’s one specific thing to be taken from the recent reaction to Murphy as Oppenheimer, it’s that fans are excited. Despite the negative impact that Oppenheimer eventually had on the world, Murphy fans see this as an opportunity. Reddit user SammyLuke expresses this opinion by stating, “I’m hype for Mr. Murphy for getting a major role like this. Dude is gonna kill it.”

Regardless of whether you’re a Murphy or Nolan fan, it’s hard to deny that this is the sort of opportunity that actors work their entire careers for. Oppenheimer could be a huge critically acclaimed hit, or could also be a box office failure. What’s certain is that the role will offer Murphy a chance to try something new with his work, and that’s an exciting prospect for fans everywhere.