Christopher Nolan Hints Oppenheimer’s Ending Has Similarities To Inception’s “Complicated” One

According to Christopher Nolan, the ending of Oppenheimer has some similarities with Inception. While Oppenheimer is set to premiere on July 21, Inception was released in 2010 and follows the adventures of Leonardo DiCaprio’s Dom Cobb as he attempts to clear his criminal record so that he can return to his family. Oppenheimer, on the other hand, tells the story of the man who helped create the nuclear weapons that still put humanity at risk today.


The core motivations of the characters may be different, but that doesn’t mean that the films are all too dissimilar. In an interview with WIRED, Nolan explained that he thinks the endings for Oppenheimer and Inception are actually remarkably alike. There may be some nihilism, but there is also some level of intellectual ambiguity. Check out his quote below:

“I mean, the end of Inception, it’s exactly that. There is a nihilistic view of that ending, right? But also, he’s moved on and is with his kids. The ambiguity is not an emotional ambiguity. It’s an intellectual one for the audience. It’s funny, I think there is an interesting relationship between the endings of Inception and Oppenheimer to be explored. Oppenheimer’s got a complicated ending. Complicated feelings.”

How Inception Compares To Oppenheimer

Cooper and a young Murphy at the table in Interstellar

At their cores, Inception and Oppenheimer are all about exploring the extent of human capabilities. Nolan put exceptional effort into ensuring some level of scientific accuracy in the projects, which is why both Inception and Oppenheimer are filled with exposition. Inception explores the existence of lucid dreaming and the subconscious and considers the extent to which that can be explored. Oppenheimer, meanwhile, is based on real-world nuclear science, as it walks through the life story of J. Robert Oppenheimer. The film is so accurate, in fact, that even the extras are actual scientists.

The science isn’t where the similarities between Oppenheimer and Inception end, of course. There is also the emotional core of both films. Dream-shifting and exploring the limits of human weaponry may seem like very different goals, but both explore the outer capacity of human capabilities and the human interest behind it all. Even after the bombs were dropped, the actual Oppenheimer spent the rest of his life rallying against the atomic bombs, just as Cobb is left questioning if he did the right thing and if he ever truly returned to the world at all.

If Oppenheimer is to be as epic as Inception’s ending, it will need to rely on the emotion behind Oppenheimer’s decisions. He’s someone who wanted to save the world by building a bomb that could destroy it. He is a complicated figure, and Nolan has proven himself to be more than capable of depicting similar characters with integrity and honesty. He has worked tirelessly to ensure scientific accuracy, but Oppenheimer will need to be just as true to the human being himself if it is to pull off its ending.

Source: WIRED

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