Christopher Nolan wins best director Oscar for ‘Oppenheimer’

March 11, 2024 - 10:09 AM
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Christopher Nolan wins the Oscar for Best Director for "Oppenheimer" during the Oscars show at the 96th Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 10, 2024. (Reuters/Mike Blake)

LOS ANGELES — British-American filmmaker Christopher Nolan won his first Academy Award on Sunday, clinching best director for his historical drama “Oppenheimer” about the man behind the development of the atomic bomb during World War Two.

READ: Full list of Oscar winners at the 96th Academy Awards

Nolan had been favored to win the Oscar after earning best director awards at the Golden Globes, BAFTA, Critics Choice and the Directors Guild of America this year.

Nolan also wrote the screenplay for “Oppenheimer” and produced the film with his wife Emma Thomas. The film received 13 Oscar nominations, including best picture and best actor for Cillian Murphy, who played J. Robert Openheimer, known as “the father of the atomic bomb.”

READ: Cillian Murphy wins best actor Oscar for ‘Oppenheimer’

“Oppenheimer’s story is one of the most dramatic that I know of and there are many, many aspects to what makes it so compelling,” Nolan told Reuters before the film’s premiere last summer.

Oppenheimer headed the secret Los Alamos Laboratory, established under President Franklin D. Roosevelt as part of the Manhattan Project to build the first atomic bomb. He oversaw the first atomic bomb detonation in the New Mexico desert, code-named “Trinity,” before the weapons were used in the bombings of Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The film has earned more than $957 million at the global box office.

Nolan is known for his cerebral films and was first nominated for an Oscar for screenwriting in 2002 for “Memento,” which he also directed. He was nominated for best director in 2019 for World War Two movie “Dunkirk.”

READ: ‘Oppenheimer’ crowned best picture at the Oscars | Universal Pictures dominates the Academy Awards with “Oppenheimer’

—Reporting by Mary Milliken; editing by Jonathan Oatis