Preproduction of Oppenheimer movie underway in New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Preproduction is underway in northern New Mexico for a film directed by Christopher Nolan about J. Robert Oppenheimer, the physicist called the father of the atomic bomb for his leading role in World War II’s Manhattan Project.

Four-hour casting calls were scheduled Saturday and Sunday in Santa Fe and Los Alamos for people to portray local residents, military personnel and scientists, the Albuquerque Journal reported.

According to Alessi Hartigan Casting, additional extras are needed for academics, college students, drivers, executives and military wives.

“This is an exciting opportunity for locals to be part of a film that showcases our area, and we encourage all community members to register and participate,” said Kelly Stewart, marketing manager for Los Alamos County. “Those who have already submitted Google forms for different characters should be sure to register and consider attending one of the casting calls.”

Universal Pictures said in September that it had acquired rights to finance and distribute the film.

Though the Manhattan Project included work at locations around the country, Los Alamos was the site of the secret base where bomb components were assembled for the July 16, 1945, test code-named Trinity at a desert location in southern New Mexico.