'Oppenheimer' Lewis Strauss (Robert Downey Jr.) TIME Magazine Replica


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For the past several months, I’ve been trying to recreate the prop TIME magazine featuring Robert Downey Jr. as Lewis Strauss in “Oppenheimer”, seen in a key pivotal scene in the third act of the movie (ifykyk). Been a long journey, but I’ve finally completed it!


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For those who are unaware, the prop is a recreation of an actual TIME edition from 1959 with the real Lewis Strauss on the cover. For the movie, the production ended up making a new cover with Robert Downey Jr’s likeness, and folded it over the contents of a real 1959 issue. Some pages featuring Strauss and Oppenheimer were replaced/reprinted to feature RDJ and Murphy, however a majority of the magazine was from the real thing, to which I replicated here.


The cover graphics (along with several other magazines from the movie) are in “Unleashing Oppenheimer,” a behind the scenes book on the making of the movie. Unfortunately, the image came cropped. So, I took to Photoshop to digitally enhance the graphics and extend the red borders to the actual dimensions of the magazine.

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For printing, I reached out to the folks at Earl Hays Press that made most of the paper props for the movie, including this very magazine. They were able to tell me what type and weight of paper the cover was printed on. Unlike the actual 1959 TIME issue, the prop had a glossy finish, to which I replicated as well.


There are several things I’d like to improve on, such as the advertisement on the back cover (doesn’t match to the back advert on the actual 1959 issue, though it's barely seen in the movie). To counter this, I found a similar looking advert dating to the 50’s and slapped it on. If/once high quality images are released for those, I’d like to reprint the cover. Otherwise, I’m perfectly content for now. Overall a fun replica prop project!
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