You’ll have to wait until next week to see the full trailer for Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, the film that tells the story of the phycisist Robert Oppenheimer and his part in the creation of the atomic bomb. And also after that, during the Cold War, as CinemaCon attendees saw Wednesday night. Nolan himself appeared on stage during Universal’s presentation to present a sizzle reel of clips from the film to whet the appetites of assembled movie theater owners.

“I know of no more dramatic tale with higher stakes,” Nolan told the crowd, before letting the footage from the film roll.

It began in black and white, with Senator Lewis Strauss (Robert Downey Jr.) learning that the Soviets have an atomic bomb of their own. Strauss isn’t happy that the US is apparently falling behind in the nuclear arms race.

“We were in a race against the Nazis,” says Cillian Murphy’s Oppenheimer, and without that they lost their urgency.

“Well now we’re in a race with the Soviets,” Strauss replies, referring to the race to develop a hydrogen bomb in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

From there, attendees saw a number of shots of engineers and others working on the bomb at Los Alamos, including several looks at Matt Damon’s thick mustache–he plays General Groves, the boss of the Manhattan Project.

There were also glimpses of intrigue–with character concerned about and hunting for a potential spy in Los Alamos stealing America’s nuclear secrets.

The footage ended with a long and dramatic shot of the first atomic bomb that would be dropped against Japan, as it’s being trucked away from Los Alamos.

When Oppenheimer arrives in movie theaters on July 21, it will feature a number of scenes in black and white. But “not too much black and white, I assure you,” Nolan told the CinemaCon audience.