If there's one thing to expect from a new Christopher Nolan movie, it's the unexpected. After tackling everything from superheroes to spies, from time travel to dreams within dreams and the furthest reaches of space, the five-time Oscar nominee is venturing into a new genre: the biopic.
Following 2020's Tenet, Nolan's next movie is Oppenheimer, which is named after its subject, theoretical physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer. Like all Nolan projects, the film has a tantalizing premise, an impressively stacked cast and an assemblage of trusted collaborators behind the scenes. Here is everything you need to know about Oppenheimer.
What's 'Oppenheimer' about?
The movie will tell the story of "the father of the atomic bomb." J. Robert Oppenheimer ran the Manhattan Project’s Los Alamos Laboratory, which led to the invention of the first nuclear weapons during World War II. (Nolan's last WWII-set film, 2017's Dunkirk, earned eight Oscar nominations — including Best Picture and Best Directing—and won three.)
Oppenheimer is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and the late Martin J. Sherwin, the latter of whom spent more than two decades conducting his research.
When—and where—will we be able to watch it?
Universal Pictures will release Oppenheimer in theaters on July 21, 2023.
And considering this is the first film in more than 20 years that Nolan didn't make with Warner Bros. — after making his feelings about its HBO Max streaming strategy exceptionally clear — the theater is likely the only place you'll be able to watch it when it premieres.
Who's in it?
Cillian Murphy plays J. Robert Oppenheimer, marking the sixth collaboration between the actor and director (following The Dark Knight Trilogy, Inception and Dunkirk). "I'm interested in the man and what [inventing the atomic bomb] does to the individual," Murphy told The Guardian.
Emily Blunt co-stars as Katherine "Kitty" Oppenheimer, Robert's wife and a biologist in her own right who researched the effects of radiation while her husband tested the A-bomb. Florence Pugh plays Jean Tatlock, whom Oppenheimer dated while he was a professor and she was a grad student and continued seeing during his marriage.
Matt Damon plays Lieutenant General Leslie Groves Jr., the director of the Manhattan Project, with Robert Downey Jr. as Lewis Strauss, who served on the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission with Oppenheimer, and Josh Hartnett as nuclear scientist Ernest Lawrence.
The cast also includes Rami Malek, Dane DeHaan, Benny Safdie, Jack Quaid, Matthew Modine, Alden Ehrenreich, David Krumholtz, Michael Angarano, Jason Clarke, Louise Lombard, Dylan Arnold, Olli Haaskivi and Kenneth Branagh.
Who else is involved with the movie?
Oppenheimer's creative team includes Nolan's longtime producing partners Emma Thomas and Charles Roven, plus recurring cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema, who also shot Interstellar, Dunkirk and Tenet. (Van Hoytema's work on Dunkirk earned him an Oscar nomination.)
Nolan also tapped Tenet's editor, Jennifer Lame, and its composer, Oscar winner Ludwig Göransson (Black Panther), to collaborate once more on Oppenheimer.
Is there a trailer?
Not yet. But in the meantime, check out the first official poster below.