Cillian Murphy has been cast to play the titular character in the upcoming biopic, Oppenheimer. The film will reunite the actor with Christopher Nolan, who’s serving as the writer, director and one of the producers on the project.
The duo previously worked together on The Dark Knight trilogy, Inception and Dunkirk. However, Oppenheimer will mark the Golden Globe-nominated performer’s first time in the lead role in a Nolan movie.
Universal Pictures and Nolan’s banner Syncopy have also confirmed the thriller will be released in North American theaters on July 21, 2023, as Nolan typically unveils his projects in the summer, Deadline is reporting. The news of the feature’s distribution comes after several of Hollywood’s major studios became embattled in a heated bidding war over the drama. Universal Pictures ended up securing the biopic’s distribution rights last month.
The film is set to offer audiences a glimpse into theoretical physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer’s moral struggle as he helped developed the atomic bomb during World War II. Nolan’s script is based on Kai Bird and the late Martin J. Sherwin’s 2005 Pulitzer Prize-winning book, American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer.
The movie, which will also be produced by Emma Thomas and Atlas Entertainment’s Charles Roven, is set to begin production early next year. Oppenheimer will be shot on a combination of iMAX 65mm and 65mm large-format film for the highest image quality.
Nolan’s next film will also reunite him with some of his leading collaborators behind the camera. In addition to Roven, the scribe-helmer will once again be working with director of photography Hoyte Van Hoytema, after they previously worked together on Tenet, Dunkirk and Interstellar, and editor Jennifer Lame and composer Ludwig Göransson, who both also worked on Tenet..
“Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas’ films have shattered the limits of what cinematic storytelling can achieve,” Universal Filmed Entertainment Group Chairman, Donna Langley, said about Oppenheimer. “We are thrilled to be working alongside them on this exceptional and extraordinary project and are grateful for their shared passion and commitment to the theatrical experience.”