Oppenheimer has added Robert Downey Jr. and Matt Damon to its lineup.
According to Variety, the two stars will star in Christopher Nolan’s upcoming thriller about the development of the atomic bomb for Universal.
The Universal production already has Emily Blunt on board, and with Matt Damon and Robert Downey Jr. joining, Oppenheimer has become one of the most stacked feature projects in recent memory.
According to Universal, the film is a “epic thriller that thrusts audiences into the pulse-pounding paradox of the enigmatic man who must risk destroying the world in order to save it.”
During World War II, Cillian Murphy plays a theoretical physicist who assisted in the development of the atomic bomb. According to rumours, Emily Blunt would portray his wife, Katherine “Kitty” Oppenheimer, and Matt Damon will play Lt. Gen. Leslie Groves, the head of the Manhattan Project, the United States’ research endeavour that produced the first atomic bomb. Robert Downey Jr. will play Lewis Strauss, the controversial chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission who held hearings questioning Oppenheimer’s loyalty and famously had his security clearance revoked.
Nolan authored the script and is directing it, while Emma Thomas, his creative partner and wife, is producing it with Atlas Entertainment’s Charles Roven. The project is based on Kai Bird and the late Martin J. Sherwin’s book American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer. The Pulitzer Prize-winning book was published in 2005.
Deadline was the first to report that this would be Nolan’s next feature, as well as the news that Universal had won the rights to the movie after a heated bidding war that included nearly every major studio in town. Murphy, who was first identified by Deadline as having a crucial role in the production, has now been verified to be the man at the centre of the plot.
Nolan is recognised for putting together ensembles that include both familiar faces and newcomers.
Both are explored in this film. Damon previously collaborated with Christopher Nolan on the science fiction film Interstellar. This will be Downey Jr.’s first collaboration with a director.
Damon is fresh off of co-writing and acting in Ridley Scott’s period drama The Last Duel. Downey’s most recent film was Dolittle, a talking animal adventure released by Universal in 2020.
The project’s release date has been set for July 21, 2023.