Murphy will be starring as American scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer, who had a big role to play in the creation of the atom bomb. The first atom bomb was successfully detonated in July 1945; the following month, atom bombs struck Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing between 129,000 and 226,000 people. Oppenheimer would later lobby for international control of nuclear power to avert nuclear proliferation and a nuclear arms race. He was also opposed to the development of the hydrogen bomb.
This will mark a reunion for Murphy and Nolan, following the Dark Knight trilogy, Inception, and Dunkirk.
Nolan will direct and has written the screenplay, 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 (Sherwin sadly passed away on October 6th at the age of 84 following a battle with lung cancer).
Oppenheimer will be reuniting Nolan with a number of talented behind-the-scenes creatives, including director of photography Hoyte Van Hoytema (Tenet, Interstellar, Dunkirk), editor Jennifer Lame (Tenet, Marriage Story, Hereditary), and composer Ludwig Göransson (Tenet, Black Panther, The Mandalorian).
In keeping with Nolan’s requirement of a theatrical release, Oppenheimer will be filmed on IMAX 65mm and 65mm large format film. A theatrical-exclusive run was part of the agreement Universal had to abide by when they scored the project. The filmmaker had a problem with the decision by longtime studio partner Warner Bros. to release their 2021 films simultaneously in cinemas on HBO Max, although Tenet did manage to avoid that release strategy.
Universal has also handed Oppenheimer a US release date: July 21, 2023. Production is expected to kick off in early 2022.