Everything We Know About Oppenheimer So Far

Christopher Nolan has worked with Cillian Murphy five times (in "Dunkirk," "Inception," and all three films in "The Dark Knight" trilogy), and he name-dropped J. Robert Oppenheimer, father of the atomic bomb, in his most recent film, "Tenet." For his next movie, Nolan has chosen Oppenheimer as the subject, and he's teaming with Murphy for a sixth time.

In this case, however, the actor is taking on the title role. "Oppenheimer" will give Murphy a chance to flex his acting muscles as the lead, as we've seen him do on television in "Peaky Blinders" and in other movies like "28 Days Later" and "Sunshine." Yet he's not the only big-name star who is attached to the project.

Here's everything we know about "Oppenheimer" so far.

When and Where to Watch Oppenheimer

"Oppenheimer" is scheduled for release on July 21, 2023, and unless something changes, it will have an exclusive theatrical run before it heads to streaming or becomes available on digital platforms. After all, Nolan is a huge proponent of the theatrical experience. For "Oppenheimer," he parted ways with his longtime studio, Warner Bros., after it opted to give all of its theatrical releases in 2021 a simultaneous release on HBO Max.

What We Think Oppenheimer Will Be About

"Oppenheimer" is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, "American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer" by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin, the latter of whom passed away the same week that the movie's title and release date were announced. The book's title refers to the Greek myth of Prometheus, who stole fire from the gods.

The month after the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki — prompting the Japanese government's unconditional surrender near the end of World War II — an issue of Scientific Monthly magazine referenced this same myth with the quote: "Modern Prometheans have raided Mount Olympus again and have brought back for man the very thunderbolts of Zeus." Here, the "thunderbolts of Zeus," that godlike power, serves as a metaphor for the bomb's destructive ability to kill hundreds of thousands of people.

Given that Oppenheimer is a real-life person, the physicist who headed up the research laboratory for the Manhattan Project (which produced the first nuclear weapons), it would be reasonable to assume that "Oppenheimer" is going to be a simple biopic. However, "simple" and "Nolan" aren't two words that go together.

Instead, Universal has positioned "Oppenheimer" as a thriller. The full log line describes it as an "an 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."

What We Know About The Oppenheimer Cast and Crew

Nolan is writing the script for "Oppenheimer" in addition to directing it — and producing it with his longtime partners Emma Thomas and Charles Roven. The film will reunite him with Hoyte Van Hoytema and Ludwig Göransson, his cinematographer and composer for "Tenet."

As mentioned, Cillian Murphy will inhabit the central Oppenheimer role and Emily Blunt will play his wife, Katherine "Kitty" Puening. For this film, Nolan is building a star-powered ensemble. First, he scored the casting coup of Matt Damon and Robert Downey, Jr. Then, we heard that he had nabbed the talents of Florence Pugh, Rami Malek, and Benny Safdie

Damon co-starred in "Interstellar," but "Oppenheimer" will actually be Downey's first film since his pre-pandemic flop, "Dolittle," which, in turn, was the first movie he made after retiring from the Marvel Cinematic Universe in "Avengers: Endgame." Any summer tentpole with Nolan's name on it is going to be a can't-miss, but when you add Downey and these other actors to the mix, "Oppenheimer" is shaping up to be one with a particularly stacked cast.