Dane DeHaan Boards Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer

How great must life be for Christopher Nolan? His most recent movie, "Tenet," managed to rise above some ugly pandemic-affected theatrical snafus and become the face of "No understanding, just vibes" cinema that the masses (read: people like me) just can't get enough of these days. Upon deciding on his newest script, the acclaimed filmmaker took his talents elsewhere and stirred up a heated bidding war, ultimately landing with Universal Studios for his latest project, a World War II-set J. Robert Oppenheimer biopic. Now, Nolan simply keeps adding to what was already a star-studded ensemble cast that only the biggest and most influential names can attract these days.

Though he's perhaps mostly known for his role in 2014's "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" as Peter Parker's frenemy Harry Osborn or for his performance in the grounded superhero origin story, "Chronicle," Dane DeHaan is now joining the ranks of Nolan's latest buzzy project. The news of this most recent and exciting addition to "Oppenheimer" comes courtesy of THR, which is sure to please movie fans who've kept up with DeHaan's projects over the years. His most recent appearances include turns in the oft-delayed "Tulip Fever," the fantasy blockbuster "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets," and the Apple TV+ series "Lisey's Story," an adaptation of a Stephen King novel. His most impressive work to date, if you ask me, remains his lead performance in Gore Verbinski's "A Cure For Wellness," which deserved a far better fate than to flop so badly in theaters in 2016.

In any case, don't call this a comeback. Dane DeHaan is only the latest talented and exciting addition to what's shaping up to be yet another can't-miss from Christopher Nolan.

The Dane of a New Era

Can you believe that folks once laughed at Christopher Nolan for casting a certain big-name pop star for a significant supporting role in a war movie? It's safe to say that the perpetually-scarfed Nolan enjoyed the last laugh on that one, as Harry Styles' performance in "Dunkirk" proved to be a perfect example of why we should probably give directors and casting directors the benefit of the doubt every now and then. I mention that anecdote not to imply that Dane DeHaan's casting in "Oppenheimer" is anything as left-field as casting a One Direction singer/songwriter, but only in case anyone is tempted to judge the actor's entire body of work based on a somewhat miscalculated performance in his biggest blockbuster thus far, "The Amazing Spider-Man 2." I realize we all love Andrew Garfield and rightfully so ... but the less we talk of that movie, the better.

Unfortunately, the THR report isn't able to share any specific details on which character the actor might be playing at this time — whether a real-life historical figure (presuming that DeHaan's character appears during World War II, he'd likely be too old to play Oppenheimer's son, who was only born in 1941) or an original one. Either way, he joins a stacked ensemble that features Nolan regular and Tommy Shelby himself, Cillian Murphy, in the lead role as Oppenheimer, one of the chief masterminds behind the creation of the deadly atomic bomb. He's flanked by Emily Blunt as the character's (not-dead!) wife, Robert Downey Jr., Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Florence Pugh, Rami Malek, Benny Safdie (yes, the "Good Time" and "Uncut Gems" co-director himself), Josh Hartnett, and more.

Written and directed by Nolan, the film has been described as 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." "Oppenheimer" is scheduled to release on July 21, 2023.