Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer Movie Casts Dredd Actress Olivia Thirlby

Thrilling news for people who have been following the casting announcements for Christopher Nolan's "Oppenheimer": apparently the 1940s had women, too! Deadline reports that Olivia Thirlby has been added to the expansive ensemble, which to date includes (among many others) Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Gary Oldman, Matt Damon, and Robert Downey Jr.

Over thirty actors total have come on board the project, which is about theoretical physicist and eventual nuclear bomb creator J. Robert Oppenheimer. Thirlby joins a much smaller number of women in the sprawling ensemble cast, including Florence Pugh, Emily Blunt, and Emma Dumont. The actress's specific role has not yet been announced.

Thirlby joins a stacked cast

Thirlby's breakout role came in 2007, as the randy best friend to pregnant teen Juno MacGuff (Elliot Page) in Jason Reitman's indie hit "Juno." Since then, she's appeared in films like "Dredd" and "The Wackness" (the latter alongside "Oppenheimer" co-star Josh Peck), and has most recently appeared as a major character in FX's long-awaited but short-lived "Y: The Last Man" adaptation. Thirlby has popped up in intense historical dramas before, including "The Stanford Prison Experiment" and "Chappaquiddick."

Nolan's film is based on a book by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin titled "American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer." Murphy will play the lead role of Oppenheimer, whose work on the Manhattan Project changed the world — and the way humans engage in war — forever. The physicist later became the chairman of an advisory board for the Atomic Energy Commission and was eventually brought before the House Un-American Activities Committee to answer for his alleged Communist ties. Bird and Sherwin's Pulitzer-winning book dives deep into these and other ethical complexities that marked Oppenheimer's life.

Nolan penned the screenplay for "Oppenheimer," and is producing alongside Emma Thomas. The filmmaker is perhaps best known for his Batman trilogy and mind-bending movies like "Inception," but he's no stranger to historical dramas, either. In 2017, the filmmaker's war movie "Dunkirk" wowed critics and audiences alike, ultimately earning over $500 million at the worldwide box office.

The filmmaker's projects always captivate, and any news about the latest Nolan film can be counted on to get fans excited. Still, the dozens of "Oppenheimer" casting announcements make it a tough film to even imagine. How will this massive ensemble work, especially with so many A-list actors? Only time will tell, as "Oppenheimer" is scheduled for theatrical release July 21, 2023.