Frankly, a movie about J. Robert Oppenheimer – the man who developed the atom bomb – sounds like another Oscar-bait biopic, to be much-talked about one year, forgotten the next. When you add Christopher Nolan to the equation, though, everyone’s interest peaks. The director simply does not make boring movies (though, admittedly, he does make confusing movies).
The script for Oppenheimer is looking too good for Hollywood’s finest actors to resist. First, Cillian Murphy took the leading role. Then, his A Quiet Place Part II co-star, Emily Blunt, signed on to play Oppenheimer’s wife. Now, two of the biggest names in movies, Robert Downey Jr. and Matt Damon, have joined the cast.
Deadline (opens in new tab) reports that their roles are being kept under wraps, which certainly seems surprising for a biopic that’s based on a book – the Pulitzer Prize-winning American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin. However, reports have signaled that Nolan’s being his usual self and keeping copies of the script on lockdown. It appears there’s much more to this film than meets the eye.
Downey Jr. is a newcomer to working with Nolan, whereas Damon previously appeared in (mild spoiler) Interstellar. Murphy famously appeared as the villain Scarecrow in Nolan’s Batman Begins.
If you were worried that Oppenheimer was simply being made so Nolan could finally get his hands on some awards, then think again. Whereas most biopics are released in the runup to awards season (think Kristen Stewart’s Spencer this week, David Fincher’s Mank last December), Nolan’s flick – which has a budget of over $100 million – has a prime blockbuster season date of July 21, 2023. That puts it one week ahead of Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
All that’s to say that Oppenheimer looks set to be another big-budget, big-ideas movie from Nolan, with a cast that’s shaping up to be a who’s who of Hollywood. While we wait for the new movie, here’s our ranking of the best Christopher Nolan movies – we’re ready to fight in the comments.