Hollywood stars Matt Damon and Robert Downey Jr. have joined Cillian Murphy in Oppenheimer, Christopher Nolan’s biopic of J. Robert Oppenheimer, one of the fathers of the atomic bomb. Along with Murphy, Emily Blunt is already on board for the Universal project, and with Damon and Downey now flying in, Oppenheimer has become one of the most stacked feature projects in recent memory.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Universal is calling the movie 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.” Murphy is portraying the theoretical physicist who helped develop the atomic bomb during World War II.
According to the report, Blunt is playing his wife, Katherine “Kitty” Oppenheimer, while Damon will play Lt. Gen. Leslie Groves, the director of the Manhattan Project, the U.S. research initiative that developed the first atomic bomb. Downey will play Lewis Strauss, the infamous chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission who initiated hearings that questioned Oppenheimer’s loyalty to the United States and famously had the scientist’s security clearance revoked.
Nolan wrote the script and is directing, while his creative partner and wife, Emma Thomas, is producing with Charles Roven of Atlas Entertainment. The project is based on American Prometheus: “The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer” by Kai Bird and the late Martin J. Sherwin. Published in 2005, the book won the Pulitzer Prize.
On the work front, Damon is coming off of starring in Ridley Scott’s period drama The Last Duel, which he co-wrote. On the other hand, Downey was last starred in Dolittle, the talking animal adventure that Universal released in 2020.
The project has set a July 21, 2023, release date.
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