Cillian Murphy to Star in Christopher Nolan's 'Oppenheimer'

Biopic about father of the Atomic Bomb will begin filming in IMAX in early 2022

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Christopher Nolan has cast Cillian Murphy to star in his film about the father of the Atomic Bomb, now titled “Oppenheimer,” and Universal Pictures and Nolan’s Syncopy announced Friday the film will open in theaters on July 21, 2023.

Nolan will write and direct “Oppenheimer,” which will be his 12th film and is a biopic about J. Robert Oppenheimer based on the Pulitzer-Prize winning book “American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer” by Kai Bird and the late Martin J. Sherwin, who passed away this week. The film is described as a “pulse-pounding paradox of the enigmatic man who must risk destroying the world in order to save it.”

Oppenheimer was a theoretical physicist and a professor at the University of California, Berkeley. And during wartime he was the head of the Los Alamos Laboratory, at which he was given the title the “father of the atomic bomb” for his role in the “Manhattan Project” that for World War II first developed nuclear weapons. He also supervised the Trinity Test, which is where in New Mexico the first atomic bomb was successfully detonated.

Universal also announced that the film will be shot in IMAX 65mm and 65mm large-format film print and will begin production in early 2022.

Nolan is re-teaming with Murphy as Oppenheimer, who has starred in Nolan’s “Batman Begins” and “Inception,” but also producer Emma Thomas and Charles Roven. Nolan will also produce.

Nolan has also set his creative team, including some regular collaborators such as cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema, editor Jennifer Lame and Oscar-winning composer Ludwig Göransson.

“Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas’ films have shattered the limits of what cinematic storytelling can achieve,” Universal Filmed Entertainment Group chairman Donna Langley said in a statement. “We are thrilled to be working alongside them on this exceptional and extraordinary project and are grateful for their shared passion and commitment to the theatrical experience.”

“Oppenheimer” will be Nolan’s first film released by Universal Pictures after he broke his long-standing relationship with Warner Bros., which over 18 years produced or co-produced most of Nolan’s films, all of which have earned more than $5 billion at the global box office and earned 11 Oscars, including two Best Picture nominations.

His most recent film “Tenet” was released exclusively theatrically in the midst of the pandemic and struggled at the box office but still brought in $363 million worldwide.

Cillian Murphy most recently starred in “A Quiet Place Part II” and is the star of the BBC series “Peaky Blinders.” He also made cameos in Nolan’s “Dunkirk,” “The Dark Knight Rises” and “The Dark Knight.”

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