Star director Christopher Nolan’s next movie Oppenheimer has been announced to release on July 21st, 2023. As the title reveals, Nolan’s new project tells the story of the inventor of the first nuclaer bomb, Robert Oppenheimer. The screenplay, which Nolan himself will provide, is based on Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin’s Pulitzer Price winning biography American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer. Production is announced to start in early 2022.
Nolan came in contact with the book during his work on Tenet, as Robert Pattinson, who played Neil in Tenet, gifted him a copy. Pattinson appears to have been inspired to learn more about Oppenheimer after a reference to the latter in Tenet. There, J. Robert Oppenheimer is mentioned as the opaque character Pryia speaks to The Protagonist about the scientist who invented time-inversion technology, the key feature discussed in Tenet. The scientist, Pryia explains. regretted inventing such a powerful weapon, just like Oppenheimer did, and tried to prevent the time-inversion technology to fall into the wrong hands. It is a curious detail that in Tenet the parts that constitute the Algorithm, which is necessary to unleash the destruction of the world, constists of (at least allegedly) Plutonium 245. Tenet’s reference to the inventor of the atom bomb appears to be bigger that it seems on the first look.
While Nolan has recently made himself a name for futuristic movies like Inception, Tenet and especially Interstellar, his recurrence to historical subjects is not entirely new. With Dunkirk, which shows the evacuation of Allied soldiers at the end of the Battle of France, he already treated a World War II subject with his unique filmographic fingerprint.
As little as is known about this new project, it has been revealed that Cillian Murphy will play the lead role of J. Robert Oppenheimer. Nolan has worked with Murphy in Inception and Dunkirk, but also in all 3 parts of his revolutionary Dark Knight Trilogy, where Nolan even considered Murphy for the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman. As for the female lead role, Emily Blunt (The Devil Wears Prada) is rumoured to play Oppenheimer’s spouse Katherine. Both actors have already worked together in the horror-movie A Quiet Place Part II. And since Sir Michael Caine has appeared in every single Christopher Nolan production since Batman Begins (2005), we can well expect to see him again in Oppenheimer – especially after he officially debunked rumors claiming that he retired from acting.
Despite all the coherencies with his former movies, Oppenheimer marks a new era in Nolan’s work. To seal the deal for his new project, Nolan had made a demanding list of requirements which Warner Bros, with whom Nolan had worked until now, weren’t ready to full accept. This motivated the British-American star director to switch to Universal Studios for Oppenheimer. Also, after Ludwig Göransson provided the soundtrack for Tenet instead of star composer Hans Zimmer (Interstellar, Inception, Dune), Göransson is announced to compose the soundtrack for Oppenheimer aswell.
Given the unique creativity and originalilty with which Nolan treats his subjects, we can expect to be heavily surprised by what Oppenheimer has in store for us. Oppenheimer has been announced to release in theaters on July 21st 2023.