Universal Studios and Syncopy have announced that as previously rumored, Christopher Nolan’s next film will be Oppenheimer, about J. Robert Oppenheimer‘s part in developing the atomic bomb in World War II. In addition to confirming that this will be Nolan’s next project, Cillian Murphy has been announced to play the title role.
The film is described as “an IMAX-shot 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.” Oppenheimer will also be written by Nolan, produced by Emma Thomas, and is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer, written by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin.
Oppenheimer will start production in early 2022, and will be shot on IMAX 65mm and 65mm large-format film. Nolan will also be reuniting with several other previous collaborators on this project, including producer Charles Roven, Nolan’s Tenet, Dunkirk, and Interstellar director of photographer Hoyte Van Hoytema, Tenet editor Jennifer Lame, and Tenet composer Ludwig Göransson.
While Murphy has been in several of Nolan’s films, including all three The Dark Knight films, Inception, and Dunkirk, the actor has never been the lead in one of Nolan’s movies. This will also be Nolan’s return to WWII after Dunkirk, which earned the director his first and only Academy Award nomination for Best Director.
The announcement also states that Universal will distribute Oppenheimer theatrically worldwide. After Nolan’s disapproval of Warner Bros.’ distribution methods during the pandemic, Nolan has moved to Universal for this latest project. “Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas’ films have shattered the limits of what cinematic storytelling can achieve,” stated Universal Filmed Entertainment Group Chairman, Donna Langley. “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 come to theaters on July 21, 2023.