The Hollywood Reporter brings word that Oscar nominee Florence Pugh (Little Women, Black Widow), Oscar winner Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody, No Time to Die), and Benny Safdie (Licorice Pizza, Obi-Wan Kenobi) have joined Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, a biopic about J. Robert Oppenheimer and his role in the development of the atomic bomb.
The new cast members will join Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt, Robert Downey Jr., and Matt Damon in the project.
Murphy will portray Oppenheimer in the film, with Blunt playing his wife, Katherine “Kitty” Oppenheimer. Downey is playing Lewis Strauss, the infamous chairman of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, with Damon starring as Lieutenant General Leslie Groves, director of the Manhattan Project.
Pugh is set to play Jean Tatlock, “a member of the Communist Party of the United States who has an off-and-on affair with Oppenheimer and was the cause of major security concerns for government officials.” Safdie is attached to portray Edward Teller, the Hungarian-American physicist who is known as the father of the hydrogen bomb and was also a member of the Manhattan Project. Malek will reportedly play a scientist in the film.
Oppenheimer is 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. Production is expected to begin in early 2022 and will reportedly be shot on a combination IMAX 65mm and 65mm large-format film.
“The IMAX-shot epic thriller thrusts audiences into the pulse-pounding paradox of the enigmatic man who must risk destroying the world in order to save it,” reads the logline from the outlet.
Set to debut on July 21, 2023, the film is written and directed by Nolan, with Universal Pictures expected to distribute the feature theatrically worldwide. Emma Thomas and Atlas Entertainment’s Charles Roven and Nolan will produce.
J. Robert Oppenheimer was an American theoretical physicist and professor of physics who became the wartime head of the Los Alamos Laboratory. He is among those credited with being “the father of the atomic bomb” for their role in the Manhattan Project, which was the WWII undertaking resulting in the development of the first nuclear weapons. Oppenheimer is also infamously known as saying, “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds,” quoting the Hindu scripture Bhagavad Gita following the successful detonation of the first atomic bomb on July 16, 1945.