Christopher Nolan has rounded off his cast for his upcoming movie, Oppenheimer, adding Florence Pugh, Rami Malek and Benny Safdie.
The trio adds to a solid cast of Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt, Robert Downey Jr and Matt Damon on the J. Robert Oppenheimer biopic for Universal. The studio has described the movie as 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.”
The talent on this call sheet is so stacked it’s hard to remember a film this star-studded packed with A-listers, and this is the highest level of talent I’ve ever seen in a Nolan project.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Pugh will be playing Jean Tatlock, who was a member of the Communist Party of the United States and had an on-and-off affair with Oppenheimer and was the cause of significant security concerns for government officials.
Elsewhere, Safdie is Edward Teller, the Hungarian physicist is known as the father of the hydrogen bomb and a member of the Manhattan Project. This US research initiative developed the first atomic bomb.
As for Oscar winner Malek, he’s playing a scientist.
As for the other roles, Murphy will be leading the film as Oppenheimer, the theoretical physicist that helped develop the atomic bomb during World War II. Blunt plays Oppenheimer’s wife, Katherine “Kitty” Oppenheimer.
Meanwhile, Damon is Lt. Gen. Leslie Groves, the director of the Manhattan Project, and Downey is portraying Lewis Strauss, the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission. He was behind the hearings that questioned Oppenheimer’s loyalty to the United States, which ultimately led to the scientist having his security clearance revoked.
You can start piecing together the scale of the project Nolan has in front of him, and it’s clear the British filmmaker is going all out on his project to win that Best Director Oscar he craves, but I also feel this is a fuck you to Warner Bros.
I love WB, it’s my favourite studio, but they clearly messed around with Nolan during his release of Tenet and their move to releasing all 2021 day-in-date on cinemas, and HBO Max truly angered him. Additionally, the fact they declined this movie, studio chairman Toby Emmerich must be kicking himself for such a poor business decision.
The moment this movie was announced, it had Academy Awards written all over it. With all the talent involved, it has all the signs of being a front runner.
Yet Safdie is the one I can see getting the most out of everyone in the cast. I know he co-directed popular indie darling films Good Times and Uncut Gems, but he’s going to take us much wisdom and knowledge from one of the greatest living directors that he’ll take to the projects he and his brother work on.
Moreover, as for incredibly early Oscar acting contenders solely based on their roles and talent, Murphy will get a Best Actor nomination, and Blunt could easily land in Best Actress. As for the supporting roles, Downey and Pugh could see themselves in contention.
Nolan, as well as directing, wrote the script based on the Pulitzer Prize winning book American Prometheus: The Triumph of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and the late Martin J. Sherwin.
Universal has set a release date of July 21, 2023.