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‘Oppenheimer’ First Look: Cillian Murphy Smolders in Christopher Nolan’s Atomic Bomb Drama

Murphy stars as atomic bomb father Robert J. Oppenheimer in Nolan's first film with Universal Pictures.

Oppenheimer, Cillian Murphy


Universal Pictures

The first image of Cillian Murphy as titular physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer has been released by Universal Pictures. “Oppenheimer” marks the first collaboration between Universal and director Christopher Nolan — who left Warner Bros. after squabbling with the studio over the release of “Tenet” — and is slated for a July 21, 2023, theatrical release.

Known as the “father of the atomic bomb,” Oppenheimer was head of the Los Alamos Laboratory and helmed the “Manhattan Project,” which first developed nuclear weapons for World War II. He also supervised the Trinity Test, in which the first atomic bomb was successfully detonated in New Mexico.

Murphy stars as Oppenheimer, with Emily Blunt playing his wife, biologist and botanist Katherine “Kitty” Oppenheimer. Matt Damon portrays General Leslie Groves Jr., director of the Manhattan Project, and Robert Downey Jr. plays Lewis Strauss, a founding commissioner of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. Florence Pugh plays psychiatrist Jean Tatlock, Benny Safdie is theoretical physicist Edward Teller, Michael Angarano takes on Robert Serber, and Josh Hartnett plays pioneering American nuclear scientist Ernest Lawrence.

Rami Malek and Kenneth Branagh also co-star, as well as Dane DeHaan, Dylan Arnold, David Krumholtz, Alden Ehrenreich, and Matthew Modine.

The film is based on the Pulitzer Prize–winning book “American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer,” by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin.

“Oppenheimer” will be shot on a combination of IMAX 65mm and 65mm large-format film photography including, for the first time ever, sections in IMAX black and white analog photography.

Production started in New Mexico in February 2022. “Oppenheimer” is Nolan’s 12th film and follow-up to “Tenet.” Universal Pictures promised the film will have a theatrical window of around 100 days, up from the pre-pandemic standard of 90 days and far longer than the new 45-day window that’s becoming the industry standard.

For everything you need to know about “Oppenheimer,” click here.

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