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Robert Downey Jr. and Matt Damon join new Christopher Nolan film ‘Oppenheimer’

The announcement comes after Cillian Murphy was confirmed in the lead role as “father of the atomic bomb” J. Robert Oppenheimer

By Hollie Geraghty

Robert Downey Jr. and Matt Damon on talk shows
Matt Damon and Robert Downey Jr. join Cillian Murphy in 'Oppenheimer'. (Photo: YouTube).

Robert Downey Jr and Matt Damon are the latest actors to join the cast of Christopher Nolan’s new film ‘Oppenheimer’ about the “father of the atomic bomb”.

The casting announcement comes after Cillian Murphy was confirmed to play the lead role of famous American physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer.

Emily Blunt was also recently announced to join the stellar cast as wife Katherine “Kitty” Oppenheimer.

The Hollywood Reporter said that according to sources, Damon will play Lt. Gen. Leslie Groves, the director of the Manhattan Project that created the atomic bomb.

Downey Jr. is rumoured to play Lewis Strauss, the Atomic Energy Commissioner who initiated hearings that questioned Oppenheimer’s loyalty to the United States.

The biopic will chronicle the life of the man who helped develop the atomic bomb during World War II.

Like many of Nolan’s releases, ‘Oppenheimer’ will be shot with IMAX cameras for a worldwide theatrical release.

While further plot details are yet to be released, Universal described the film 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.”

Nolan’s script 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. 

The book charts Oppenheimer’s key role in the creation of atomic weapons and the complicated feelings he later developed over their destructive power, which saw him lobby for international control of nuclear power.

Other collaborators confirmed on the $100M picture include his wife and producer Emma Thomas, cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema, editor Jennifer Lame and Swedish composer Ludwig Göransson.

The film found itself in the middle of a fierce bidding war with the likes of Paramount, Sony and Warner Bros, before going to Universal Pictures.

While most of Nolan’s previous films have been released with Warner Bros, last year he criticised the studio for their plans to simultaneously stream releases on HBO Max.

The film is slated for release July 21 2023.