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Robert Downey Jr., Matt Damon to star in Christopher Nolan's ‘Oppenheimer’

By Christian Imperio Published Nov 03, 2021 1:35 pm

Christopher Nolan's upcoming biopic has reportedly added two major actors in its star-studded cast.

As reported by Deadline, Robert Downey Jr. and Matt Damon are in talks to join Nolan's film titled Oppenheimer, which tells the story of a physicist who worked on the Manhattan Project.

As of now, there's no official announcement as to which roles Downey and Damon will be playing in the upcoming biopic. However, sources by The Hollywood Reporter claim that Damon will play as Lt. Gen. Leslie Groves, the director of the Manhattan Project.

Downey, on the other hand, will reportedly star as Lewis Strauss. He is described as the “infamous chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission who initiated hearings that questioned Oppenheimer’s loyalty to the United States and famously had the scientist’s security clearance revoked.”

Prior to Downey and Damon’s casting news, it's been previously confirmed that A Quiet Place 2 and Peaky Blinders actor Cillian Murphy is set to portray the titular role of J. Robert Oppenheimer, who is commonly referred to as the father of the atomic bomb. Emily Blunt, on the other hand, is also in talks to join Murphy in Nolan’s upcoming biopic in an undisclosed role.

The veteran filmmaker, whose previous works include the Dark Knight trilogy, Interstellar, Inception, Dunkirk, and Tenet, is writing and directing the upcoming film based on the 2005 Pulitzer Prize-winning book American Prometheus: The Triumph And Tragedy Of J Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and Martin J Sherwin.

Oppenheimer, which the studio describes 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," will be Nolan's first film from Universal. The acclaimed director previously parted ways with his long-time studio Warner Bros. following the latter's decision to simultaneously release its entire 2021 film slate on HBO Max and cinemas.

To prevent this from happening, THR last Sept. reported that the filmmaker listed down his conditions for Oppenheimer, which include around $100 million budget, as well as total creative control, a 100-day theatrical window, equal marketing spend, 20 percent of first-dollar gross, and a blackout period, which means that the studio would not release another movie three weeks before and after his film’s debut.

According to an insider, Universal said yes to all of Nolan's conditions for his upcoming biopic.

Oppenheimer is slated to premiere in theaters on July 21, 2023.