The huge ensemble cast of Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer is expanding by the hour, with the latest addition being Dunkirk and Tenet actor Kenneth Branagh. Filming is now underway, and Universal have released the first look at Cillian Murphy in the lead role of Oppenheimer himself.
In the image, Murphy has swapped his tweed cap with the razor blade sewn into the peak for a 1940s Fedora, complete with obligatory cigarette. He could be a noir detective rather than a nuclear physicist. J. Robert Oppenheimer was the brains behind The Manhattan Project, which led to the development of the atomic bombs that were dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. It’s a sign of Universal’s faith in Nolan that they have put $100 million into a historical drama that won’t have as much action potential as Dunkirk did.
It is not yet known who Kenneth Branagh will be playing in Oppenheimer. Branagh has been busy recently, both acting and directing. February finally saw the long-delayed release of detective movie Death on the Nile, as well as multiple Oscar nominations for his semi-autobiographical memoir, Belfast.
We already know that Matt Damon plays General Groves, Robert Downey Jr plays Lewis Strauss, as well as that Emily Blunt will be playing Kitty Oppenheimer and Florence Pugh will be playing Jean Tatlock. We now have some more details on what some of the rest of the vast cast’s roles are. Benny Safdie plays theoretical physicist Edward Teller, Michael Angarano plays Robert Serber, and Josh Hartnett plays pioneering American nuclear scientist Ernest Lawrence.
Clearly a fairly large portion of the budget must be going into casting, as the ensemble also includes (deep breath) Rami Malek, Dane DeHaan, Jack Quaid, Matthew Modine, Alden Ehrenrich and David Krumholtz. Filming will take place in various locations including New Mexico. Los Alamos was the site of Oppenheimer’s laboratory, where much of the film will surely take place.
We probably won’t have to wait very long for further announcements about Oppenheimer, but while we do, check out our guide to the best war movies.