EXCLUSIVE: The ensemble for Christopher Nolan’s next film Oppenheimer continues to grow in stellar power as sources tell Deadline Matt Damon and Robert Downey Jr. is in talks to join Cillian Murphy in the Universal Pictures tent pole. Deadline has previously reported that Emily Blunt is in negotiations to also become a member of the cast. Nolan writes and directs the film, which revolves around J. Robert Oppenheimer, the scientist who ran the Manhattan project that led to the invention of the atomic bomb. The film will bend on July 21, 2023, a space typically reserved for Nolan films in the past. It is also about two weeks before the anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. The details behind who Damon and Downey Jr. are. must play in the project, be kept hidden.
Reps for Universal, Damon and Downey Jr. could not be reached for comment.
Universal will distribute Oppenheimer theatrical all over the world and release the film in North America. Nolan will also produce alongside Emma Thomas and Atlas Entertainment’s Charles Roven. The film is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer of Kai Bird and the late Martin J. Sherwin.
Deadline was the first to announce that this would be Nolan’s next film, and it also broke the news that Universal landed the rights to the project after a heated bidding war among almost all major suitors in the city. Deadline also first mentioned that Murphy would have a key role in the project, which is now confirmed as the man at the center of the story.
Nolan is known for having ensembles with a mix of talents he has worked with in the past, along with stars he would work with for the first time. This film touches on both areas. Damon has previously worked with Nolan on his sci-fi epic Interstellar. As for Downey Jr., this would be the first time the two will work together on a project.
Both Damon and Downey Jr. is represented by WME.