Nolan’s twelfth film will be a change of pace for his filmography; the director is writing and producing a biopic concerning the life of J. Robert Oppenheimer. For more about who that is, what the movie might be about, and the cast—so far—check out our breakdown of everything we know about Oppenheimer.
Release Date of Oppenheimer
Swiftly after Universal Studios announced its deal as the new distributor for the director’s films, they announced his new movie is set to be released on July 21, 2023. Oppenheimer will be Christopher Nolan’s first R-rated film in 20 years. His last R-rating was for his 2002 film, Insomnia.
Theatrical Release vs. Streaming
Oppenheimer will be exclusively in theaters, and it’ll be available in the standard digital cinema projection as well as in IMAX, 70mm, and 35mm formats. The film will open opposite another star-studded blockbuster from an auteur director in Greta Gerwig’s Barbie.
Nolan is also one of the most vocal proponents of celluloid film and the silver-screen experience. In March 2020, he wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post about the magic of movies and movie theaters. In the documentary Side By Side, which dissects the differences between celluloid film and digital cameras, his comments reveal him as a film purist. His commitment bleeds into the distribution of his pictures where he ensures a limited authentic film release—ala Quentin Tarantino. Even when almost literally every other film was pulled from release in 2020, Nolan and Warner were insistent on Tenet’s summer release. While it didn’t save cinema when Warner Bros forced its release amid the coronavirus pandemic in August 2020, it was another heady and action-packed picture by the Englishman. It was his lowest-grossing feature since The Prestige.
After Warner Brothers announced plans to give their films same-day streaming service debuts on HBOMax, Nolan, along with other creators and the movie theater companies themselves, was more than displeased. He ripped the decision and the service calling HBOMax, “the worst streaming service.” In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, he said, “…they didn’t tell anyone. In 2021, they’ve got some of the top filmmakers in the world, they’ve got some of the biggest stars in the world who worked for years, in some cases, on these projects very close to their hearts that are meant to be big-screen experiences. They’re meant to be out there for the widest possible audiences…and now they’re being used as a loss-leader for the streaming service–for a fledgling streaming service—without any consultation. So, there’s a lot of controversy. It’s very, very, very, very, messy. A real bait and switch.”
The director separated as a working partner with Warner shortly thereafter and assuredly became the hottest free agent on the market. Even Netflix tried their best to court the streaming service naysayer, their film chief Scott Stuber stating, “He’s an incredible filmmaker. I’m going to do everything I can.” But Nolan aligned with Universal for the release of his newest picture. The studio allegedly won favor by promising a six-week blackout surrounding the film’s release date where no other Universal properties are to be released, as well as by promising a 100-day exclusive theatrical release.
The Creative Team Behind Oppenheimer
As previously mentioned, Christopher Nolan directed the film and wrote the screenplay. The acclaimed filmmaker also re-teamed with some of his previous collaborators. Academy Award Winner Ludwig Göransson who worked on the score for Tenet will compose Oppenheimer’s score. Cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema who was the cinematographer for Interstellar, Dunkirk, and Tenet serves as the film’s DP. Another returnee from Nolan’s Tenet team is editor Jennifer boring who has also worked on films such as Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Manchester by the Sea, and Marriage Story. Ruth De Jong (Twin Peaks) serves as the film’s production designer while Emmy Winner Ellen Mirojnick (Bridgerton) designed the costumes. Academy Award Winner Scott R. Fischer (Top Gun: Maverick) and Laurie Pellard (Avengers: Infinity War) are behind the film’s visual effects.
Nolan’s wife Emma Thomas is producing the film alongside her husband as well as Charles Roven who previously worked with Nolan on The Dark Knight Trilogy.
Cast of Oppenheimer
- Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer
- Emily Blunt as Katherine Oppenheimer
- Matt Damon as Lieutenant General Leslie Groves
- Robert Downey Jr. as Lewis Strauss
- Florence Pugh as Jean Tatlock
- Rami Malek as a scientist
- Benny Safdie as Edward Teller
- Tom Conti as Albert Einstein
- Josh Hartnett as Ernest Lawrence
- Dane DeHaan, Jack Quaid, Matthew Modine, Dylan Arnold, Alden Ehrenreich, David Krumholtz, Michael Angarano, Kenneth Branagh. David Dastmalchian, Jason Clarke, Josh Peck, Devon Bostick, Alex Wolff, Tony Goldwyn, Gary Oldman, Casey Affleck, Scott Grimes, Josh Zuckerman, James D’Arcy, Matthias Schweighöfer, Christopher Denham, David Rysdahl, Guy Burnet, Danny Deferrari, Louise Lombard, Harrison Gilbertson, Emma Dumont, Gustaf Skarsgård, Trond Fausa, Olli Haaskivi, and Olivia Thirlby in various roles.
Sum It Up!
‘Oppenheimer’: Release Date, Cast is Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated biopic about the life of J. Robert Oppenheimer. With a star-studded cast, a talented creative team. And a commitment to the theatrical experience. This film promises to be another cinematic masterpiece from one of the greatest directors of our time.