Christopher Nolan has officially announced his next film, Oppenheimer. Starring Cillian Murphy, it will be released in theaters (and only in theaters) on July 21st, 2023 through Universal Pictures. Update – October 20th: Emily Blunt will star opposite Murphy.
The acclaimed filmmaker’s 12th feature to date tells the story of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the scientist who helped develop the atom bomb during World War 2. Nolan is writing the script based on the 2005 book American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer.
Universal describes Oppenheimer 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.”
Production will begin in early 2022 and shoot on IMAX 65mm and 65mm large-format film, per The Hollywood Reporter. A number of Nolan’s longtime collaborators are taking part in the project, including director of photography Hoyte Van Hoytema, editor Jennifer Lame, and composer Ludwig Göransson
Murphy has also worked extensively with Nolan over the years, with roles in The Dark Knight trilogy, Inception, and Dunkirk. However, Oppenheimer marks the first time Murphy will topline a Nolan film.
As previously reported, Oppenheimer is the first film Nolan is releasing outside of Warner Bros. since 2002. His decision to move to Universal was driven by Warner Bros.’s decision to release its entire 2021 slate day-to-date on HBO Max. “Some of our industry’s biggest filmmakers and most important movie stars went to bed the night before thinking they were working for the greatest movie studio and woke up to find out they were working for the worst streaming service,” Nolan only in theaters late last year.
As part of his pact with Universal, the studio agreed to Nolan’s demand for a 100-plus day theatrical window, and also agreed not to release another film three weeks before or after Oppenheimer‘s premiere, according to The Hollywood Reporter.