More details are unfurling about Oppenheimer, Christopher Nolan’s forthcoming World War II drama about the making of the atomic bomb. This week, Florence Pugh, Rami Malek, and Benny Safdie have officially joined the cast of the biopic, which is set to hit theaters July 21st, 2023 through Universal Pictures.
Oppenheimer tells the story of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the theoretical physicist who helped develop the atomic bomb during World War II. Pugh will play Jean Tatlock, a member of the Communist Party of the United States with whom Oppenheimer has an off-and-on affair. Safdie will play “father of the hydrogen bomb” Edward Teller, who was part of a research initiative called the Manhattan Project, which developed the first atomic bomb. Malek will play an as-yet-unnamed scientist.
Pugh, Malek, and Safdie join a stacked cast of previously announced stars: Cillian Murphy will portray Oppenheimer opposite Emily Blunt as his wife, Katherine. Matt Damon plays Lt. Gen. Leslie Groves, director of the Manhattan Project. Robert Downey Jr. is playing Lewis Strauss, chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, who infamously had Oppenheimer’s security clearance revoked upon doubts of the scientist’s loyalty to the US.
Nolan adapted the Oppenheimer script from Kai Bird and the late Martin J. Sherwin’s 2005 book American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer. Universal bills the film 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.”
Pugh recently earned an Academy Award nomination for her performance in Greta Gerwig’s Little Women. Malek appeared in the latest James Bond blockbuster No Time to Die, while Safdie has a supporting role in Paul Thomas Anderson’s new coming-of-age drama Licorice Pizza.