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Christopher Nolan’s ‘Oppenheimer’: Release Date, Cast, and Everything We Know So Far

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Christopher Nolan’s ‘Oppenheimer’: Release Date, Cast, and Everything We Know So Far

Every few years, Christopher Nolan descends from the Mount Olympus of directors to deliver another must-see movie. His consistency rivals any living or legendary filmmaker. As a writer, director, and producer, he’s one of the most successful auteurs working in cinema, and he’s making blockbusters that match the scale of Spielberg’s or Kubrick’s classics. The Dark Knight Trilogy, Inception, Memento: his body of work is a checkerboard of originality and adaptation.

Nolan recently announced that his 12th 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.

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RELATED: Christopher Nolan Films Ranked from Worst to Best

What Is Oppenheimer About?

Oppenheimer is an adaptation of the book American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Martin Sherwin and Kai Bird. The Pulitzer Prize-winning book is being adapted into a movie described as, “An IMAX-shot epic thriller that thrusts the audience into the pulse-pounding paradox of the enigmatic man who must risk destroying the world in order to save it.”

Oppenheimer was a scientist most famous for leading The Manhattan Project—the team that developed the atomic bomb for the United States of America in World War II. He later served as chairman of the United States Atomic Energy Commission where he worked to slow the developing nuclear arms race with the Soviet Union.

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In 1954, Oppenheimer was branded a communist for his affiliation with multiple groups. He was relieved of service from the federal government and would continue his contributions to science as a teacher and groundbreaking theoretical physicist during his exile. He received three Nobel Prize nominations in physics from 1946 to 1967, though he never won one before his death in 1967.

Who Plays Who in the Oppenheimer Cast?

Frequent Christopher Nolan accomplice Cillian Murphy (Peaky Blinders) is set to star as J. Robert Oppenheimer himself. Cillian collaborated with Nolan previously in The Dark Knight Trilogy, Inception, and most recently, Dunkirk.

Emily Blunt (A Quiet Place) reteams with Murphy, her co-star from A Quiet Place II, as Katherine Oppenheimer. Katherine was an activist and scientist, and one of many links between Oppenheimer and the communist ideology.

Deadline reported that Matt Damon joined the cast as Lieutenant General Leslie Groves. Groves was the military director on the Manhattan Project, and he also oversaw the construction of the pentagon.

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In the same report, it was announced that Robert Downey Jr. joined the film as Lewis Strauss. Strauss and Oppenheimer found themselves on opposing sides of the debate about the development of the hydrogen bomb in the late 1940. Like Oppenheimer, Strauss would go on to serve as chairman for the United States Atomic Energy Commission.

Florence Pugh (Black Widow) is set to star as Jean Tatlock, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Tatlock was one of several points of connection between Oppenheimer and communism, and the two were locked in an affair that would spark off and on for years.


The Hollywood Reporter also announced the addition of Academy Award winner Rami Malek as a scientist, and director and actor Benny Safdie (Goodtime) as Edward Teller—a Hungarian physicist who helped create the first hydrogen bomb.

Additional cast includes Josh Hartnett (Penny Dreadful) in an as of yet undisclosed role. Nolan is joined by his working partner and wife Emma Thomas as a producer. He’s also reteaming with the Tenet composer, Ludwig Goransson, and the Tenet editor, Jennifer Lame.

When is Oppenheimer set to be released?

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 exclusively in theaters, and it’ll be available in the standard digital cinema projection as well as in IMAX, 70mm, and 35mm formats.

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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.

RELATED: Christopher Nolan’s New Movie ‘Oppenheimer’ Sets 2023 Release Date

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.”


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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.

“Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas’ films have shattered the limits of what cinematic storytelling can achieve,” said Donna Langley, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group Chairman, in a statement. “We are thrilled to be working alongside them on this exceptional and extraordinary project and are grateful for their shared passion and commitment to the theatrical experience.”

Keep checking back at Collider for everything Oppenheimer as news trickles out about Christopher Nolan’s newest picture. And catch it exclusively on the big screen on July 21, 2023.

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Review: SAMARITAN, A Sly Stallone Superhero Stumble

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Review: SAMARITAN, A Sly Stallone Superhero Stumble

Hitting the three-quarter-century mark usually means a retirement home, a nursing facility, or if you’re lucky to be blessed with relatively good health and savings to match, living in a gated community in Arizona or Florida.

For Sylvester Stallone, however, it means something else entirely: starring in the first superhero-centered film of his decades-long career in the much-delayed Samaritan. Unfortunately for Stallone and the audience on the other side of the screen, the derivative, turgid, forgettable results won’t get mentioned in a career retrospective, let alone among the ever-expanding list of must-see entries in a genre already well past its peak.

For Stallone, however, it’s better late than never when it involves the superhero genre. Maybe in getting a taste of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) with his walk-on role in the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel several years ago, Stallone thought anything Marvel can do, I can do even better (or just as good in the nebulous definition of the word).

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The property Stallone and his team found for him, Samaritan, a little-known graphic novel released by a small, almost negligible, publisher, certainly takes advantage of Stallone’s brute-force physicality and his often underrated talent for near-monosyllabic brooding (e.g., the Rambo series), but too often gives him to little do or say as the lone super-powered survivor, the so-called “Samaritan” of the title, of a lifelong rivalry with his brother, “Nemesis.” Two brothers entered a fire-ravaged building and while both were presumed dead, one brother did survive (Stallone’s Joe Smith, a garbageman by day, an appliance repairman by night).

In the Granite City of screenwriter Bragi F. Schut (Escape Room, Season of the Witch), the United States, and presumably the rest of the world, teeters on economic and political collapse, with a recession spiraling into a depression, steady gigs difficult, if not impossible, to obtain, and the city’s neighborhoods rocked by crime and violence. No one’s safe, not even 13-year-old Sam (Javon Walker), Joe’s neighbor.

When he’s not dodging bullies connected to a gang, he’s falling under the undue influence of Cyrus (Pilou Asbæk), a low-rent gang leader with an outsized ego and the conviction that he and only he can take on Nemesis’s mantle and along with that mantle, a hammer “forged in hate,” to orchestrate a Bane-like plan to plunge the city into chaos and become a wealthy power-broker in the process.

Schut’s woefully underwritten script takes a clumsy, haphazard approach to world-building, relying on a two-minute animated sequence to open Samaritan while a naive, worshipful Sam narrates Samaritan and Nemesis’s supposedly tragic, Cain and Abel-inspired backstory. Schut and director Julius Avery (Overlord) clumsily attempt to contrast Sam’s childish belief in messiah-like, superheroic saviors stepping in to save humanity from itself and its own worst excesses, but following that path leads to authoritarianism and fascism (ideas better, more thoroughly explored in Watchmen and The Boys).

While Sam continues to think otherwise, Stallone’s superhero, 25 years past his last, fatal encounter with his presumably deceased brother, obviously believes superheroes are the problem and not the solution (a somewhat reasonable position), but as Samaritan tracks Joe and Sam’s friendship, Sam giving Joe the son he never had, Joe giving Sam the father he lost to street violence well before the film’s opening scene, it gets closer and closer to embracing, if not outright endorsing Sam’s power fantasies, right through a literally and figuratively explosive ending. Might, as always, wins regardless of how righteous or justified the underlying action.

It’s what superhero audiences want, apparently, and what Samaritan uncritically delivers via a woefully under-rendered finale involving not just unconvincing CGI fire effects, but a videogame cut-scene quality Stallone in a late-film flashback sequence that’s meant to be subversively revelatory, but will instead lead to unintentional laughter for anyone who’s managed to sit the entirety of Samaritan’s one-hour and 40-minute running time.

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Samaritan is now streaming worldwide on Prime Video.

Samaritan

Cast
  • Sylvester Stallone
  • Javon ‘Wanna’ Walton
  • Pilou Asbæk

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Matt Shakman Is In Talks To Direct ‘Fantastic Four’

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According to a new report, Wandavision’s Matt Shakman is in talks to direct the upcoming MCU project, Fantastic Four. Marvel Studios has been very hush-hush regarding Fantastic Four to the point where no official announcements have been made other than the film’s release date. No casting news or literally anything other than rumors has been released regarding the project. We know that Fantastic Four is slated for release on November 8th, 2024, and will be a part of Marvel’s Phase 6. There are also rumors that the cast of the new Fantastic Four will be announced at the D23 Expo on September 9th.

Fantastic Four is still over two years from release, and we assume we will hear more news about the project in the coming months. However, the idea of the Fantastic Four has already been introduced into the MCU. John Krasinski played Reed Richards aka Mr. Fantastic in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The cameo was a huge deal for fans who have been waiting a long time for the Fantastic Four to enter the MCU. When Disney acquired Twenty Century Fox in 2019 we assumed that the Fox Marvel characters would eventually make their way into the MCU. It’s been 3 years and we already have had an X-Men and Fantastic Four cameo – even if they were from another universe.

Deadline is reporting that Wandavision’s Matt Shakman is in talks to direct Fantastic Four. Shakman served as the director for Wandavision and has had an extensive career. He directed two episodes of Game of Thrones and an episode of The Boys, and he had a long stint on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. There is nothing official yet, but Deadline’s sources say that Shakman is currently in talks for the job and things are headed in the right direction.

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To be honest, I was a bit more excited when Jon Watts was set to direct. I’m sure Shakman is a good director, but Watts proved he could handle a tentpole superhero film with Spider-Man: Homecoming. Wandavision was good, but Watts’ style would have been perfect for Fantastic Four. The film is probably one of the most anticipated films in Marvel’s upcoming slate films and they need to find the best person they can to direct. Is that Matt Shakman? It could be, but whoever takes the job must realize that Marvel has a lot riding on this movie. The other Fantastic Four films were awful and fans deserve better. Hopefully, Marvel knocks it out of the park as they usually do. You can see for yourself when Fantastic Four hits theaters on November 8th, 2024.

Film Synopsis: One of Marvel’s most iconic families makes it to the big screen: the Fantastic Four.

Source: Deadline

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Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase Star in ‘Zombie Town’ Mystery Teen Romancer (Exclusive)

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Dan Aykroyd and Chevy Chase have entered Zombie Town, a mystery teen romancer based on author R.L. Stine’s book of the same name.

The indie, now shooting in Ontario, also stars Henry Czerny and co-teen leads Marlon Kazadi and Madi Monroe. The ensemble cast includes Scott Thompson and Bruce McCulloch of the Canadian comedy show Kids in the Hall.

Canadian animator Peter Lepeniotis will direct Zombie Town. Stine’s kid’s book sees a quiet town upended when 12-year-old Mike and his friend, Karen, see a horror movie called Zombie Town and unexpectedly see the title characters leap off the screen and chase them through the theater.

Zombie Town will premiere in U.S. theaters before streaming on Hulu and then ABC Australia in 2023.

“We are delighted to bring the pages of R.L. Stine’s Zombie Town to the screen and equally thrilled to be working with such an exceptional cast and crew on this production. A three-time Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award winner with book sales of over $500 million, R.L. Stine has a phenomenal track record of crafting stories that engage and entertain audiences,” John Gillespie, Trimuse Entertainment founder and executive producer, said in a statement.

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Executive producers are Trimuse Entertainment, Toonz Media Group, Lookout Entertainment, Viva Pictures and Sons of Anarchy actor Kim Coates.  

Paco Alvarez and Mark Holdom of Trimuse negotiated the deal to acquire the rights to Stine’s Zombie Town book.

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