More names have signed on to join Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer biopic at Universal Pictures. The award-winning Pulitzer Prize-winning novel American Prometheus will serve as the basis for the story. Cillian Murphy will star as the theoretical physicist who worked on the Manhattan Project that led to the invention of the atomic bomb.
The huge and awesome cast includes Murphy, Emily Blunt, Florence Pugh, Robert Downey Jr., Matt Damon, Rami Malek, Benny Safdie, Josh Hartnett, Dane DeHaan, Jack Quaid, Matthew Modine, Dylan Arnold, David Krumholtz, Alden Ehrenreich, Michael Angarano, David Dastmalchian, Jason Clarke, Olli Haaskivi, James D’Arcy, and Kenneth Branagh.
Just signed up are Matthias Schweighofer, Guy Burnet, Josh Peck, Harrison Gilbertson, Emily Dumont, and Danny Deferrari.
The growing cast has already caused the usual online commentators to overexcite themselves, with the expected outlets already commenting on the lack of diversity in the historical story. This hasn’t taken long to be picked up by social media.
Not only does this erase all the Black scientists who were part of the Manhattan Project but Oppenheimer was Jewish and is being played by…Cillian Murphy https://t.co/BHxZuGseLk
— Dr. Mia Brett (@QueenMab87) March 11, 2022
Of course, it didn’t take long for wags on Twitter to answer back.
she’s righty: it’s a total white washing of robert oppenheimer’s life. he was famously a brave, beautiful teen girl of color who built the atomic bomb w/ a diverse set of sassy classmates at his southern CA high school and yet all of that is erased in the movie for shame https://t.co/fXNf6Q1vVR
— blighter (@blightersort) March 11, 2022
A number of African American scientists worked on the Manhattan Project at the University of Chicago’s Met Lab, including Ernest Wilkins and Ralph Gardner-Chavis. However, if the movie is set in the Los Alamos lab and is casting historically accurate portrayals, then diversity will not be evident.
Nolan wrote the script for Oppenheimer himself and will direct the project which kicks off filming this month in New Mexico ahead of a July 2023 release. Here’s hoping he’s not doing the sound mix himself.