Matt Damon and Robert Downey Jr. look set to join the cast of Christopher Nolan’s new film, Oppenheimer.

Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin, Nolan’s film adaptation is a biopic on the theoretical physicist who worked on the Manhattan Project in 1942 and was instrumental in the creation of the atomic bomb.

Nolan regular Cillian Murphy (Inception, Dunkirk) plays the eponymous role alongside Emily Blunt as his wife. Katherine “Kitty” Oppenheimer. Matt Damon is tipped to play the Manhattan Project’s director, Lt. Gen. Leslie Groves, with Robert Downey as Lewis Strauss, chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission.

Cillan Murphy in Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk (2017)

This is rich material and a perfect fit for the visionary director, who wrote the screenplay and will also produce with his regular creative collaborator and wife, Emma Thomas. While further details are still under wraps, distributor Universal describes the film as being “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.”

“Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas’s films have shattered the limits of what cinematic storytelling can achieve,” Universal Filmed Entertainment Group Chairman Donna Langley said 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.”

Oppenheimer is due for release in July 2023.

Christopher Nolan at JB Hi-Fi