Florence Pugh Joining Robert Downey Jr. In Christopher Nolan’s Next Movie

By Michileen Martin | 1 month ago

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Florence Pugh will be starring in a highly anticipated movie with Robert Downey, Jr. but no, it won’t have anything to do with Black Widow or Iron Man. Pugh is one of the three most recent actors to be cast in Christopher Nolan’s upcoming historical thriller Oppenheimer. The other actors named are Rami Malek of Bohemian Rhapsody fame and Benny Safdie (Good Time).

The casting announcement comes from Deadline, who says Florence Pugh will be playing Jean Tatlock. Tatlock was a psychiatrist and member of the Communist Party who began having an affair with J. Robert Oppenheimer — the subject of the film, played by Cillian Murphy — when she was a graduate student and Oppenheimer was a professor. Safdie is playing the Hungarian theoretical physicist Edward Teller, while Malek will reportedly play another scientist whose name has not yet been revealed.

Florence Pugh and Rami Malek are the latest well known actors in a cast that is proving increasingly impressive. Robert Downey Jr.’s casting was announced early last month, on the same day we learned Matt Damon would also join the film. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Downey will be playing Lewis Strauss, the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission who called hearings that put Oppenheimer’s loyalty into question. Oppenheimer‘s IMDb page lists Damon as playing Lt. Gen. Leslie Groves — the military director of the Manhattan Project. Emily Blunt was cast weeks earlier, as Oppenheimer’s wife, Katherine “Kitty” Oppenheimer.

The film Florence Pugh is joining has been described as an “epic thriller,” and her casting actually hints a bit at the epic nature of the story. We know that part of the film will take place during the Manhattan Project — the clandestine effort that resulted in the first successful detonation of a nuclear device. Since the Manhattan Project began in 1942 — and the infamous hearings Robert Downey Jr.’s character are remembered for took place in 1954 — we know that the events of Oppenheimer will span at least 12 years. Since Oppenheimer and Tatlock met each other in 1936, the narrative could end up encompassing an even broader scope time-wise.

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It will be interesting to see how Florence Pugh likes working on a Christopher Nolan film. The director is notoriously tight-lipped about his movies, even to his actors. While speaking to IndieWire last year, Nolan’s regular collaborator Michael Caine confessed he had no idea what Tenet was about — even though he starred in it — because the director had only given him the script pages he needed for his role. In the meantime, Pugh was recently blocked from posting on Instagram for putting a photo from this week’s episode of Hawkeye on her page and spoiling a surprise for some viewers. We’ll have to wait and see how well Pugh and Nolan work together.

Starring Florence Pugh and a growing list of top tier actors, Oppenheimer is set to hit theaters July 21, 2023. Christopher Nolan is writing and directing the film, which is based on the Pulitzer Prize winning book American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin.