The first picture of Cillian Murphy as 'father of the atomic bomb' J Robert Oppenheimer has been released as Kenneth Branagh joins the cast of Dunkirk director Christopher Nolan's upcoming thriller.

Oppenheimer reunites Murphy with writer-director Nolan, having previously worked together on Nolan's Dunkirk, Inception and The Dark Knight Trilogy. Branagh was also among the cast of Dunkirk and Nolan's most recent film, the thriller Tenet.

Cillian Murphy as J Robert Oppenheimer in Oppenheimer Photo: Universal Pictures

With Murphy in the lead role of the theoretical physicist, Oppenheimer is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and the late Martin J Sherwin.

The cast of Oppenheimer also includes Murphy's A Quiet Place Part II co-star Emily Blunt alongside Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr, Josh Hartnett, Rami Malek and Florence Pugh.

J Robert Oppenheimer, pictured in 1946

Production on the film is now under way, with locations in New Mexico, California and New Jersey.

Oppenheimer is due for release on 21 July 2023, less than three weeks before the anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima (6 August 1945) and Nagasaki (9 August 1945).

Murphy returns to screens this weekend in the final season of Peaky Blinders, beginning on BBC One on Sunday, 27 February at 9:00pm.

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