Did Michael Caine Turn Down Oppenheimer? Director Christopher Nolan Reveals

Nolan and Caine have been long-time collaborators on movies, but Nolan’s latest blockbuster Oppenheimer did not feature the veteran actor. The director talked about why Caine skipped his latest film.

Updated on Mar 28, 2024  |  06:15 PM IST |  126.5K
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Michael Caine and Christopher Nolan (PC: Getty Images)

Christopher Nolan is one of the most successful and critically acclaimed directors of this century, and he has a number of great actors on his list who feature in his films quite often. Much like Oppenheimer’s lead Cillian Murphy who worked with him on the Dark Knight trilogy and Inception, Michael Caine is one of the actors who feature in Nolan’s films often. But the 90-year-old actor did not appear in Oppenheimer, here is why.

Cillian Murphy in a scene from Oppenheimer

Nolan revealed why Caine did not join Oppenheimer 

The acclaimed director received a BFI Fellowship this week and talked about why Caine was not in the Oscar-nominated movie Oppenheimer. Apparently, the veteran actor told Nolan, ”Okay, enough is enough,” and did not join his newest venture. The director joked, “I had to go off on my own,” after hearing Caine say that. 

It became apparent how great an actor Michael Caine really is and how much respect Nolan has for him when the director said,  “So, okay, I haven’t got Michael Caine, I’d better get Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr, Kenneth Branagh, Emily Blunt, Florence Pugh, Josh Hartnett, Cillian Murphy, Tom Conti, and hoped that all those greats would add up to one Michael Caine.” Nolan also thanked everyone who has helped him throughout his career while receiving the honor and said, “This means the world to me.”

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Michael Caine

Is Michael Caine retiring from acting? 

Michael Caine turned 90 last year and his long acting career shines as brightly as ever. Fans might remember him as Alfred Pennyworth from Nolan’s Dark Knights trilogy but he also appeared in several other Nolan movies such as The Prestige, Dunkirk, Interstellar, Inception, and Tenet. However, the actor opened up last year about how his age has been catching up to him. 

In an interview with The Telegraph, he said, “I am bloody 90 now, and I can’t walk properly and all that. I sort of am retired now.” The iconic also said how it might be time for him to retire now as the only roles he will get now are of old men in their 80s or 90s. With a legacy of phenomenal performances and two Academy Awards under his belt, Caine thinks it might be time for him to retire. 

Michael Caine’s last performance was in the 2023 movie The Great Escaper, while his last collaboration with Nolan was in Tenet. It remains to be seen whether Nolan can bring back the mighty actor to the screen once again in his next movie, which no doubt, will be another blockbuster. 

ALSO READ: Christopher Nolan Wants To Delve Into Horror Genre After Oppenheimer's Success; Here's What Filmmaker Has To Say

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Gargi has a Masters degree in English Literature from The University of Calcutta. She has been a content writer

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