Updated February 17th, 2024 at 11:27 IST

Christopher Nolan Reveals Why Michael Caine Turned Down Oppenheimer Ending 18-year Collaboration

While accepting the BFI Fellowship, Christopher Nolan thanked his wife Emma Thomas, and discussed his relationship with Michael Caine.

Christopher Nolan and Michael Caine | Image:X

Oppenheimer was the sixth film that director Christopher Nolan would work on with actor Cillian Murphy. The actor was finally able to play the lead in a Nolan production after five supporting roles in movies like Dunkirk and Batman Begins. The director gave a shoutout to another one of his longtime collaborators Michael Caine at the British Film Institute chairman's dinner when he accepted the BFI Fellowship.

Christopher Nolan explains Michael Caine’s absence from Oppenheimer

While accepting the BFI Fellowship, Nolan thanked his producer and wife Emma Thomas, and discussed his relationship with Caine, who was also present at the ceremony, as well as the reason he wasn't cast in Oppenheimer. 


The actor apparently told Nolan, ”Okay enough is enough. I had to go off on my own,” referring to his retirement from acting. The director further 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.”

What did Cillian say about Nolan getting honoured with BFI?

Nolan who is known for his groundbreaking work in movies like the Dark Knight trilogy, Inception, Dunkirk, and Oppenheimer was lauded for his unparalleled vision and impact on the film industry. The award ceremony took place at the annual BFI Chair’s Dinner at the Rosewood Hotel, attended by several veterans from the film world, including Donna Langley, Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thomas, and Hans Zimmer, among others.


Murphy hailed Nolan as a visionary and a legend and acknowledged the privilege of collaborating closely with him over the years. He said, “For the last 25 years Christopher Nolan has been making films that are unique, boundary-pushing, singular, provocative, ambitious, and unforgettable. He is a one-in-a-million, a true legend, one of the greatest directors in the world. I have the utmost respect for him as an artist and a human being.”


Published February 17th, 2024 at 11:27 IST