Tom Stoppard to Write Cary Joji Fukunaga’s Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Movie ‘Shockwave’

     October 13, 2020

A recent WSJ. Magazine interview with No Time to Die director Cary Joji Fukunaga has revealed that Oscar winner Tom Stoppard has come on write the script for Shockwave, Fukunaga’s upcoming movie about the atomic bomb that America dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima in August 1945.

The project, which has been in development at Universal for several years, is based on Stephen Walker‘s non-fiction book Shockwave: Countdown to Hiroshima, which offers a historical account of the days leading up to the nuclear strike that devastated Japan and ushered in the nuclear age. Walker’s book begins three weeks earlier and tells the stories of the Manhattan Project scientists who created the nuclear weapon in the New Mexico desert, the pilots who deployed the bomb, the Japanese victims on the ground, and the world leaders behind that fateful day, including President Truman.

Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner will produce Shockwave via their Working Title Films banner, which initially developed the project with Drive scribe Hossein Amini.


Image via Netflix

Fukunaga is the director of Sin Nombre, Jane Eyre and Beasts of No Nation whose fourth film behind the camera is the latest James Bond adventure No Time to Die, which is now slated for release in April. Fukunaga also directed True Detective for HBO and Maniac for Netflix, and he just agreed to direct three episodes of the WWII-era limited series Masters of the Air for Apple, where he recently signed a first-look deal. Fukunaga is believed to still be developing Stanley Kubrick‘s unproduced screenplay about Napoleon for HBO and executive producer Steven Spielberg, whom he’s working with on Masters of the Air.

Stoppard also goes way back with Spielberg, having written the director’s 1987 film Empire of the Sun, which was nominated for six Oscars. Stoppard went on to win an Oscar for writing Shakespeare in Love, the movie that managed to beat Spielberg’s war epic Saving Private Ryan for Best Picture. Stoppard also co-wrote Brazil with Terry Gilliam, and his more recent credits include Tulip Fever, Joe Wright‘s Anna Karenina, and the BBC adaptation of Parade’s End starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Rebecca Hall.

Click here to read more about the delay of No Time to Die, and scroll below for a synopsis of Shockwave from Amazon.

A riveting, minute-by-minute account of the momentous event that changed our world forever.


On a quiet Monday morning in August 1945, a five-ton bomb—dubbed Little Boy by its creators—was dropped from an American plane onto the Japanese city of Hiroshima. On that day, a firestorm of previously unimagined power was unleashed on a vibrant metropolis of 300,000 people, leaving one third of its population dead, its buildings and landmarks incinerated. It was the terrifying dawn of the Atomic Age, spawning decades of paranoia, mistrust, and a widespread and very real fear of the potential annihilation of the human race.


Author Stephen Walker brilliantly re-creates the three terrible weeks leading up to the wartime detonation of the atomic bomb—from the first successful test in the New Mexico desert to the cataclysm and its aftermath—presenting the story through the eyes of pilots, scientists, civilian victims, and world leaders who stood at the center of earth-shattering drama. It is a startling, moving, frightening, and remarkable portrait of an extraordinary event—a shockwave whose repercussions can be felt to this very day.

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