michael caine with christopher nolan and cillian murphy

Michael Caine told Nolan that “enough is enough” on Oppenheimer role

Sir Michael Caine joked to Christopher Nolan that, “Okay, enough is enough,” when offered a chance to star in Oppenheimer. The director recalled the conversation as he accepted the British Film Institute’s Fellowship at the chairman’s dinner last week, according to an article in Variety.

The 90-year-old Oscar-winning actor has appeared in eight of Christopher Nolan’s movies starting back in 2005 with Batman Begins playing Bruce Wayne’s butler and confidant Alfred Pennyworth. Nolan has often regarded Caine as his lucky charm in movies, but when it came to Oppenheimer, Sir Michael was noticeably absent.

Back in October last year, Sir Michael announced that he was officially retired from acting on BBC Radio 4’s Today program, with his last role being a leading one in 2023’s biographical drama The Great Escaper. After informing Christopher Nolan that he would not be appearing in the film, breaking the chain of films they had made together since 2005, the director appreciated that he had very big shoes to fill.

“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.”

If Sir Michael really has retired from acting, something which he has announced on more than one occasion before taking on other roles, then his last film with Nolan will have been the science fiction action thriller Tenet in 2020.

“I keep saying I’m going to retire. Well I am now”.

“I’ve figured, I’ve had a picture where I’ve played the lead and had incredible reviews… What am I going to do that will beat this?”

“You don’t have leading men at 90, you’re going to have young handsome boys and girls.”

Having appeared in over 160 movies in a career spanning 68 years, I think it’s fair to say that Sir Michael Caine has earned his retirement. However, if he decides to take on any more roles, big or small, I will be delighted to see him grace the silver screen again.

Oppenheimer is currently nominated for 13 Oscars and 13 BAFTAS and is predicted to win Best Picture at both. The film is now available to stream on Peacock in the US and is available to buy or rent digitally.