Written by Robert Downey Jr., A Post-Marvel Balancing Act

This summer, according to Robert Downey Jr., "the battle for the soul of cinema" is happening.

Like many things the actor stated, the comment was delivered with a trace of knowing sarcasm, yet it has some kernels of truth.

On July 21, the suspenseful movie "Oppenheimer," starring the actor, will be released in theaters.

Whether there is still a sizable enough theatergoing audience to support a highly individualistic,

extremely ambitious director like Nolan, whose most recent film is a three-hour epic focusing on,

among other serious subjects, the moral dilemmas faced by the title character,

called "the father of the atomic bomb" — is an open question in a cinematic season dominated by series,

superheroes, and pre-existing I.P. (In the movie, Downey plays Lewis Strauss,