Be it the pulse-pounding action of The Dark Knight trilogy or the mystical realism found in The Prestige, few would argue that Christopher Nolan’s movies hold the innate ability to visually enthral an audience, regardless of whether you’re a fan of the narrative content at the heart of the story.
Come 2017, that’s a trend that the filmmaker will look to uphold with Dunkirk, his WWII epic that chronicles the death-defying tale known as Operation Dynamo.
Currently lensing across northern France and parts of England, Dunkirk has piqued our curiosity for its awe-inspiring set photos, showcasing a huge infantry peppered across a ruined, war-torn beach – not to mention those reports suggesting Nolan and his team could be staging an action sequence that could well involve crashing a $5 million vintage WWII plane all in the name of pure, immersive cinema.
Unsurprisingly, Nolan’s latest will include a handful of IMAX sequences, and during a recent chat with Empire, The BFG star Mark Rylance championed Dunkirk as “pure, powerful” cinema.
“Chris is the most serious and interesting filmmaker. Every great filmmaker at some moment makes a war film. But Chris’ script-writing is so brilliant that I think he has the potential to make a very, very powerful and simple, pure war film about a miraculous loss. I think it has the potential to be just a marvellous film.”
To fully capture the intensity of the situation, Rylance reveals that Dunkirk won’t spend much time dallying on pre-war exposition: “With some of those old war films you used to get a lot of build-up, you play the guessing game: who’s going to die and who’s going to live. This one has none of that. It’s just BANG! Straight into the middle of a desperate situation.”
Rylance is part of a truly star-studded ensemble that includes old Nolan confidants Tom Hardy and Cillian Murphy, newcomer Fionn Whitehead, Kenneth Branagh, Aneurin Barnard, James D’Arcy, Jack Lowden, Barry Keoghan, Tom Glynn-Carney and, surprisingly, One Direction member Harry Styles.
Dunkirk is slated for a primetime theatrical release on July 21, 2017.