Christopher Nolan is an idiosyncratic director in many ways, from his Byzantine plotting to his rigorous combination of practical and digital effects. One thing he does that he’s not particularly heralded for though is his tendency to release exclusive clips of his films in front of selected IMAX showings.
The trend began with the opening bank robbery sequence in The Dark Knight appearing before I Am Legend, and continued with the plane heist in The Dark Knight Rises being played in in full before Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. He’s now carrying on this tradition with Dunkirk, releasing a five-minute prologue which initially showed in front of IMAX screenings of Rogue One.
If you missed that, you’ve now got another chance to catch it, as Warner Bros. are putting it front of IMAX screenings of Kong: Skull Island. Reports from back in December explain that the footage establishes Nolan’s ambitious ‘narrative triptych’, cutting between characters on the beach, in the air and on the water. It’s apparently not quite as jaw-dropping as the clips from his Batman movies, but gives a decent impression of the accuracy and intensity Nolan is trying to capture – with those who’ve seen it claiming the airborne portion is particularly impressive.
Dunkirk is just one title releasing in an incredibly busy year for Warner Bros. – who are cramming in not only Wonder Woman and Justice League, but King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, a remake of IT, the just released Kong: Skull Island and the stratospherically anticipated Blade Runner 2049. It’s doubtful a Nolan film would ever be released without its own share of hype, but faced with stiff competition, it might just need the boost of recognition this clip provides.
Dunkirk hits theaters on July 21st.