Cast one eye over 2017’s lineup of summer blockbusters and you’ll be able to locate a familiar melange of big-budget reboots (Spider-Man: Homecoming) and bankable sequels (Transformers: The Last Knight). But there’s a fierce passion project ready to cut through the noise, and its name is Dunkirk.
Coming by way of Christopher Nolan, the visionary behind Interstellar and The Dark Knight Trilogy, Dunkirk is a true-life war thriller set to recount the death-defying tale of Operation Dynamo, a near-impossible rescue mission staged by Allied forces during the height of World War II. Their goal? To ensure the safe passage of thousands of troops left stranded in Northern France and, to make matters worse, the Nazi army is closing in fast. Staying true to his ‘go big, or go home’ approach to filmmaking, Nolan called upon IMAX cameras to shoot vast portions of Dunkirk and, at least based on early screenings, the end result is a visceral account of war the likes of which we haven’t seen since Saving Private Ryan.
With a primetime July release date fast approaching, Warner Bros. screened footage from Dunkirk at the ongoing CinemaCon event, and THR has now turned in a report from Las Vegas. Here’s an extract of their preview:
The footage shown focuses on multiple characters in the same moment in time. There are two young soldiers attempting to get an injured soldier across a bridge crowded with soldiers while, in the sky, Hardy’s character, a fighter pilot, is in battle. Rylance’s character is taking out a boat to the sea below, where a battleship packed with soldiers floats. Over it all is an intense ticking sound, creating tension that promises to lead to an explosive moment.
Told through the eyes of three individual soldiers, thereby aligning with the triptych storytelling template, Christopher Nolan then discussed the history behind Operation Dynamo and why it’s considered an important cornerstone of British history.
“Dunkirk and the legend of it is something that British people grow up with – it’s in our DNA. The idea of taking this paradoxical situation and putting it on the big screen – it’s something that’s been close to my heart for some time, it’s something I didn’t think I was ready to do. I wanted to tell the story in the most visceral way possible, I wanted to take that audience and put them on that beach.”
Expect Nolan and Co. to place viewers in the thick of the action when Dunkirk deploys on July 21st. Much like the director’s past films, it’ll release under a PG-13 rating.