Steven Spielberg’s War Horse finished shooting not too long ago in the New Forest in the UK and is well into editing by now. It will be the first of two Spielberg projects coming in the Winter, the first being The Adventures of Tintin, a 3D movie aimed at the mass market. War Horse, an adaptation of the book by Michael Morpurgo which was recently turned into a very well received stage play in London. And today courtesy of both Empire and the Daily Mail we can bring you some first images from the film.
The movie is about a horse with the remarkable white cross emblazoned on his forehead who gets sold to the Army and winds up on the Western Front in World War 1, where he pines for Albert, the farmer’s son he left behind in the West Country. The film has a range of top up and coming acting talent including newcomer Jeremy Vine, Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch, Patrick Kennedy and Toby Kebbel. However there also some more experienced and well known actors like Emily Watson, Eddie Marsan, A Prophet‘s Niels Arestrup and David Thewlis.
The script is co-written by Richard Curtis who is most well known for comedies such as Four Weddings and a Funeral, Love Actually and The Boat That Rocked (known in the US as Pirate Radio) but is perhaps most beloved for the brilliant work he did with Blackadder on the BBC in the 80s. Spielberg is eminently a good thing, people bash him all the time but I readily accept that he is one of the true pioneers of cinema and a fantastically talented filmmaker.
This sees him in sort of home territory too, looking at war, only this time in WW1 and will have scenes which will be doubtlessly compared to Saving Private Ryan especially for the war scenes described by actor Jeremy Vine in the Daily Mail article:
There was this line of machine guns and there’s this wall of lead coming out of these guns… There were real explosions at my feet, bodies flying through the air, stunt men getting shot at. It was terrifying… The smoke and the smell and the taste of the guns firing. It’s not difficult to act scared in that situation… There’s no doubt this was deliberate: not only to have the film look great, but to have that effect on the actors.
I can’t wait for this, I love the book for its brash attempt at telling a story to younger people about the harrowing subject matter but keeping it brutally real and I also love Spielberg. Plus there’s the cast which is also dynamite, Benedict Cumberbatch is fast becoming a rising star and in a few weeks time those of you who aren’t lucky enough to see Danny Boyle’s masterly adaptation of Frankenstein on the stage in London will get to see it live streamed to selected cinemas, and he is brilliant in it. Look out for this in November and even though we’ve had one Oscar ceremony go by, the words you’ll be hearing around this time next year will be: War Horse.