Christopher Nolan directing Interstellar

Christopher Nolan has worked with some of the biggest and brightest movie stars around, from Leonardo DiCaprio to Christian Bale to Matthew McConaughey, and he’s already got a seriously amazing cast assembled for his next film Dunkirk including Tom HardyKenneth Branagh, and Mark Rylance. But the trio are just playing supporting characters. As we reported last year, Nolan was determined to find unknown actors to play the leads, and now he’s found one in British newcomer Fionn Whitehead

TheWrap reports Whitehead is Nolan’s top choice for the movie, though it’s unclear if the actor has already closed his deal. Whitehead will be one of the film’s two young leads. Whitehead’s only IMDb credit to date is an upcoming ITV series called Him, a “domestic horror” about a teenager struggling with adolescence, his parents’ divorce, and his supernatural gifts. Dunkirk is a huge get for him. As a Christopher Nolan movie, it’s pretty much guaranteed to get some buzz, plus he’ll be working alongside some major established talents. And Nolan has impeccable taste in actors, so if Whitehead’s caught his eye, he’s probably a talent to watch.

Fionn Whitehead

Scripted by Nolan himself, Dunkirk focuses on Operation Dynamo, a massive evacuation of 330,000 Allied troops from the French seaport of Dunkirk in May and June of 1940. The event was previously brought to the big screeen in Joe Wright’s Atonement — it’s that incredible five-minute tracking shot featuring James McAvoy’s soldier character. There’s definitely a lot of dramatic material to be mined there. Although Nolan hasn’t directed a wartime drama before, Dunkirk‘s ambitious scope and epic story sound like a good fit for him.

Nolan is shooting Dunkirk on a combination of IMAX 65mm and 65mm large format film, “for maximum image quality and high impact immersion,” with Hoyte van Hoytema (Interstellar) serving as his cinematographerHans Zimmer, creator of Inception‘s BRRRAAAHHHMMMMs, will provide the scoreDunkirk is shooting this May in the real Dunkirk for release on July 21, 2017.

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