dunkirk trailer

The first teaser trailer for Christopher Nolan‘s Dunkirk consisted of only a few shots, with one stand out in particular: a group of British soldiers looking skyward as the sounds of German planes grew louder and louder. It was a teaser in every sense of the word, existing merely to announce the film’s presence to general audiences. The newly arrived trailer (which arrives shortly after the first poster) for this World War II drama offers a bit more than that, offering a better look at what we can expect from movie.

Although I’ll occasionally poke the (always so angry for some reason) Cult of Christopher Nolan with a stick just to see what will happen, there’s no denying that he’s one of our very best mainstream filmmakers, a man willing to tell bold stories on a huge canvas. Dunkirk represents a big left turn for him, with the man behind The Dark Knight, Inception, and Interstellar leaving the genre world behind to make a historical drama based on one of World War II’s most harrowing military engagements. He’s never made anything remotely like this, especially since his “realistic” movies like Memento and Insomnia were created on a significantly smaller scale. I’m not sure what a Nolan-directed period war movie will feel like and that’s pretty exciting.

The Battle of Dunkirk lasted from late May through early June in 1940 and ended with Allied forces (mostly British, French, Polish, and Belgian troops) defeated and cornered by the German army. With no other options, one of the largest retreats in modern military history was organized, with hundreds of thousands of soldiers escaping from Dunkirk’s beaches on board military vessels. In retrospect, it’s one of the war’s most important decisions – by choosing to live and fight another day, the Allies managed to stave off total defeat. It may not be a triumphant story, but it’s an important one.

The lead characters of Dunkirk (specifically the men on the ground) will be played by less familiar and often unknown faces, with an ensemble of recognizable actors taking on the supporting roles. Nolan regulars like Cillian Murphy and Tom Hardy join brilliant actors like Mark Rylance and Kenneth Branagh, a cast that, if nothing else, will ensure all kinds of amazing accents flying back and forth.

Dunkirk is set to open on July 21, 2017.

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