A new behind-the-scenes image taken during the production of Dunkirk has been released, showing director Christopher Nolan as he instructs members of the cast, including pop icon Harry Styles, between takes. The photo is part on the ongoing promotion for the true-story World War 2 action-drama before its global release in less than two months.
Dunkirk is Nolan’s first major project since the well-received sci-fi epic Interstellar in 2014, and completely contrasts with his previous movies which tend to incorporate more fantastical elements (Inception, The Dark Knight Trilogy, The Prestige). It makes marked difference from most of his previous work as it so heavily focuses on a well-documented incident. The plot details the pivotal moment in 1940 when retreating allies were surrounded by the advancing German armies, and the participation of civilians resulted in the rescue of thousands of stranded soldiers. Nolan has already stated that the plot structure will be “simple” and emphasise the human qualities as well as the scope of the events.
The image shown from has just been released by Gamesradar and is one of several promo photos being published in the UK’s Total Film magazine. Nolan is seen directing Harry Styles (fledgling actor and former One Direction band member), Aneurin Barnard (The White Queen), and Fionn Whitehead, with the cast and crew watching him intently. There’s not much more to be seen in the shot that we haven’t already seen in the trailers, but the wardrobe and location details certainly stand up to scrutiny. The presence of Styles has inevitably caused a rush of interest from certain demographics, but Nolan’s commitment to the film has ensured that his presence won’t overshadowed the details of the film itself. Although not seen in this image, the cast also includes; Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, and Mark Rylance.
Anticipation for the movie has been high, and the sheer scale and epic quality of the film has been seemingly confirmed in the trailers showcased so far, with the most recent one making an strong impact on social media at the beginning of May. However, many people were surprised when Dunkirk was confirmed to own a PG-13 rating and openly discussed as to whether this would compromise some of the realism or brutality of incident. But Nolan soon countered that concern, explaining that the intensity would be there without dwelling on the more explicit details.
Also admirable is the fact that Nolan was determined to avoid easy CG effects, and shot as much as he could on-camera for real. This entailed spending weeks shooting on boats, flying real Spitfires, constantly filming in the water, and even using handheld cameras for IMAX sequences. From the quality of the cast, Nolan’s confirmed talent, and the incredibly impressive trailers, this could well be a film that will have a major box office impact when it opens in July.
Dunkirk is released on July 21, 2017.