Once Christopher Nolan signed on to direct The Dark Knight trilogy, he quickly went from being the critically acclaimed director behind such films as Memento and Insomnia to becoming a big box office draw himself with a well-known, defined style. He matched the critical and commercial success of the Batman film series with the unforgettably innovative Inception, but had mixed results with his most recent film, Interstellar, which was met with a polarizing response from critics and failed to achieve the box office numbers of his previous films in the U.S.
However, the filmmaker has maintained his status as one of the few Hollywood directors whose every project is met with much anticipation and speculation from filmgoers. That certainly was the case when Warner Bros. announced in September the director’s next film will be released in theaters on July 21, 2017. However, the studio would not reveal any other details, including a title or cast, leading fans to wonder whether it would be a follow-up to one of his past films or an entirely new project. More recently, frequent collaborator Michael Caine revealed to the Hollywood Reporter that Nolan was working on a secret script, but he did not know what it was about or if there was a role in it for him.
Now comes the rumor that the director’s next project will be a WWII film. French newspaper La Voix Du Nord (via Indiewire) reports that Nolan is prepping a movie based on Operation Dynamo, which involved the difficult and heroic evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force (B.E.F.) and other Allied troops from the French seaport of Dunkirk between May and June of 1940. It was approved after a large number of French, Belgian and British troops were surrounded by German forces during the Battle of France. Up to 198,000 British and 140,000 French and Belgian troops were rescued in the mission.
The speculation follows an announcement by the Mayor of Dunkirk, France, Patrice Vergriete, that the filming of a Hollywood blockbuster by a "world-famous director" would be taking place in the Northern France commune starting in June 2016. Sources have since told La Voix Du Nord that the director in question is in fact Nolan:
“Completely incognito during his recent visits to Dunkirk with his brother Jonathan, [Christopher Nolan] absorbed the territory, its past and the consequences of the conflict.”
If the reports are true, the project will not only be Nolan's first war film, but also his first movie based on real-life events. A WWII drama will be quite a change of pace for a director who -- with the exception of The Dark Knight trilogy and The Prestige (which was based on a novel of the same name) -- has favored original, thought-provoking ideas for the content of his films. It will also be intriguing to see how Nolan translates the commonly darker themes found in most of his movies into the story of a heroic military operation, though the events surrounding the war certainly would fit in well with topics that the director has touched on in the past.
Nolan’s latest film is slated to hit theaters on July 21, 2017. Screen Rant will bring you more information on the new project when it is made available.