The trailer for Darkest Hour - Joe Wright's film about Winston Churchill - has arrived. Great Britain was already at war with Germany when Winston Churchill became the Prime Minister. Churchill had been very outspoken about how the previous Prime Minister - Neville Chamberlin - attempted to appease Germany before World War II began. However, almost as soon as Churchill took office, he was faced with a similar dilemma about whether he should sign a peace treaty with Germany (which would require compromise and concessions) or stand up to Hitler and the Nazis.
These first few days Churchill spent as the Prime Minister, facing this decision, are the story behind Darkest Hour. Churchill is certainly a popular subject for entertainment, having appeared in dozens of historical dramas in the last several decades. He has been played by some of the most well-known British actors, including Michael Gambon, Timothy Spall, and Brendan Gleeson. He will be seen on the big screen twice in 2017. Brian Cox plays the Prime Minister in Churchill, which is set during D-Day. And in Darkest Hour he is being played by Gary Oldman - who has gone through an incredible transformation to resemble the real Churchill.
The first trailer for Darkest Hour has now been released online, offering just a hint of Oldman's performance as Churchill - which is already generating award buzz. Between the extensive makeup and Oldman's completely changed voice, the actor is virtually unrecognizable. You can also check out the first poster for the film (via Focus Features), below.
For those who are curious, here is the official synopsis for Darkest Hour:
A thrilling and inspiring true story begins on the eve of World War II as, within days of becoming Prime Minister of Great Britain, Winston Churchill (Academy Award nominee Gary Oldman) must face one of his most turbulent and defining trials: exploring a negotiated peace treaty with Nazi Germany, or standing firm to fight for the ideals, liberty and freedom of a nation. As the unstoppable Nazi forces roll across Western Europe and the threat of invasion is imminent, and with an unprepared public, a skeptical King, and his own party plotting against him, Churchill must withstand his darkest hour, rally a nation, and attempt to change the course of world history.
Much of the beginning of the trailer deals with the various impediments that Churchill faced during the beginning of his time as Prime Minster. His earlier political career had been devise and he had spent some time in political exile. And Germany's threat to Britain was a threat to all of Europe, not just England. The second half of the trailer, a montage set to the sound of Churchill giving an impassioned speech to rally his followers, demonstrates just how passionate and powerful the politician really was.
Along with Oldman, the Darkest Hour cast includes Lily James (Baby Driver), Kristin Scott Thomas (Only God Forgives), Ben Mendelsohn (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), and Stephen Dillane (Game of Thrones). The late John Hurt was originally cast as Neville Chamberlin - which would have made Darkest Hour his third collaboration with Oldman, after the films Tinker Taylor Solider Spy and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part II - but he was too sick to participate and had to leave the film, prior to his passing. Hurt was replaced with Ronald Pickup and unfortunately died during filming. Darkest Hour is dedicated to Hurt.
Source: Focus Features
- Darkest Hour (2017) release date: Nov 22, 2017