Few directors are able to build the kind of hype and anticipation for a film with their name alone, like Christopher Nolan is. Thanks in no small part to his critically-acclaimed work on The Dark Knight trilogy, Nolan has become one of the most well-respected and popular filmmakers working in Hollywood today, able to drum up more financial success and attention for his original, blockbusters films than most other directors nowadays could only dream of making. Something that only looks to be continuing with his latest directorial effort, the WWII epic, Dunkirk.
Set in May and June of 1940, the film is based on the true story of Operation Dynamo, the British evacuation of almost 330,000 allied troops surrounding by incoming Nazis in the French port of Dunkirk. Featuring a number of his usual stable of actors also, including both Tom Hardy and Cillian Murphy, the film looks to be yet another epic and massive project to come from Nolan.
However, despite featuring a number of large, well-known names in its cast list, Nolan has filled a number of his leading roles with young, practically unknown actors. This includes Fionn Whitehead as Tommy, a young British private glimpsed very briefly in the film's theatrical trailer, and who is said to be the true lead of the film. In a new list published by USA Today too, a brand new image of Whitehead as Tommy has been released online. Check it out below:
Described by Nolan as "just a kid, really" the filmmaker tells the outlet that he chose to make Tommy the lead of the film so that the audience could see the events of the film through his perspective, from the eyes of an innocent young boy thrown directly into the kind of hellish, tense situation that can only truly come from war. Notably, this marks an interesting change-of-pace for Nolan, since he's for the most part, told all of his films from the perspectives of adult males, usually, with the innocence of childhood and family often playing an integral role in their backgrounds and histories, rather than in their present day lives.
With all of that being said, though, Nolan seems like the kind of filmmaker who was designed to make a war film at some point in his career. Based on the footage and visuals shown in both the teaser trailer and short, theatrical trailer for Dunkirk too, it seems like he's using his usual technical and visual skills to their utmost potential with this new effort, to bring the story of the one of the greatest rescues in war history to life, for what will likely be the first time for a lot of Americans who have been raised unaware of the Dunkirk situation in WWII.
As such, while it was unexpected when it was announced, the idea of Christopher Nolan doing a war film seems so obvious that Dunkirk feels like it already belongs in his filmography. Hopefully, the film will be able to live up to the hype surrounding it as well, so that when fans leave the theater in July, they will just be left asking why it took Nolan so long to make Dunkirk in the first place.
Source: USA Today
- Dunkirk (2017) release date: Jul 21, 2017