1917 serves as the first big screen project for Sam Mendes since he pulled double duty in the James Bond 007 franchise with Skyfall and Spectre. The film is a World War I drama and passion project as in addition to directing it, Mendes is co-writing the film with Krysty Wilson-Cairns. Wilson-Cairns recently wrote the screenplay for The Voyeur’s Motel, another film Mendes has in development and is currently pegged to direct, in addition to working on Penny Dreadful, the Gothic horror series created by John Logan and executive produced by Mendes.
This film though looks like it’s own horror, and in a much more immediate sense.
1917 Release Date
1917 is scheduled for a Christmas Day arrival, that’s Dec. 25, in North America.
The final trailer before the film’s Christmas Day release emphasizes the pressure cooker plot more than ever before. Deliver a message or hundreds of countrymen, and your brother, will die.
The other trailer for 1917 has now arrived from New York Comic Con 2019. The epic nature of Sam Mendes’s vision is now quite clear.
Here is also the first trailer.
The two leads of 1917 are again George MacKay (Captain Fantastic) and Dean-Charles Chapman (Tommen on Game of Thrones). The movie also features a litany of cameos from esteemed British talent, including Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange) and The King’s Speech‘s Colin Firth.
Joining them in the Trenches among the British ranks are Mark Strong (Shazam!), Andrew Scott (Sherlock), Richard Madden (Bodyguard), Daniel Mays, Adrian Scarborough, Jamie Parker, Nabhaan Rizwan, and Claire Duburcq.
1917 Production Details
The picture was filmed between April and June in Scotland and Shepperton Studios in Surrey, England. But what will really raise eyebrows is that cinematographer Roger Deakins and Mendes elected to shoot the film as if it looked like a single long tracking shot, a la Birdman and Rope. Deakins finally won an overdue Oscar for Blade Runner 2049. They talked about the process here.
Further, we had the chance to speak with Mendes, Deakins, Wilson-Cairns, and the two lead actors at New York Comic Con earlier this year. They spoke candidly about the process and how they hope this movie can build on what Birdman achieved and avoid what Deakins describes as being merely “a technical exercise” in Rope. You can find the full discussions here.
Here is an excerpt from our review of the film.
As indicated by its title, 1917 is a stunning microcosm for the war that ushered in our modern age with blood and sacrifice, as well as a tribute to the men who spilled both by the millions. It is also a magnificent achievement for Mendes and Deakins. More than just a technical marvel and another masterpiece in a year filled with several, 1917 is a hauntingly evocative work that is likely to change how war stories are filmed, and how we process their lessons a century later.
1917 Story Details
1917 was one of the bloodiest years of the First World War, with the battles of Arras and the second battle of Aisne, among other horrific events. The movie will be set during the Third Battle of Ypres where two young British soldiers named Schofield (MacKay) and Blake (Chapman) must go behind enemey lines to deliver a warning that a batalion is about to walk into a trap. If they do, all 1,600 men in that fighting force will be killed, with Blake’s brother among them. A tense race against the clock after that, this will not be a movie for the faint of heart.