Dunkirk Trailer Showcases Nolan Pacing And Psychology

Set to the backdrop of a steadily ticking stop watch with a pulsating beat, the official trailer for Dunkirk establishes a tremendous narrative between action, suspense, and heroism all based on the dramatic re-imagining of Operation Dynamo.

The Dunkirk evacuation -- for which the film is titled -- was the mission to save Allied soldiers from the beaches and harbour of Dunkirk, France, during World War II. The operation was a forced hand after large numbers of Belgian, Canadian, British, and French troops were cut off -- and subsequently surrounded by the German army -- during the Battle of France.

Isolated from traditional escape routes, many in the military -- and as shown in the trailer -- were not hopeful for their survival as systematic elimination by the Axis Forces seemed the doomed fate. However, a wide variety of non-military boats from the south of England were dispatched into action to aid in the Dunkirk evacuation. Manned by civilians, in many cases, the group used a collection of speedboats, river vessels, car ferries, pleasure cruisers, among other forms, of watercraft to go into enemy territory to save those stranded.

As is typical with Christopher Nolan movies, the focus of this film seems to be the psychological aspect of war -- with the trailer hinting that it will be told from the perspective of both those stranded and those joining into the fray. The allied soldiers along the French coastline (like Cillian Murphy) have nowhere to run from the surrounding German forces; a good deal of the trailer seems to depict with how they manage the mental toll of what's coming, with shots and footage depicting as many moments of internal struggle as they do external.

"Dunkirk" features a prestigious cast, including Tom Hardy ("The Revenant," "Mad Max: Fury Road," "The Dark Knight Rises"), Mark Rylance ("Bridge of Spies," "The BFG"), Kenneth Branagh ("My Week with Marilyn," "Hamlet," "Henry V") and Cillian Murphy ("Inception," "The Dark Knight" Trilogy), as well as newcomer Fionn Whitehead. The ensemble cast also includes Aneurin Barnard, Harry Styles, James D'Arcy, Jack Lowden, Barry Keoghan and Tom Glynn-Carney.

The film is being produced by Nolan and Emma Thomas ("Interstellar," "Inception," "The Dark Knight" Trilogy). Jake Myers ("The Revenant," "Interstellar," "Jack Reacher") is serving as executive producer.

The behind-the-scenes creative team includes director of photography Hoyte van Hoytema ("Interstellar," "Spectre," "The Fighter"), production designer Nathan Crowley ("Interstellar," "The Dark Knight" Trilogy), editor Lee Smith ("The Dark Knight" Trilogy, "Elysium"), costume designer Jeffrey Kurland ("Inception," "Bullets Over Broadway"), and visual effects supervisor Andrew Jackson ("Mad Max: Fury Road").


Dunkirk will be in theaters July 21, 2017.

[H/T Warner Brothers]