The trailer for Skyfall and American Beauty diector Sam Mendes' new WWI thriller 1917 is out, and it is an intense experience, to say the least. Watch the new trailer above, and more details of this must-watch film, below.
First and foremost: the trailer demonstrates that Mendes has clearly captured the claustrophobic and savage nature of battle that is unique to WWI. As historians always note, the first World War (1914 - 1918) was especially devastating due to the fact that technology was at a point where warfare was now including weapons of mass killing and destruction (machine guns, bigger bombs, Naval arms race, and the advent of chemical warfare like mustard gas). Another big distinguishing factor of the conflict was the brutality of trench warfare, as deadlier weapons often forces combatants into races to dig their way to strategic positions, while avoiding bombs and machine gun turrets. The trench races could often end in long stalemates, with soldiers forced to camp in muddy trenches for long stretches of time, where sanitation, disease, shell-shock, and so many other threats besides enemy fire reared their heads.
I say that all to say: Mendes seems to have captured all of these elements of WWI warfare in 1917, and is employing them to create one hell of an action/drama/thriller experience. The claustrophobic trench scenes, terrifying bombing raids, and shootouts look all too real and visceral. The dramatic angle of two soldiers racing through enemy lines to deliver an all-important message is going to make people want to feint from the anxiety wanting these two lads to make to their destination safely. And it doesn't seem like Mendes will let up on the pace for a single second before they (maybe) get there.
Here are the details of 1917, via the official synopsis and press release from Universal Pictures
Sam Mendes, the Oscar®-winning director of Skyfall, Spectre and American Beauty, brings his singular vision to his World War I epic, 1917.
At the height of the First World War, two young British soldiers, Schofield (Captain Fantastic’s George MacKay) and Blake (Game of Thrones’ Dean-Charles Chapman) are given a seemingly impossible mission. In a race against time, they must cross enemy territory and deliver a message that will stop a deadly attack on hundreds of soldiers—Blake’s own brother among them.
1917 is directed by Sam Mendes, who wrote the screenplay with Krysty Wilson-Cairns (Showtime’s Penny Dreadful). The film is produced by Mendes and Pippa Harris (co-executive producer, Revolutionary Road; executive producer, Away We Go) for their Neal Street Productions, Jayne-Ann Tenggren (co-producer, The Rhythm Section; associate producer, Spectre), Callum McDougall (executive producer, Mary Poppins Returns, Skyfall) and Brian Oliver (executive producer, Rocketman; Black Swan).
The film is produced by Neal Street Productions for DreamWorks Pictures in association with New Republic Pictures. Universal Pictures will release the film domestically in limited release on December 25, 2019 and wide on January 10, 2020. Universal and Amblin Partners will distribute the film internationally, with eOne distributing on behalf of Amblin in the U.K.
1917 will be in theaters this December.