Sam Mendes' new WWI thriller 1917 revealed a new trailer today, and the action is palpable in the new footage. In the trailer above, the story for this espionage mission gets fleshed out further. Viewers can look forward to the beautiful cinematography and full, rich colors on display in every shot. War is by its nature intense, and Mendes' work doesn't shy away from that brutal reality.
WWI is always heralded as an especially savage conflict because of the technological advances of the age. Warfare now included weapons of mass killing and destruction (machine guns, bigger bombs, Naval arms race, and the advent of chemical warfare like mustard gas). Trench warfare gets a healthy dose of screentime in the new trailer and the claustrophobic nature of the conflict comes into stark focus. Parts of the trailer feel like they are edited to elicit reactions similar to a horror movie because of the terror lurking in the distance of most shots.
One thing viewers will notice is how the environment becomes an adversary just like an enemy with a machine gun. The dark is something to be avoided like the plague in this vision of the past. Twisted buildings are something to be crawled through and over. Fires are around because of bombings or other attacks on the land. Water is muddy and sometimes filled with the bodies of fallen soldiers. It is a grim scene to be sure.
Through it all, the two soldiers continue racing through enemy lines to deliver an all-important message in the hopes of saving over 1,500 lives. Emotional stakes are raised because one of the main characters' brothers is caught up in the conflict from another angle. It is terrifying and othering from every angle as the two soldiers have no one else to lean on but themselves.
Here some more details for 1917, via a press release from Universal Pictures:
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.