New Image from Christopher Nolan's WWII Movie Dunkirk

Christopher Nolan's latest film will shed a light on the 1940 Dunkirk evacuation, a very important moment from World War II that isn't as well known here in the States as it should be. When British, French and other Allied soldiers were stranded on the beaches of Dunkirk, France and surrounded by the German army, all seemed lost. However, the Germans unexpectedly halted their attack, providing the allied troops with just enough time to build-up their defenses and be rescued.

Dunkirk will feature a stellar cast, but the star is 19-year-old Fionn Whitehead, who is portraying an English private named Tommy. Nolan went with a newcomer in the lead because it would help reflect how young and inexperienced the soldiers were. “He’s just a kid, really, and that’s sort of the point. You see events very much through his eyes,” Nolan told USA Today. “We want to put the audience on that beach, put them on a boat heading over to Dunkirk, put them in the cockpit of a Spitfire. That’s the ambition and I’m bringing all my experience in filmmaking to bear trying to achieve it.”

Dunkirk opens as hundreds of thousands of British and Allied troops are surrounded by enemy forces. Trapped on the beach with their backs to the sea they face an impossible situation as the enemy closes in.

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.