It’s been too long since we’ve seen any new features from Sam Mendes. Now Mendes is back with his gritty new World War I epic, 1917, and it looks like stunning.
With its Oscar-winning director, an all-star cast (Richard Madden, Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark Strong, Colin Firth), and December theatrical debut, this film has Oscar-bait written all over it. The trailer does an excellent job selling the picture while also tying knots in your stomach. There’s something about the way the title, 1917, slowly contracts around the actors that makes me feel like I’m in a vice grip. I can’t imagine this trailer’s sheer intensity when splashed across a giant movie screen.
Sign me up for this flick right now.
Mendes is one of the most intriguing filmmakers working today. His claim to fame is his Academy Award-winning picture American Beauty. But I would argue that’s his least compelling picture. Mendes released a series of fascinating films dealing with being an adult and finding one’s place in society. If you want to impress someone with your knowledge of cinema, invite them to a double feature of Revolutionary Road, and Away We Go.
Mendes threw all his creative energy into the last two James Bond films, Skyfall and Spectre, while also producing the underappreciated horror series, Penny Dreadful. He continually delivers entertainment that is as thrilling as they are thoughtful. 1917 is his first non-Bond film in a decade, and I can’t wait to see what he has up his sleeve for this long-awaited project.
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).
Universal Pictures will release 1917 domestically in limited release on December 25, 2019, and wide on January 10, 2020.