Spielberg and Mendes to Shoot new WW1 Movie

 
 
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An application requesting permission to temporarily use Govan Graving Docks in Glasgow for movie production has been approved by the Glasgow City Council.

The planned movie that seeks to feature this location is 1917, a World War I-based drama which will be directed by English film director Sam Mendes and handled by Amblin Entertainment, the production company of legendary American film producer Steven Spielberg.

The Academy Award-winning director and producer will be uniting on a project once again after making a number of highly successful movies in the past.

Spielberg and Mendes broke the ice with American Beauty in 1999, which is their first actual collaboration and Mendes’ directorial debut. Through this movie, Mendes would win Best Director at the Golden Globe Awards in 2000. They would both work together again for other projects such as the crime movie Road to Perdition and the romantic tragedy Revolutionary Road.

The derelict Govan Graving Docks complex.Photo: Andy Moyle CC BY-SA 2.0
The derelict Govan Graving Docks complex.Photo: Andy Moyle CC BY-SA 2.0

However, since consecutively directing two James Bond epics, Skyfall and Spectre, Mendes had not directed any more movies. Thus, 1917 is set to be Mendes’ first film since directing his second James Bond movie in 2015.

Mendes will not only be directing the movie this time, but also co-writing it. It will be his first time being credited as a screenwriter. He will be writing the movie alongside Glasgow-born Scottish screenwriter and comic book writer Kristy Wilson-Cairns.

Mendes collaborated with Javier Bardem for Skyfall, November 2012.Photo: Angela George CC BY-SA 3.0
Mendes collaborated with Javier Bardem for Skyfall, November 2012.Photo: Angela George CC BY-SA 3.0

In an interview with Deadline, Sam Mendes said: “I couldn’t be happier to be back working with Amblin and Steven Spielberg again, alongside Donna Langley and all at Universal. I’ve been working on this script for over a year, so it’s very exciting to start making the movie itself a reality.”

The movie 1917 is in its pre-production stage, and is being financed by Spielberg’s production house Amblin Entertainment.

Scenes from the upcoming movie will be shot in the disused Govan Graving Docks, now that it has been given a nod of approval by the city’s governing body.

Built in the late 1800s by Clyde Navigation Trust, the dockyards have remained derelict for over 28 years, and a bid for its redevelopment was rejected last year by the city’s council.

Admiralty plan of the Govan Graving Docks from 1909.
Admiralty plan of the Govan Graving Docks from 1909.

According to the planning application, the filming procedures will focus on the northern two docks that form the dockyard. A set will be built east of the Pump House and a temporary extension to the existing building will also be created as well as a temporary bridge which will span “dock 1.”

The site will be staged with boats and debris, and will also be made to look like a French landscape, with a convoy of army vehicles set to be involved in the production.

Glasgow, Govan Graving Docks.Photo: Iroberts696 CC BY-SA 4.0
Glasgow, Govan Graving Docks.Photo: Iroberts696 CC BY-SA 4.0

The selected part of the Govan Graving Docks was considered ideal, according to the application, because it minimizes views from road networks surrounding the site and allows safe and convenient access for visitors, crew and construction vehicles.

Bridge across the dock.In the past this bridge would have been raised to allow massive ships into Dry Dock number 3 at Govan Graving Dock. It would also act as a barrier to allow the massive dock to be split into two.Photo: Lynn M Reid CC BY-SA 2.0
Bridge across the dock.In the past this bridge would have been raised to allow massive ships into Dry Dock number 3 at Govan Graving Dock. It would also act as a barrier to allow the massive dock to be split into two.Photo: Lynn M Reid CC BY-SA 2.0

The planning application affirms that the site will be cleared after use, restoring it to its original condition post-filming. Also, the application claims that the use of the site for 1917 would bring “considerable direct and indirect benefits to the local economy through job creation and supply chain links.”

The final few boats departing Pacific Quay in Glasgow after the Glasgow 2014 flotilla.Photo: Ali Craigmile CC BY-SA 2.0
The final few boats departing Pacific Quay in Glasgow after the Glasgow 2014 flotilla.Photo: Ali Craigmile CC BY-SA 2.0

Upon approval of the planning application, a spokesman of Glasgow City Council expressed optimism that the project will have a significant economic impact on the city.

The site has been scheduled to be used for a period of ten weeks, for set construction, filming, and dismantling, starting from April 22 and ending on June 28, 2019. Despite having over 50 days to use the site, the planning statement affirms that the activity on the area will be low-level.

The actual filming will take only four days, spanning from June 11-14.

Glasgow, Govan Graving Docks.Photo: Iroberts696 CC BY-SA 4.0
Glasgow, Govan Graving Docks.Photo: Iroberts696 CC BY-SA 4.0

The cast for the soon-to-come WWI movie is not yet fully known. However, on the IMDb website, actors Dean-Charles Chapman and George MacKay have been listed as the cast for the movie. The storyline is also unknown as it is not based on any specific WWI novels.

Set during WWI, 1917 is the latest project to focus on the city of Glasgow. Parts of the city have been used a number of times for different movies in varying genres.

Read another story from us: Rin Tin Tin: The WW1 Dog Who Became a Film Star.

Recently, Idris Elba visited the city to make some scenes from Hobbs and Shaw. Glasgow was also used as Philadelphia in the 2013 apocalyptic horror movie World War Z. Other movies that have used the city include Under The Skin, Cloud Atlas, and Outlaw King.

Upon completion, the movie should be released by December this year through Amblin’s distribution partner, Universal.

 
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