Nolan working with Pop Star on new film on Dunkirk

Abandoned British military vehicles on beach of Dunkirk. May 26 1940 had an operation to evacuate across the sea to Britain British, French and Belgian troops

Christopher Nolan has been working on decidedly fictional films,  for the last several years, but the director of Interstellar and the Dark Knight trilogy is planning to get real for his next film. He’s preparing a project, Dunkirk, that is based on the real-life British evacuation of the French city of the same name during World War II.

Dunkirk was technically, a defeat for the British in 1940. They were forced to abandon France to the Nazis. However, this retreat allowed the British to continue to wage war against the Nazi and eventually to prevail and with their other allies to ultimately to win the greatest war in human history.

The cast, for the film is already taking shape, and while it includes many names you might expect, there is at least one surprise. Nolan has reportedly brought an actor on board from the British pop group One Direction.

According to Variety, Harry Styles of One Direction fame will have a starring role in Nolan’s new film. New actor Fionn Whitehead is also joining the cast. Nothing is known about their roles, but the Wrap states that there are two young leads in starring roles. Whitehead is reported as being one, which makes it seem likely that Styles will be the other.

Many roles will be played by unknowns and, certainly, Styles is unknown in movies as this will be his first starring role. There will be some familiar names, though. Kenneth Branagh, Tom Hardy and Mark Rylance will all be in the film, all acclaimed screen and stage actors. This will give Styles a chance to learn from some of the best in the business.

While this is a different style for Nolan, he plans to use a lot of the same technologies he is used to, in his hit movies. Dunkirk will be shot with IMAX 65mm and other large-format 65mm film. Nolan is not a fan of using digital cameras. Still, he’s not as old school as some directors. Many directors who won’t use digital cameras go back to the 35mm or even older film formats. Nolan prefers the large, modern format options.

An IMAX presentation of the evacuation of Dunkirk will likely be epic. Seeing how well the young and inexperienced actors keep up with the experienced pros could be just as interesting. We’ll have to wait to see which direction Styles’ acting takes him until the film comes out next year.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE