Christopher Nolan’s upcoming Dunkirk is set more than 75 years in the past. More than 300,000 Allied soldiers were surrounded by German forces in Dunkirk, France in late May 1940 and a large-scale evacuation across the English Channel was ordered.
The soldiers were bombed and strafed by aircraft as the days passed and they waited anxiously for opportunities to retreat across the sea. That was captured vividly in the first trailer, released last December.
The first trailer also laid out the story parameters for the movie, establishing a commanding officer (Kenneth Branagh), a fleeing evacuee (Cillian Murphy), a civilian small-craft pilot (Mark Rylance), and an aircraft pilot (Tom Hardy). Those are the familiar faces, but the story also concerns the soldiers on the beach, especially a British private played by newcomer Fionn Whitehead.
The young actor has the lead role in his big-screen debut. Back in December, Nolan told EW.com: “One of the key things you came across, reading firsthand accounts of Dunkirk, was how young and inexperienced these soldiers were. It felt very important to me, especially for Fionn’s part, to find somebody very new.”
Now a new trailer provides a more complete picture of what we can expect from Nolan’s epic. Watch it below.
From his past movies, like Inception and The Dark Knight trilogy, we know Nolan can handle large-scale action sequences. At the same time, he can tell meaningful personal stories. Dunkirk certainly looks like it will weave together awesome action spectacle and empathetic characters in dramatic fashion. It will open in theaters on July 21.