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The action adventure film, set during the legendary 1940 evacuation in France, will be led by yet-to-be-cast unknowns but Kenneth Branagh, Mark Rylance and Tom Hardy are currently in talks to join the ensemble.
The large scale film will be shot on a combination of IMAX 65mm and 65mm large format film photography, and shooting will begin in May.
The British director will also produce the film with his longtime producing partner and wife Emma Thomas.
Warner Bros. previously announced in September that Nolan’s next film would be released on July 21, 2017, but at the time the studio did not give any other details.
News began to surface over the weekend via French newspapers that Nolan was planning a WWII movie, and that he and his brother, screenwriter Jonathan Nolan, had been scouting in Dunkirk. The story centers on the 1940 evacuation of more than 300,000 Allied troops who were surrounded by the German army in the French city of Dunkirk.
“We are thrilled to be continuing our collaboration with Christopher Nolan, a singular filmmaker who has created some of the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful films of all time,” said Greg Silverman, president of creative development and worldwide production. “Dunkirk is a gripping and powerful story and we are excited to see Chris, Emma and their cast realize it on the big screen.”
Branagh directed 2015’s Disney hit Cinderella and is attached to direct and star in Murder on the Orient Express for Fox. He’s repped by WME and Berwick & Kovacik.
Rylance was more recently seen Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies, receiving a Golden Globe and SAG nomination for his work. He’ll also appear in Spielberg’s The BFG. He’s repped by Hamilton Hodell in the U.K.
Hardy’s recent credits include The Revenant, which is now in theaters, and Legend. He’s repped by CAA and United Agents in the U.K.
Nolan, whose previous film was the 2014 space epic Interstellar, is repped by WME.
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