A propeller stops midair. Soldiers packed like sardines on a pier cower in fear of an unseen threat.
Those are the images Christopher Nolan left CinemaCon audiences hanging onto Wednesday as he premiered new footage from Dunkirk, his long-awaited epic about the storied World War II evacuation.
“It’s something British people grow up with. It’s in our DNA,” Nolan said. “It’s something that’s been close to my heart for a long time.”
Nolan told the audience of theatre owners that he wanted to tell the story in the most visceral way possible, putting audiences on the beaches, in the air and running with the troops.
The Interstellar and Dark Knight director shot the film entirely on large format celluloid and said theatres are the only way to experience the suspenseful survival story.
“The only platform I’m interested in talking about is theatrical exhibition,” Nolan said. “I want to thank you all for everything you’ve done for my films. Without you there is no audience.”
The film’s large eclectic ensemble cast includes veterans like Kenneth Branagh and Mark Rylance, Nolan mainstays Tom Hardy and Cillian Murphy, pop star Harry Styles and a few newcomers like Fionn Whitehead.
Here are some reactions to the footage on Twitter:
#Dunkirk score reminds me a little of Interstellar's feel of a ticking clock — time speeding up to build tension.— Aaron Couch (@AaronCouch) March 30, 2017
Also asked Nolan how he cast Harry Styles in DUNKIRK & if Harry was aware he'd have 2 cut his hair 4 role. A: "I don't want to get into it."— Amy Kaufman (@AmyKinLA) March 29, 2017
"This is a story that needs to carry you through and make you feel you are there" - Christopher Nolan on 'Dunkirk" #CinemaCon2017— Dave McNary (@Variety_DMcNary) March 30, 2017
Christopher Nolan takes the stage for Dunkirk. Says he's telling it in most visceral way possible. pic.twitter.com/iaKMEZ3TQ9— Rebecca Murray (@becmur) March 30, 2017
"One of the greatest stories in human history," says Christopher Nolan of the events depicted in DUNKIRK, which he calls "a survival story."— Jeff Sneider (@TheInSneider) March 29, 2017
It arrives in theatres on July 21.
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