After dropping an epic new trailer, Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes has given us a greater glimpse on how he thrivingly had his upcoming 1917 war film shot to appear as if it was executed in one continuous take, firstly and famously accomplished by Hitchcock in his 1948 drama, Rope.
The film follows two young British Soldiers Schofield (George MacKay) and Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman), who, while interceding through lethal enemy territory, are assigned to deliver a fateful message that could save the lives of thousands of soldiers from a disastrous ambush.
To create an innovative one-take masterpiece, 1917 enlisted Oscar-winning cinematographer Roger Deakin (Blade Runner 2049, Skyfall), whose work is showcased in an array of thrilling yet stunning scenes in the trailer. Mendes and Deakin have reunited since their 007 days to craft a film that unfolds in real-time, utilising extremely definitive timing between the camera angles, actors and special effects that all take place at once.
“From the very beginning I felt this story should be told in real-time,” says Mendes in the featurette, as he believes it is integral for the audience to feel every breath and every moment the soldiers endure in the film. The camera follows and stays on Schofield and Blake for the entirety of the film, with this method having the audience completely compelled by the action and urgency of the story.
Although the film is believed to be fiction, the film is actually based on a story Mendes’ grandfather, Alfred Mendes (who actually fought in WWI), told him as a child. Mendes was so intrigued by his grandfather’s recount of a great messenger in World War I, he used this as the base of an immensely larger recounted story - 1917. Amazingly, Alfred Mendes turned out to be the gallant messenger in the heroic story.
The film also stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Colin Firth, Richard Madden and Andrew Scott, and is set to be released on January 10, 2020 worldwide.
Will this unique way of storytelling be a success for 1917? Telling by the trailer, it’s defying all the odds and will land in cinemas with a bang.
Watch the thrilling trailer above and catch the full featurette below.