Christopher Nolan has announced his next directorial project, Dunkirk, and he’s looking at some big names to help add some gravitas to the cast.

Dunkirk is an epic action thriller that will be based on the true story of the 1940 evacuation of over 300,000 Allied troops who were surrounded by the German army in the French city of Dunkirk. Right now, Christopher Nolan, who’s directing his own script, is planning to use a mostly unknown cast. But, any movie with this kind of pedigree behind the scenes could also use some big names on screen.

KEN

Kenneth Branagh is looking at an undisclosed role in Dunkirk, and it’s no wonder that he’d be interested in such a movie. The Shakespearean actor and director has a penchant for deep material and a talent for taking on the heaviest of stories and making them accessible and enjoyable for audiences of all kinds. Most recently seen in the television series Wallander and the film Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (which he also directed), Branagh has played a number of notable roles, including Sir Laurence Olivier in My Week with Marilyn, Hamlet, Iago in Othello and Victor Frankenstein in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. His most recent directorial efforts have included this year’s Cinderella and 2011’s Thor.

TOM

Tom Hardy is the next powerful actor looking at a part in the WWII saga, and considering his intense screen presence in a variety of films, a war movie should make him feel right at home. Hardy is another actor known for some heavy, dramatic material, which often also skews toward action. He’s worked with Christopher Nolan twice before, in Inception and The Dark Knight Rises. Hardy’s talent for forceful performances has graced such films as The Revenant, Legend, Mad Max: Fury Road and Lawless.

MARK

The last actor in consideration for a role in Dunkirk is a heavy hitter you’ve probably never heard of, but hopefully that will change soon. Mark Rylance is an English actor who’s thought to be one of the best stage actors of his generation. He’s won three Tony Awards and two Olivier Awards from The Society of London Theatre. Most recently, his chameleon-like abilities were seen in his Golden Globe nominated performance in Bridge of Spies, and in his Emmy nominated role as the dedicated, but often dubious, advisor to Henry VIII in the BBC Two series Wolf Hall.

If even one of these powerhouse actors opts to show up in Dunkirk, Christopher Nolan’s film will be all the better for it.

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