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Out of all of the films Christopher Nolan has made in his fairly recent career, only one film focused on events in a past era of history. While The Prestige holds that honor, it's still a work of fiction, which maintains Nolan's streak of the fantastic. If the latest rumors about the secretive director's next project are true, we might see that streak break, as a real life event from World War II is alleged to be the basis of his next picture.
According to a recent item from the French press, which was translated by The Playlist, Nolan's next film will be about the evacuation of Dunkirk, the May – June 1940 operation that secured as many Allied forces as possible. The evacuation was triggered by brute force attacks by the Nazi war machine against the Netherlands and the French port home to Allied operations. Hundreds of thousands of Allied lives were saved in this event, and it would be extremely interesting to see how Nolan tackles World War II era history with his trademark eye.
The piece also mentions the fact that Quentin Tarantino recently returned Nolan's sentiment of 70mm solidarity at a recent talk about The Hateful Eight with fellow film enthusiast Paul Thomas Anderson. In fact, it seems to be intimated that the Interstellar director, much like his similar minded contemporaries, might be shooting this war epic with the large format lenses that Tarantino recently resurrected from their status as museum pieces. Considering the director is pretty loyal to the IMAX format above all other special exhibitions, as well as the fact that Interstellar had a little over an hour of footage shot in that very format, this doesn't seem to be too much of a stretch.
While Christopher Nolan mostly has his head in the clouds of sci-fi when it comes to the plots of his films, seeing him possibly tackle an historic event through the lens of narrative film-making is intriguing enough on its own. Indeed, frequent collaborator Warner Bros must be breathing a sigh of relief, knowing that the war movie genre is an easier sell than Nolan's usual brand of high concept spectacle. Of course, this is all assuming that this report is in fact accurate, as we must remind you that this is purely in the realm of rumor at this moment. That said, the timing seems right, as the mayor of Dunkirk has mentioned their part in a major motion picture shoot next summer, with a "world famous director" at the helm. Right now, we'll have to take their word for it until the studio or representatives for Nolan himself speak out.
For now, all we know for certain is Christopher Nolan's next film will be released on July 21, 2017 – with War for the Planet of the Apes and the Marvel Studios / Sony Spider-Man film flanking it on either side by a week.