It's been an interesting and surprising year for cinematic storytelling about the famed Dunkirk Evacuation. This past summer, Christopher Nolan took audiences directly into the chaotic World War II event in his big screen blockbuster Dunkirk, and now director Joe Wright is about to show off the political side of that same time in his new historical drama Darkest Hour. It's surprising that two very different takes about the same event would come to the big screen in the same year, but Darkest Hour star Gary Oldman recently proposed to me a cool way the two films can co-exist going into the future:
And, of course, the germ of the idea, of Darkest Hour, was... [screenwriter] Anthony [McCarten] had it five or six years ago. So it's funny how [these things come together.] It's like you own a bookstore, you have a book on a shelf, and it sits there for fifteen years. And someone comes and buys it one day, and then over the course of three weeks 10 people come in, 'Say, have you got that book?' I don't know what it is. I think somewhere down the line a geek or a fan is going to edit and cut both movies together.
While both Darkest Hour and Dunkirk are set during the same dramatic and intense period of British history, they each tell a very different side of the story featuring completely different characters -- with the former following Winston Churchill as he makes the big picture decisions for the country, and the latter bringing audiences to the frontlines. This lack of crossover has evidently inspired Gary Oldman to think that the two films could potentially co-exist in close harmony as one edited piece -- as he recently told me during the Darkest Hour press day in Los Angeles. Director Joe Wright, who was sitting beside him at the time, was on board with the idea as well, saying,
Probably a CinemaBlend guy! I'd be interested to see what that would be like.
Gary Oldman, of course, has his own personal history with Christopher Nolan -- having starred as Jim Gordon in all three movies in the director's Dark Knight trilogy -- and what he proposes is certainly a logistically possible idea. While Dunkirk is structured non-linearly, both it and Darkest Hour make their specific timetables in their respective narratives very clear to the audience, which would make the two stories surprisingly easy to cut together. It should be recognized that the finished product would be nearly four hours long, but it would be one hell of a thing to see.
You can watch Gary Oldman and Joe Wright (who also shares his very positive thoughts about the Christopher Nolan film) talk about the relationship between Darkest Hour and Dunkirk by clicking play on the video below!
Featuring a stunning, transformative performance by Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour tells the story of Winston Churchill's trials and tribulations guiding Great Britain towards war with Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, and is one of the most impressive historical dramas of the season. You'll be able to get eyes on it yourself when it arrives in theaters November 22nd, but also be on the lookout for more from my interview with Oldman and Joe Wright here on CinemaBlend!