Christopher Nolan’s ‘Dunkirk’ Will Have ‘Little Dialogue’

Soldiers face “different temporalities,” director explains

In a rare interview, filmmaker Christopher Nolan has provided some juicy details about what audiences can expect when his war movie “Dunkirk” opens in July.

Speaking to French magazine Premiere, Nolan explained how his film will depict the “different temporalities” soldiers faced during the conflict. “On land, some stayed one week stuck on the beach. On the water, the events lasted a maximum day; and if you were flying to Dunkirk, the British spitfires would carry an hour of fuel,” he said.

The takeaway from the interview is, however, that “Dunkirk” won’t be exposition-heavy. The film’s editor Lee Smith, also also quoted in the interview, said he had his work cut out for him “…because there is little dialogue.”

“The empathy for the characters has nothing to do with their story,” added Nolan. “I did not want to go through the dialogue, tell the story of my characters… The problem is not who they are, who they pretend to be or where they come from. The only question I was interested in was: Will they get out of it? Will they be killed by the next bomb while trying to join the mole? Or will they be crushed by a boat while crossing?”

The film from the “Interstellar” and “Dark Knight” director stars Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance, Fionn Whitehead, Harry Styles and James D’Arcy.

Nolan also wrote the script, which chronicles the evacuation of the French coastal town of Dunkirk during Operation Dynamo, the British military operation that saved the lives of 330,000 Allied soldiers surrounded by German forces.

“Dunkirk” will be split into three sections, told through differing points of view from those based on land (Fionn Whitehead, Harry Styles), sea (Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance) and in the air (Tom Hardy).

“This is an essential moment in the history of the Second World War,” Nolan said. “If this evacuation had not been a success, Great Britain would have been obliged to capitulate.”

He’s also producing the film, which was shot on a combination of IMAX 65mm and 65mm large-format film photography for maximum image quality and high-impact immersion.

Warner Bros. will release “Dunkirk” worldwide this summer on July 21. The film will be released theatrically on IMAX, 70mm, 35mm and all other screens.