Christopher Nolan has set his sights on newcomer Fionn Whitehead to play one of the two young leads in his WWII movie “Dunkirk,” multiple individuals familiar with the Warner Bros. project have told TheWrap.
It is unclear whether Whitehead has closed a deal at this point as he seemingly has no U.S. representation, but insiders suggest he is Nolan’s choice — and the “Dark Knight” director often gets his man. Nolan has been testing young actors for weeks, many of whom remain largely unknown.
Nolan wrote the script and he’ll also produce the film with his longtime producing partner Emma Thomas. He has already visited Dunkirk to scout locations for the re-creation of Operation Dynamo, the British military operation that saved the lives of 330,000 Allied soldiers who were surrounded by German forces.
The large-scale film will be shot on a combination of IMAX 65mm and 65mm large-format film photography for maximum image quality and high-impact immersion. Shooting will begin in May using many of the real locations of the true-life events, which form the background for the story.
Warner Bros. will release “Dunkirk” worldwide on July 21, 2017. The film will be released theatrically on IMAX, 70mm, 35mm and all other screens.
Whitehead’s only role to date is ITV’s three-part domestic horror-drama “Him,” which marks his first screen role, though he is a member of the National Youth Theatre according to Screen Terrier. He’s represented by Sophie Holden at Curtis Brown Group in the UK.
16 Movie Stars Poised to Break Big in 2016
Stephan James Age: 22 How You Might Know Him: The former "Degrassi: The Next Generation" star played John Lewis in "Selma." Why to Watch Him in 2016: He replaced "Star Wars" newcomer John Boyega in the Jesse Owens biopic "Race," and will strut his stuff as the legendary Olympian.
Gal Gadot Age: 30 Why You Might Know Her: The Israeli actress played Giselle, Dom's ex and Han's girlfriend in "Fast & Furious 6." Why to Watch Her in 2016: She's already an "It" girl thanks to her coveted role as Wonder Woman in "Batman v Superman," but look for the stunner in "Triple 9" amd "Criminal."
Wyatt Russell Age: 29 Why You Might Know Him: Russell is a former hockey player who enjoyed a memorable flirt session with Leslie Mann in "This Is 40," and also had a bit part in "22 Jump Street." Why to Watch Him in 2016: His performance in the upcoming Richard Linklater film "Everybody Wants Some" feels like the first honest-to-goodness thespian turn as one of a pack of '70s-era bros chasing girls.
Zoey Deutch Age: 21 How You Might Know Her: The daughter of actress Lea Thompson and director Howard Deutch is more than earned her spot in the family business with roles in “Vampire Academy” and “Beautiful Creatures.” Why to Watch Her in 2016: Deutch is about to hit in the wide-release comedy “Dirty Grandpa” and the smaller but heavily pedigreed “Everybody Wants Some” from director Richard Linklater.
Joe Alwyn Age: 24 Why You Might Know Him: Unless you were hanging around the halls of London’s Central School of Speech and drama, you might not know Joe. His first big gig, however, is quite impressive … Why to Watch Him in 2016: Alywn landed the lead in the much-anticipation "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk" opposite Kristen Stewart, and will also co-star in "The Sense of an Ending" with Jim Broadbent.
Ella Purnell Age: 19 Why You Might Know Her: Ella is a vet of the London stage since childhood, with turns in productions like “Oliver!” and on screen as a young Keira Knightley in the drama “Never Let Me Go.” Why to Watch Her in 2016: She’ll play an earlier version of another starlet — Margot Robbie — as Young Jane in “The Legend of Tarzan” and also appears in the upcoming “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.”
Riz Ahmed Age: 33 Why You Might Know Him: He played lovable and tragic sidekick to Jake Gyllenhaal in "Nightcrawler." Why to Watch Him in 2016: He appears in the latest "Bourne" sequel and "Star Wars: Rogue One," in addition to a music career.
Brianna Hildebrand Age: 19 Why You Might Know Her: She starred in the web series "Annie Undocumented." Why to Watch Her in 2016: She's nothing short of a badass playing lethal entourage member to Ryan Reynolds' upcoming "Deadpool."
20th Century Fox
Alex Roe Age: 25 Why You Might Know Him: He's appeared mostly on British TV shows like "The Fugitives" and "The Cut." Why to Watch Him in 2016: The strapping Alex Roe introduces himself in the apocalyptic " The 5th Wave" with Chloe Grace Moretz, followed by "Rings."
Alexandra Shipp Age: 24 Why You Might Know Her: Gorgeous Alexandra Shipp cut her teeth on TV in roles like an Aalyiah biopic. Why to Watch Her in 2016: She's suiting up as the new Storm in "X-Men: Apocalypse."
20th Century Fox
Tye Sheridan Age: 19 Why You Might Know Him: He earned indie cred with fare like "Mud" and "The Stanford Prison Experiment." Why to Watch Him in 2016: He'll also bring heat playing Cyclops in "X-Men: Apocalypse," then co-star in Jennifer Aniston's war drama "Yellow Birds."
20th Century Fox
Maika Monroe Age: 22 Why You Might Know Her: She became an indie sensation for "It Follows" and "The Guest." Why to Watch Her in 2016: The multiplex is calling with projects "Independence Day Resurgence" and "The 5th Wave."
Toby Kebbell Age: 33 Why You Might Know Him: He's had small roles in many films over the years, from "War Horse" to "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes." Why to Watch Him in 2016: He doesn't have much in the way of free time, with "Warcraft," "Ben-Hur," "Gold," and "A Monster Calls" on deck.
Ruby Barnhill Age: 11 Why You Might Know Her: She's appeared on the Canadian TV series "4 O'Clock Club." Why to Watch Her in 2016: The young actress landed a giant part in Steven Spielberg's adpation of beloved children's book "The BFG."
Walt Disney Studios
Haley Bennett Age: 27 Why You Might Know Her: She's appeared in movies like "Kaboom" and "The Equalizer." Why to Watch Her in 2016: She's got an impressive set of films hitting, including movie star party "Magnificent Seven" and the crime thriller "The Girl on the Train. "
Alison Sudol Age: 31 Why You Might Know Her: She's probably best known as an alternative singer-songwriter who performs with her band, A Fine Frenzy. Why to Watch Her in 2016: She will attempt to tame Eddie Redmayne in "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them."
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From Gal Gadot to Riz Ahmed to badass Brianna Hildebrand, these stars will win big next year