The plot is still being kept under wraps, but other details on the upcoming World War I blockbuster, “1917,” are slowly emerging — notably, confirmation of those driving the massive project.
Steven Spielberg’s (“Saving Private Ryan”) production company, Amblin Partners, was confirmed last June to be financing the film, which is set for a limited release Christmas Day before hitting theaters nationwide Jan. 10, 2020.
Spielberg’s company recently received permission to film select scenes in Glasgow, Scotland, according to BBC, where film crews will soon begin building and tearing down sets over the course of 10 weeks for a filming period of just four days.
In addition to assuming directorial duties, Oscar-winning filmmaker Sam Mendes (“American Beauty”) co-wrote the script alongside Krysty Wilson-Cairns, who worked with Mendes on the Showtime series, “Penny Dreadful.”
“Our company has been a home for Sam since his first film,” Steven Spielberg told Variety in June. “I am so happy to have him back here in his old room spinning new stories – especially this hugely daring and ambitious new movie.”
“1917” marks Mendes’ first return to the big screen since directing Daniel Craig in the James Bond films, “Skyfall” and “Spectre.”
“I couldn’t be happier to be back working with Amblin and Steven Spielberg again," Mendes told Variety. "I’ve been working on this script for over a year, so it’s very exciting to start making the movie itself a reality.”
The award-winning English director, who spent recent years overseeing stage productions in London, was also behind the camera for the psychological Gulf War drama, “Jarhead,” and the perpetually underrated mobster film, “Road to Perdition,” starring Tom Hanks, Craig and Paul Newman.
Joining Mendes on the production side of “1917″ is his long-time colleague, Pippa Harris (“Jarhead,” “Revolutionary Road”), and Michael Lerman (“Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” “Doctor Strange”).
True film nerds will also be thrilled to learn that award-winning cinematographer Roger Deakins is lending his expertise to the endeavor.
Deakins won the Oscar for best cinematographer on Denis Villeneuve’s “Blade Runner 2049,” and has been nominated for the same award for his stunning visual work on a number of other films, including “Sicario,” “Prisoners,” “No Country for Old Men,” “Fargo,” and “Shawshank Redemption."
While the bulk of the cast, meanwhile, remains of mystery, George McKay (“Captain Fantastic”) and Dean-Charles Chapman, who played Tommen Baratheon on the hit HBO series, “Game of Thrones,” have been confirmed in leading roles.
World War I garnered renewed interest this year with the release of Peter Jackson’s (“Lord of the Rings”) groundbreaking documentary, “They Shall Not Grow Old.”
Production on “1917” is expected to begin in April.
Jon Simkins is a writer and editor for Military Times, and a USMC veteran.