As Steven Spielberg puts the finishing touches on War Horse for its Dec. 25 debut, EW presents a first-look at the poster for the World War I drama. A new trailer will debut next week in front of DreamWorks’ Real Steel.
Spielberg decided the make the film after his longtime producer and friend Kathleen Kennedy saw a production of the critically beloved play in London, which utilized surprisingly soulful wood-and-leather puppets as the lead animals. But before the director jumped on a plane to see it for himself, she gave him the book that inspired it, a 1981 young adult novel by Michael Morpurgo. At that point, he says he was already sold.
Interestingly then, the poster for the PG-13 film seems to specifically echo the imagery from the book’s cover. The stage play took the first-person (or first-horse) perspective of the book a step further by broadening the story of Albert (Jeremy Irvine), the British farmboy who sees his beloved pal Joey sold to the war effort, only to find himself sent to the front a short time later. Albert longs to somehow find his friend again, a perhaps naive wish that slowly falls away amid the horror of war.
So in War Horse‘s one-sheet, we see the addition of the boy to the frame. They aren’t together in the core of the film, though you could argue they’re never far apart in other ways. Click through to see the full image:
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