Sam Mendes' WWI-set film also stars George MacKay, Dean-Charles Chapman, Mark Strong, and Richard Madden.

By Joey Nolfi
August 01, 2019 at 11:45 AM EDT
type
  • Movie
Genre
  • War

Colin Firth and Benedict Cumberbatch prepare for a harrowing battle in the first trailer for Skyfall director Sam Mendes‘ upcoming World War I-set thriller 1917.

The film follows two young soldiers, played by George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman, as they search for the latter’s brother — whose battalion is unknowingly on a suicide mission to clash with the enemy.

“They’re walking into a trap. Your orders are to deliver a message to call off tomorrow morning’s attack. If you don’t, we will lose 1,600 men — your brother among them,” Firth instructs the pair. The trailer continues with intense scenes of their journey, including men crawling through rivers filled with dead bodies, clawing through barbed wire blockades, and running through bomb-blasted fields. “If you fail, it will be a massacre.”

“There is only one way this war ends,” Cumberbatch adds. “Last man standing.”

Widely expected to be a key player in the awards race, Mendes — who previously won an Academy Award for helming 2000’s American Beauty — enlisted his former Skyfall collaborators to work on the project, bringing on celebrated, Oscar-winning cinematographer Roger Deakins (Blade Runner 2049) to shoot 1917, and hiring 14-time Oscar nominee Thomas Newman (Finding Nemo) to compose the film’s score.

Also starring Richard Madden and Mark Strong, 1917 bows Dec. 25 in theaters. Watch the film’s first trailer above.

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