The new additions to the cast of Sam Mendes' World War I drama 1917 has officially qualified the project to be called a star-studded motion picture. Plot details are under wraps, but Deadline describes the film as following "two young British soldiers (MacKay & Chapman) on a single day at the height of World War I."
George MacKay (Captain Fantastic), and Dean-Charles Chapman (Game of Thrones) will be playing the two young soldiers, and throughout their ordeal, they'll cross paths with the likes of Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Andrew Scott, Richard Madden, Daniel Mays, Adrian Scarborough, and Benedict Cumberbatch. Mendes co-wrote the script with Krysty Wilson-Cairns (Penny Dreadful) who recently co-wrote Edgar Wright's new horror thriller Last Night In Soho. Her collaboration with Mendes clearly went well as she's also written his next film, an adaptation of The Voyeur's Motel.
1917 is the first film Sam Mendes has directed since his second James Bond adventure with Spectre. I don't think anybody would argue that Mendes' first Bond movie, Skyfall, was a rousing success both creatively, and commercially. Becoming the first, and so far only, Bond movie to make more than $1 billion worldwide, Skyfall set the bar very high in every way. Sadly, the return of Mendes didn't recapture the magic with Spectre receiving mixed reviews and a respectable (yet disappointing in comparison) $880 million global box office.
I enjoyed Mendes working with a mega-budget on a major franchise, but it has been a decade since his last non-Bond project, and I'm looking forward to seeing him take on a genre that was once a staple of the industry. 1917 is due for release in the US on December 25; a UK date has yet to be announced, we'll be sure to keep you updated.