Benedict Cumberbatch and Colin Firth are among the major names to join the cast of Sam Mendes‘ WWI drama, 1917. Mark Strong, Andrew Scott, and Richard Madden have also joined the film, which will begin shooting in early April in England and Scotland.
The film follows two young British soldiers on a single day at the height of World War I. Mendes co-wrote the script with Krysty Wilson-Cairns and will direct and produce the film. Steven Spielberg‘s Amblin Entertainment is producing via DreamWorks and Universal.
There are plot similarities to be made to Christopher Nolan‘s Dunkirk, but it’s also likely that the box office success of that film in the summer of 2017 led to Universal feeling much better about giving funds to an original war movie.
These cast additions give the film a typically British flavour, and it will be interesting to see what roles Cumberbatch and Firth are signed on for. The lead roles have already been cast, with young up-and-comers George McKay (Captain Fantastic) and Dean-Charles Cahapman (Game Of Thrones) securing the main acting parts.
1917 is currently set for a limited Christmas Day release later this year, before going wide on January 10, 2020.