Sam Mendes’ ‘1917’ Nears Production: Mark Strong, Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch & More Join Cast

DreamWorks Pictures and Universal Pictures announced today that Sam Mendes’ 1917 will start shooting on April 1 on location in England and Scotland.

The film follows two young British soldiers (Captain Fantastic’s George MacKay; Game of ThronesDean-Charles Chapman) on a single day at the height of World War I.

Joining the two are Mark Strong, Andrew Scott, Richard Madden, Daniel Mays, Adrian Scarborough, Jamie Parker (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), Nabhaan Rizwan (Informer), Claire Duburcq, with Colin Firth and Benedict Cumberbatch.

Mendes, who will direct and wrote the screenplay with Krysty Wilson-Cairns (Penny Dreadful) produces the film with Pippa Harris—his partner at Neal Street Productions—along with Jayne-Ann Tenggren and Callum McDougall. Co-producing is Michael Lerman.

Also announced today is the pic’s creative team: cinematographer Roger Deakins; production designer Dennis Gassner; costume designer Jacqueline Durran; editor Lee Smith; and composer Thomas Newman, who has created the scores for six previous Mendes films, including Skyfall, Road to Perdition and American Beauty.

The film is being produced by Neal Street Productions for DreamWorks Pictures and Universal Pictures, and will be released by Universal in U.S./Canada on Dec. 25. Universal and Amblin Partners will distribute the film internationally, with eOne distributing on behalf of Amblin in the U.K.

1917 reps a reunion for Mendes and DreamWorks Pictures. His feature directorial debut, the Best Picture Oscar-winning American Beauty, was first made under Dw as well as two other films: Road to Perdition and Revolutionary Road.

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