Time is the enemy in the new trailer for director Sam Mendes’ forthcoming World War I flick 1917. The clip seems to take that quite literally, propelled forward by an anxiety-inducing ticking clock. Yes, we see explosions and Colin Firth (Mary Poppins Returns) throwing some gravitas into bleakly inspirational speeches. But that tick-tick-tick is as effective as anything.
The film’s official synopsis highlights the countdown element, as well:
At the height of the First World War, two young British soldiers, Schofield (Captain Fantastic’s George MacKay) and Blake (Game of Thrones’ Dean-Charles Chapman), are given a seemingly impossible mission. In a race against time, they must cross enemy territory and deliver a message that will stop a deadly attack on hundreds of soldiers—Blake’s own brother among them.
Also featured are some major Brit players, including Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange) and Mark Strong (Kingsman: The Secret Service). Oscar winner Mendes—best known for American Beauty, and his two Bond films, Skyfall and Spectre—co-wrote the film with Krysty Wilson-Cairns. Wilson-Cairns was a staff writer on the final season of Showtime’s Victorian horror series, Penny Dreadful.
1917 is scheduled for a limited Dec. 25 release before going wide Jan. 10, 2020. Watch the trailer below.