1917 is an upcoming 2019 British-American war film directed by Sam Mendes, who also wrote the screenplay with Krysty Wilson-Cairns. It stars George MacKay, Dean-Charles Chapman, Mark Strong, Andrew Scott, Richard Madden, Claire Duburcq, with Colin Firth, and Benedict Cumberbatch.

The film is based in part on an account told to Mendes by his paternal grandfather, Alfred Mendes,[1] and is scheduled to be released on December 25, 2019, by Universal Pictures.


At the height of the First World War, two young British soldiers, Schofield (George MacKay) and Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) are given a seemingly impossible mission. The message warns of an ambush during one of the skirmishes in the Third Battle of Ypres.[2] The two recruits race against time, crossing enemy territory to deliver the warning and keep a British battalion of 1,600 men, which includes Blake's own brother, from walking into a deadly trap.[3] The pair must give their all to accomplish their mission and this involves surviving the intense trench warfare that World War I is known for.[4]



Amblin Partners were announced to have acquired the project, which will be set in World War I, with Sam Mendes directing and writing the screenplay alongside Krysty Wilson-Cairns.[5] The story is based around a "fragment" Alfred Mendes had told to his grandson, the director of 1917, Sam Mendes. In August 2019, Mendes was quoted as saying "It's the story of a messenger who has a message to carry. And that's all I can say. It lodged with me as a child, this story or this fragment, and obviously I've enlarged it significantly. But it has that at its core."[6]

Tom Holland was reported to be in talks for the film in September 2018,[7] and in October, Roger Deakins was reported to be reuniting with Mendes to serve as cinematographer on the film.[8] George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman entered negotiations to star in the film that same month.[9] Thomas Newman was hired to compose the score for the film in March 2019.[10] That same month, Benedict Cumberbatch, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Richard Madden, Andrew Scott, Daniel Mays, Adrian Scarborough, Jamie Parker, Nabhaan Rizwan and Claire Duburcq joined the cast of the film.[11]


Filming began on April 1, 2019, and continued through June 2019 in Wiltshire, Hankley Common and Govan, Scotland, as well as Shepperton Studios.[12][13][14][15] Concern was raised over the planned filming on Salisbury Plain by conservationists who felt the production could disturb potentially undiscovered remains in the area, requesting a survey be conducted before any construction for sets begin on the land.[16][17]

Sections of the film were also shot in and around Low Force, on the River Tees, Teesdale in June 2019. The production staff had to install signs warning walkers in the area not be alarmed by the bodies strewn around the site as they were prosthetic.[18]


It is scheduled to be released limited on December 25, 2019 and wide on January 10, 2020.[19]


  1. ^ "Sam Mendes war film 1917 is based on heroics and sex life of director's grandad". The Sun. 11 August 2019. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  2. ^ Sables, Tom (12 August 2019). "'1917': Sam Mendes' New WWI Film Was Inspired By Director's Grandfather". Forces Network. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  3. ^ Nash, Brad (7 August 2019). "Sam Mendes' 1917 Is Your Latest Dose Of British Stiff Upper-Lip". GQ. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  4. ^ Reyes, Mike (1 August 2019). "1917 Trailer: See Sam Mendes' Pulse Pounding New War Movie". CINEMABLEND. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  5. ^ Jr, Mike Fleming (18 June 2018). "Amblin, Sam Mendes Set WWI Drama '1917' As His First Directing Effort Since James Bond Pics 'Spectre' & 'Skyfall'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  6. ^ Moore, Matthew (7 August 2019). "Mendes epic is a personal battle". The Times (72, 919). p. 3. ISSN 0140-0460.
  7. ^ Zinski, Dan (5 September 2018). "Tom Holland In Talks To Star In Sam Mendes' WWI Drama 1917". ScreenRant. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  8. ^ Marc, Christopher (24 October 2018). "Oscar-Winning 'Blade Runner 2049' Cinematographer Roger Deakins Might Reunite With Sam Mendes For WWI Movie '1917'". Retrieved 7 April 2019. Cite web requires |website= (help)
  9. ^ Jr, Mike Fleming (26 October 2018). "George MacKay, 'GOT's Dean-Charles Chapman In Talks For Leads In Sam Mendes WWI Pic '1917'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 7 April 2019. Cite web requires |website= (help)
  10. ^ "Thomas Newman to Score Sam Mendes' '1917'". Film Music Reporter. Retrieved 7 April 2019. Cite web requires |website= (help)
  11. ^ Galuppo, Mia (28 March 2019). "Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch Join Sam Mendes' WWI Movie '1917'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  12. ^ "Chance to star in Hollywood movie filming in Wiltshire". Spire FM. 4 January 2019. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  13. ^ "World War One film to begin production on Hankley Common". Eagle Radio. 18 February 2019. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  14. ^ Diamond, Claire (19 February 2019). "Spielberg movie wants to film in Glasgow". Retrieved 7 April 2019 – via Cite web requires |website= (help)
  15. ^ Marc, Christopher (11 December 2018). "EXCLUSIVE: Sam Mendes' '1917' Adds 'Skyfall/Blade Runner 2049' Production Designer and 'Atonement' Art Director – Confirmed To Shoot At Shepperton Studios". Retrieved 7 April 2019. Cite web requires |website= (help)
  16. ^ Pulver, Andrew (6 February 2019). "Spielberg and Mendes Stonehenge war film plans hit by locals' objections". Retrieved 7 April 2019 – via Cite web requires |website= (help)
  17. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (28 March 2019). "Sam Mendes' '1917' Nears Production: Mark Strong, Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch & More Join Cast". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  18. ^ Chapman, Hannah, ed. (26 June 2019). "Spielberg's new drama filmed in Teesdale warns of prosthetic bodies". The Northern Echo. p. 6. ISSN 2043-0442.
  19. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (13 December 2018). "Universal Dates Sam Mendes' '1917' For Christmas 2019". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 7 April 2019. Cite web requires |website= (help)

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