“And Christopher Nolan is coming right behind me,” Quentin Tarantino said in a recent talk with Paul Thomas Anderson about “The Hateful Eight” and 70mm projection. Tarantino was referring to the fact that, while The Weinstein Company had convinced 100 theaters in 44 markets to install or refurbish their 70mm capabilities, the move was an investment in the future. After all, filmmakers like Paul Thomas Anderson are shooting in panoramic formats and Nolan — who often shoots in wide IMAX formats — has an upcoming film set for summer 2017. Tarantino and PTA didn’t say what that film was, but the implication is clear: you’ve got 70mm installed and someone like Nolan is going to make good use of it.
While it’s complete speculation as to what format Christopher Nolan is shooting in next — though every film of his since “The Dark Knight” has included some IMAX sequence — details on what his secret film is are reportedly trickling out. According to La Voix Du Nord in France, Nolan is prepping a WWII movie inspired by Operation Dynamo, AKA the near-miraculous evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and other Allied troops from the French seaport of Dunkirk which took place from May-June in 1940. The operation was sanctioned when large numbers of Belgian, British, and French troops were cut off and surrounded by the German army during the Battle of France. 198,000 British and 140,000 French and Belgian troops were saved in the effort.
Here’s some info from Brittanica.com
The immediate context of the Dunkirk evacuation was Germany’s invasion of the Low Countries and northern France in May 1940. On May 10 the German attack on the Netherlands began with the capture by parachutists of key bridges deep within the country, with the aim of opening the way for mobile ground forces. The Dutch defenders fell back westward, and by noon on May 12 German tanks were on the outskirts of Rotterdam. Queen Wilhelmina and her government left the country for England on May 13, and the next day the Dutch army surrendered to the Germans.
Reporting for the 1941 "Britannica Book of the Year," retired U.S. Army officer George Fielding Eliot wrote:
“No purely military study of the major aspects of the war could do justice to the skill and the heroism of the evacuation from Dunkirk. Suffice it to say only that, when it began, members of the British imperial general staff doubted that 25% of the B.E.F. could be saved. When it was completed, some 330,000 French and British troops, together with some Belgian and Dutch forces who refused to surrender, had reached haven in England.”
Patrice Vergriete, the current Mayor of Dunkirk, France, apparently announced the filming of an American blockbuster that would take place June 2016 by a "a world-famous director.” La Voix Du Nord, a regional daily newspaper from the north of France, claims their sources have confirmed that director is Nolan.
VDN writes (via bad Google Translation), “Completely incognito during his recent visits to Dunkirk with his brother Jonathan, [Christopher Nolan] absorbed the territory, its past and the consequences of the conflict.” So if their intel is on point, it sounds like brothers Nolan are currently doing early location scouting.
So a WWII movie shot in IMAX? It sure sounds good and plausible, but there’s zero confirmation so far, so keep that in mind before you get too excited. The follow up to 2014’s "Interstellar," which featured over an hour’s worth of IMAX 70mm footage, Nolan’s currently untitled project is set to open on July 21, 2017 through Warner Bros. More news when we have it.