Christopher Nolan's upcoming World War II movie Dunkirk will be released later this month and it's getting the largest 70mm format release in nearly 25 years. Nolan has been known to go the extra mile to perform visual stunts, but this maybe his most ambitious one yet. From Bane crashing the plane in Dark Knight Rises to the Inception café scene, Nolan has continued to push the envelope of visual filmmaking while keeping real shooting locations in place and utilizing practical effects whenever possible. And now his latest World War II thriller is getting a high resolution 70mm release.
Deadline reports that instead of filming in digital, Nolan's Dunkirk was filmed on IMAX 65mm film. Tickets are currently on sale to see Dunkirk in its full resolution glory in 125 theaters, a move that Nolan says will put the audience in the middle of the action in an immersive, intense way. The 70mm tickets are available now and the general release tickets are set to go on sale this Friday ahead of the July 21st theatrical release.
70mm film used to be the industry standard for high resolution and is still considered to be the best medium by Christopher Nolan, Quentin Tarantino, and Paul Thomas Anderson. Tarantino released 2016's The Hateful Eight to around 100 theaters, which lead to great publicity for the idea and it apparently cost an arm and leg to rebuild the old equipment to get it ready for the undertaking. Dunkirk was filmed on the IMAX 65mm film and will be printed on 70mm film for projection in theaters, a common practice throughout Hollywood's history. The 70mm film is said to give a crisper picture with more warmth than digital, some even compare it to painting a picture.
Nolan's Dunkirk focuses on one World War II battle in 1940 between the Allies (later the United Nations) and Nazi Germany. Dunkirk was a part of The Battle of France on the Western Front and it intended to defend and evacuate the British and Allied forces in Europe. The movie stars Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance, Fionn Whitehead, and Harry Styles. Nolan filmed as much of the movie as he could with IMAX's extremely high-resolution 2D film cameras in an effort to get the most out of the 70mm format.
It is rumored that it cost $11 million to get the projectors fixed up for The Hateful Eight and in addition to the new IMAX theaters that can handle the 70mm format, Dunkirk will utilize the projectors that were used for The Hateful Eight. Some were trashed afterwards because they are hard to operate and many of the theaters did not have experienced staff to operate the ancient machines. Dunkirk's initial projections are looking promising at a $35 million opening weekend, which should easily get the number one spot. It will be interesting to see how many moviegoers opt for the high-resolution experience to witness the movie as Christopher Nolan intended, but for now it is looking promising. Check out the 70mm trailer for Dunkirk below along with the full poster gallery.