Warner Bros. Pictures announced today that principal photography on the epic action thriller Dunkirk is underway in Dunkirk, France. Christopher Nolan (Interstellar, Inception, The Dark Knight Trilogy) is directing Dunkirk from his own original screenplay, utilizing a mixture of IMAX and 65mm film to bring the story to the screen. The production will shoot in France, Holland, the UK and Los Angeles, and today we have the first photos from the France set.

Dunkirk opens as hundreds of thousands of British and Allied troops are surrounded by enemy forces. Trapped on the beach with their backs to the sea they face an impossible situation as the enemy closes in. Dunkirk features a prestigious cast, including Tom Hardy (The Revenant, Mad Max: Fury Road, Inception), Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies, Wolf Hall), Kenneth Branagh (My Week with Marilyn, Hamlet, Henry V) and Cillian Murphy (Inception, The Dark Knight Trilogy), as well as newcomer Fionn Whitehead. The first photos from the set emerged through a number of different Twitter users, which shows several WWII soldiers getting ready for battle.

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The ensemble cast also includes Aneurin Barnard, Harry Styles, James D'Arcy, Jack Lowden, Barry Keoghan and Tom Glynn-Carney. The film is being produced by Nolan and Emma Thomas (Interstellar, Inception, The Dark Knight" Trilogy). Jake Myers (The Revenant, Interstellar, Jack Reacher) is serving as executive producer. Warner Bros. Pictures is distributing "Dunkirk" worldwide and has slated the film for a July 21, 2017 release.

The behind-the-scenes creative team includes director of photography Hoyte van Hoytema (Interstellar, Spectre, The Fighter), production designer Nathan Crowley (Interstellar, The Dark Knight Trilogy), editor Lee Smith (The Dark Knight Trilogy, Elysium), costume designer Jeffrey Kurland (Inception, Bullets Over Broadway), and visual effects supervisor Andrew Jackson (Mad Max: Fury Road). The first photos that surfaced from the set don't appear to feature any of the main stars, but the production is said to begin on the exact spot in France where this story took place, 76 years ago.

Dunkirk will have plenty of competition when it hits theaters next summer. This World War II thriller is set to face Universal's highly-anticipated sequel Pitch Perfect 3, EuropaCorp's Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets and 20th Century Fox's animated film The Story of Ferdinand. We don't know for sure how long production is expected to take place, but stay tuned for more updates. Until then, take a look at the first set photos from Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk.