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Christopher Nolan re-creates WWII’s ‘miracle of deliverance’ in ‘Dunkirk’ trailer

Christopher Nolan, the filmmaker responsible for Inception, The Dark Knight trilogy, and other moody adventures in recent years, is no stranger to gritty drama, and in the upcoming film Dunkirk, he finds inspiration in a very real — and heart-wrenching — event in world history: The 1940 evacuation of Dunkirk during World War II.

Warner Bros. Pictures has released a new trailer for the film, which dramatizes the miraculous evacuation of more than 330,000 Allied soldiers from the beach and harbor of Dunkirk, France, after they were surrounded by German forces during the Battle of France.

Directed by Nolan from his own script, Dunkirk tells the story of the events that transpired between May 26 and June 4, 1940, as hundreds of thousands of troops found themselves trapped on the beach with their backs to the sea. Initially deemed a lost cause, their eventual rescue despite the presence of enemy forces on all sides was deemed “a miracle of deliverance” by Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister at the time.

The main cast of Dunkirk primarily features Hollywood newcomers, including Fionn Whitehead (Him), Jack Lowden (’71), Aneurin Barnard (Citadel), and One Direction band member Harry Styles. The supporting cast, however, features quite a few familiar faces, including Academy Award winner Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies), Kenneth Branagh (Valkyrie), Cillian Murphy (Inception), James D’Arcy (Cloud Atlas), and Tom Hardy (The Revenant).

Nolan shot the film using large-format IMAX cameras at many of the real-world locations depicted in the film.

Dunkirk will arrive in standard and IMAX theaters July 21, 2017.