Interstellar marked a unique film in Christopher Nolan’s filmography not only because it was his first venture into space-set sci-fi territory, but also because he was working without cinematographer Wally Pfister for the first time since his debut feature Following. Pfister had made the jump to directing, marking his debut with the disappointing Transcendence, and so everyone wondered who Nolan would choose to lens his most ambitious project yet. The Dark Knight filmmaker eventually landed on Oscar-nominated Her and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema, and it appears that relationship will continue with Nolan’s next film Dunkirk.
Via The Film Stage, a note in the announcement that Hoytema is joining the American Society of Cinematographers reveals that the lenser is “currently prepping an untitled feature for director Christopher Nolan, with whom he first collaborated on Interstellar.” That “untitled” feature was revealed last month to be Dunkirk, a World War II “epic action thriller” that recounts the events surrounding the evacuation of Dunkirk, which over the course of eight days saved the lives of 338,226 soldiers from an impending invasion.
We previously learned that Nolan is shooting the film using a combination of IMAX 65mm and 65mm large format film, so Hoytema will be putting those IMAX cameras to even more use than he did on Interstellar. I’m curious to see what kind of visual palate the two decide upon for this film, as I’ll admit I was a bit disappointed by the soft focus feel of Interstellar—especially considering how big a fan I am of Hoytema’s work on Her.
The cinematographer most recently shot Spectre, having the unenviable role of following in the footsteps of Roger Deakins. His career is a varied one, and I’m excited to see what he and Nolan will bring to the World War II genre with Dunkirk, which also reunites Nolan with composer Hans Zimmer and actor Tom Hardy, with Mark Rylance and Kenneth Branagh also part of the ensemble. Nolan is looking to cast newcomers in the film’s main roles, with production set to get underway this May ahead of a July 21, 2017 release date.