Focus Features has released the first trailer for Atonement and Hanna director Joe Wright’s historical drama Darkest Hour. Scripted by Anthony McCarten (The Theory of Everything), the film stars a totally unrecognizable Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill and begins on the eve of World War II, chronicling Churchill’s difficult push to get England to stand up to Nazi Germany and enter the war rather than negotiate a treaty.
This movie looks great. Admittedly, I’m a huge fan of Wright’s—be it the bold theatricality of Anna Karenina or the fairy tale action of Hanna, the guy always has an interesting take on whatever material he’s chosen, and he looks to elevate what could be a boring by-the-numbers historical drama to cinematic heights here. He’s coming off of Pan, a sorely underrated attempt at a family friendly blockbuster, but Darkest Hour looks to be a return to more familiar territory for the filmmaker to stunning results.
Obviously a huge part of this is Oldman, and watching this trailer it’s hard not to think the guy could certainly be gunning for an Oscar nomination (his Supporting Actor nod for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy a few years ago was his first ever Oscar nomination). And then there’s the added social relevance to the story, as Churchill had to work incredibly hard and be incredibly deft to convince an unwilling England to do the right thing. Basically this looks great and I can’t wait to see it.
Check out the first The Darkest Hour trailer below. The film also stars Kristin Scott Thomas, Lily James, Stephen Dillane, Ronald Pickup, and Ben Mendelsohn. The Darkest Hour opens in select cities on November 22nd.