Christopher Nolan using real WWII battleships for Dunkirk because he refuses to use CGI

The filmmaker will be transforming a real-life naval destroyer for the film's action scenes

Jacob Stolworthy
Monday 22 February 2016 09:56

Christopher Nolan has never shied away from shunning CGI in favour of on-set locations and real-world environments - and his upcoming WWII film Dunkirk shall be no different.

The drama will tell a fictional story that occurred during Operation Dynamo - the British evacuation from the French harbour - and for its battle sequences, the filmmaker will be using a real-life naval destroyer - in particular, the French T-47 Class Destroyer, Maillé-Brézé.

French nautical magazine Presse Océan reports that the ship will be towed to Saint-Nazaire, Brittany where it will be transformed into a working vessel ready for production in May.

Whilst it served for over 30 years in the French navy, Maillé-Brézé didn't see any action in Dunkirk.

Nolan is no stranger to going out of his way in an attempt to create real worlds for his ambitious projects; in his 2010 sci-fi Inception, he oversaw the manual creation of a 100-foot corridor for the memorable zero gravity sequence. This structure was suspended along eight concentric rings powered by two massive electric motors.

The news lends credence to the recent plea from The Hateful Eight cinematographer Robert Richardson to create an Oscar category that differentiates between actual photography and VFX.

War drama Dunkirk will be Nolan's first film since Interstellar. It will star Kenneth Branagh, Mark Rylance and Tom Hardy and will be released in 2017.

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