Christopher Nolan sought advice from Steven Spielberg before directing Dunkirk

Nolan used the director's Saving Private Ryan as a touchpoint for his WWII drama

Jacob Stolworthy
Sunday 12 November 2017 14:52 GMT
Dunkirk trailer

Christopher Nolan has revealed he reached out to Steven Spielberg before making his WWII drama Dunkirk.

The filmmaker, who steered the film towards critical acclaim and box office glory earlier this year, used Spielberg's 1998 film Saving Private Ryan as a touchpoint - and contacted the man himself for advice before shooting began on Dunkirk.

Nolan told Variety: “The film has lost none of its power. It's a truly horrific opening, and there are later sequences that are horrible to sit through. We didn't want to compete with that because it is such an achievement. I realised I was looking for a different type of tension.”

This inspired Nolan to speak with his fellow directing maestro who was more than happy to provide the Inception director with advice.

“Knowing and respecting that Chris is one of the world's most imaginative filmmakers, my advice to him was to leave his imagination, as I did on 'Ryan,' in second position to the research he was doing to authentically acquit this historical drama.”

Dunkirk marked Nolan's first film since 2014 sci-fi Interstellar. It follows the battle between German soldiers and Allied troops that lasted for ten days in 1940 which ultimately led to the evacuation of more than 330,000 allied troops.

The film - a Best Picture Oscar frontrunner - stars Fionn Whitehead, Harry Styles, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy and Tom Hardy. It arrives on DVD and Blu-ray on 18 December.

Spielberg's next film, journalist drama The Post starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, is released in January - watch the first trailer here.

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