Sam Mendes’ WWI epic '1917' is reportedly going to be just one long take

Gregory Wakeman
Sam Mendes and Steven Spielberg face battle with local conservationists over new film 1917 (SWNS)

We still don’t know all that much about Sam Mendes’ upcoming war epic 1917, except that it has assembled a rather superb ensemble cast.

However, one little bit of news did emerge about it from Cinemacon that will immediately make cinephiles intrigued. That’s because, according to Indiewire, “the much-whispered about Sam Mendes World War I movie 1917 [is] supposed to be one long shot.”

Donna Langley, who is the Chairman of the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, unsurprisingly went on to call the film “immersive,” before insisting, “Audiences will show up to original movies from brilliant filmmakers as well as franchises.”

Read more: Mendes’ 1917 causes conservation row

Production on 1917 has actually only just begun, so we will have to wait and see whether Sam Mendes, his cinematographer Roger Deakins and gaggle of producers are able to stick to their plan and film it it one long shot. Although having the beloved Deakins on-board, who is widely regarded as one of the most visionary cinematographers in recent history, will no doubt help their cause.

1917 has been written by Krysty Wilson-Cairns, and it will tell the story of a day in the life of young British soldiers at the height of World War I.

1917 will hopefully end up a little like Birdman

George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman will play these soldiers, while at the end of last month it was announced that Benedict Cumberbatch, Colin Firth, Mark Strong and Richard Madden have also joined the rather esteemed cast, which already included Adrian Scarborough, Daniel Mays, and Andrew Scott.

It is understandable why Universal were so attracted to the idea that 1917 will be one long shot. The last film to unfold in this manner was Alejandro G. Inarritu’s 2014 Oscar winner Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance), which grossed £79 million ($103 million) and was critically acclaimed.

We’ll get to see if 1917 can rival those achievements when it is released towards the end of the year, just in time for awards season.