The first trailer for War Horse, Steven Spielberg‘s latest Oscar bait epic drama and his first feature film since 2008′s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, has just been released and you can view it below along with the official synopsis.
The above picture is a behind-the-scenes image showing director Spielberg and his young star Jeremy Irvine. Based on a 1982 children’s book by Michael Morpurgo and a recent stage adaptation by Nick Stafford, War Horse stars Irvine as Albert, a rural English youth who forges a unbreakable bond with a horse named Joey that he trains. That bond is put to the test as the first World War later consumes England and most of Europe and Albert and Joey find themselves separated by the war.
The film also co-stars Benedict Cumberpatch (Sherlock, the forthcoming The Hobbit), Tom Hiddleston (Thor), David Thewlis (Kingdom of Heaven), Emily Watson (Punch Drunk Love), Eddie Marsan (Sherlock Holmes), Toby Kebbell (RocknRolla), and Peter Mullan (Trainspotting). Richard Curtis (Notting Hill, Love Actually, and my favorite British comedy series Black Adder) and Lee Hall (Billy Elliot) co-wrote the screenplay and many of Spielberg’s frequent collaborators are present as well: composer John Williams (whose original music can be heard in the trailer), cinematographer Janusz Kaminski, production designer Rick Carter, editor Michael Kahn, and producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall.
With the exception of The Terminal and the aforementioned Crystal Skull, Spielberg has really been kicking ass in recent years, often taking a well-deserved break and coming back with two great films in one year. Now he’s got the animated The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn and War Horse coming out within five days of each other. I’ve never been a big fan of either Tintin or the motion-capture animation style that Robert Zemeckis has been beating us over the head with for what seems like an eternity, but War Horse looks like a good, strong drama with lots of epic sweep and tugging of heartstrings (a Spielberg specialty). The shots of Joey making a nighttime run through a battlefield send chills down my spine. This could be the movie to see this holiday season.
War Horse opens on December 28, 2011.
DreamWorks Pictures’ “War Horse,” director Steven Spielberg’s epic adventure, is a tale of loyalty, hope and tenacity set against a sweeping canvas of rural England and Europe during the First World War. “War Horse” begins with the remarkable friendship between a horse named Joey and a young man called Albert, who tames and trains him. When they are forcefully parted, the film follows the extraordinary journey of the horse as he moves through the war, changing and inspiring the lives of all those he meets—British cavalry, German soldiers, and a French farmer and his granddaughter—before the story reaches its emotional climax in the heart of No Man’s Land.
The First World War is experienced through the journey of this horse—an odyssey of joy and sorrow, passionate friendship and high adventure. “War Horse” is one of the great stories of friendship and war— a successful book, it was turned into a hugely successful international theatrical hit that is arriving on Broadway next year. It now comes to screen in an epic adaptation by one of the great directors in film history.