Released in 2020, “1917” made an impression with its technical prowess. The film also revealed to the general public its two main actors, George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman. But another much more famous actor could have played the role of the latter.
1917, an impressive immersive experience
Released early 2020, 1917 impressed. Its plot leads us to follow two young British soldiers in the heart of the trenches of the First World War. First Classes Schofield and Blake are entrusted a mission of paramount importance, but almost impossible to complete. They are responsible for carrying a message that could saving the lives of hundreds of other soldiers, including Blake’s full brother. For this, as time is running out, they must go deeper into enemy lines …
1917 especially marked the public and the critics thanks to the way in which it was filmed. The peculiarity of Sam Mendes’ film is thatit was shot like a giant sequence shot. We only see on the screen a continuous shot of the main protagonists. If the experiment turns out to be risky, the mastery of Roger Deakins, the legendary cinematographer at work on the feature film, made it an awesome experience. But it is initially to Sam Mendes’ grandfather that we owe the story.
A personal film for Sam Mendes
1917 stands out in the career of Sam Mendes since it is of the director’s first film, of which he is also credited with the screenplay. The filmmaker wrote the script with Krysty Wilson-Cairns. And a particular explanation explains the presence of Mendes in the writing. At the end of the feature film, we can see that 1917 is dedicated to the memory of the director’s grandfather, Alfred H. Mendes. And the story of the film was actually inspired by her real experience.
When he was only 17, he was sent to fight in the war in 1916. His job was to carry messages across no man’s land, just like Schofield and Blake in the feature film. And if the plot of 1917 is not a true story, strictly speaking, it was imagined by Sam Mendes based on his childhood memories. At that time, his grandfather told him about his missions during the war. Years later, the director decided to draw inspiration from it to draw a script paying tribute to him.
Tom Holland could have starred in 1917
When Sam Mendes started to think about actors who could wear 1917, the director imagined Tom Holland as First Class Blake. The latter would then have once again found Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays Colonel Mackenzie. The two actors are both members of the MCU, in which Holland plays Spider-Man and Cumberbatch’s Dr Strange. They also shared the poster of The Current War.
But Holland had a busy schedule at the time when the shots of 1917 were planned. He had to turn Spider-Man: Far From Home and the last two Avengers. And while Cumberbatch managed to break free for his brief role, Holland couldn’t sign up to play Blake, a role that would have taken him longer.