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Christopher Nolan to Direct Action Thriller ‘Dunkirk’ for Warner Bros. (EXCLUSIVE)

Christopher Nolan looks to be headed to France during World War II for his next project.

Sources tell Variety that Nolan will direct “Dunkirk” from his own original screenplay as his next project. Insiders say the yet-to-be cast unknowns will lead the cast, but that Mark Rylance, Kenneth Branagh and Tom Hardy are in talks to join the ensemble.

Nolan will also produce the film with his longtime producing partner and wife, Emma Thomas.

The story is set during the legendary evacuation of the northern French city during WWII. Nolan and his casting department recently began testing teenagers in London for lead roles, but the director also wanted to nail down some choices for the few adult roles in the film before the holiday.

“We are thrilled to be continuing our collaboration with Christopher Nolan, a singular filmmaker who has created some of the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful films of all time,” said Greg Silverman, president, Creative Development and Worldwide Production. “‘Dunkirk’ is a gripping and powerful story and we are excited to see Chris, Emma and their cast realize it on the big screen.”

Warner Bros. has dated the film for July 21, 2017. The large-scale production will be shot on a combination of Imax 65mm and 65mm large format film for maximum image quality and high-impact immersion. Shooting will begin in May using many of the real locations of the true-life events, which form the background for the story.

Rylance, who received a Golden Globe nomination for “Bridge of Spies,” will next rejoin Steven Spielberg in “The BFG,” slated for 2017. He is repped by Hamilton Hodell.

Hardy, who is repped by CAA, can be seen in Fox and New Regency’s “The Revenant” while Branagh most recently helmed “Cinderella” for Disney.

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