How excited are audiences about the next Christopher Nolan movie? Excited enough to watch 24 hours of a livestream in which nothing happens.
Anticipation for Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk—a World War II movie centering around Operation Dynamo, where Allied soldiers evacuated from the harbor of French town Dunkirk in mid-1940—had already been at fever pitch before it was revealed that a new trailer for the movie would accompany Rogue One: A Star Wars Story into theaters this weekend. So when the movie’s official website and Facebook page started a livestream Tuesday morning, many people assumed it would lead to the online debut of that trailer.
It did, although fans had no idea just how long they’d have to wait. The livestream ended up running for a full 24 hours.
If you’re wondering what has filled those hours, the answer is two long-distance shots of locations of contemporary Dunkirk. For an hour, patient fans got to look at a bridge, and then a shot of the town for the next hour, both from an unmoving camera, set against a soundtrack of a ticking clock. The remainder of the live stream alternated between those two shots again, answering the question, What does Dunkirk look like when the sun sets in mid-December? (Quite chilly, unsurprisingly.) Whatever it was doing, it was not doing much for those hoping to see a glimpse of the movie itself.
Finally, that glimpse arrived:
Here’s what we know about Dunkirk the movie so far: Written and directed by Nolan, it stars an all-star cast that includes Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, James D'Arcy and, in a surprising moment of pop culture crossover for the Interstellar filmmaker, One Direction’s Harry Styles. In addition to the “regular” trailer for the movie, a separate seven-minute sequence will be attached to select 70mm IMAX screenings of Rogue One this weekend.
The movie premieres July 21, 2017. With any luck, it’ll consist of at least a full day of stationary shots of a quiet French town.