It’s hard for a director to come back from a misfire as costly as Pan, but that’s Joe Wright’s plan with his next film, Darkest Hour, the story of how Winston Churchill finally said “Go fuck yourself” to Hitler. Well, he might not have said it directly to Hitler, but Hitler definitely got the memo. Here's an official synopsis:
Within days of becoming Prime Minister of Great Britain, Winston Churchill must face one of his most turbulent and defining trials: exploring a negotiated peace treaty with Nazi Germany, or standing firm to fight for the ideals, liberty and freedom of a nation. As the unstoppable Nazi forces roll across Western Europe and the threat of invasion is imminent, and with an unprepared public, a skeptical King, and his own party plotting against him, Churchill must withstand his darkest hour, rally a nation, and attempt to change the course of world history.
For such a tale, you need yourself one heck of a Winston Churchill. Darkest Hour will have one in Gary Oldman, which is a pretty good get. John Hurt will play his predecessor, Lily James will play Churchill’s secretary, Ben Mendelsohn will play King George VI, and Kristin Scott Thomas will play Clementine Churchill.
Focus Features has picked up the film for an expected November 24, 2017 release date, which positions it in a prestige slot for next year’s award season. Given the subject matter and Joe Wright’s pedigree, that’s probably a smart choice. I imagine it will be quite a thrill watching Oldman’s Churchill tell off Nazis for two hours, and it’s especially smart they’re doing this as a moment in history story rather than a whole biopic.