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Amblin taps Spectre & Skyfall director Sam Mendes to helm 1971 WWI drama

06.18.2018

After engaging in a heated battle for Oscar award-winning director Sam Mendes' World War I film 1971, Amblin Partners has emerged victorious. It's been announced today that the studio will finance the production of Mendes' project, which will mark his first time behind the camera since shooting both SKYFALL and SPECTRE of the James Bond franchise. Once preparations are complete, Mendes' 1971 will go into production starting in April of 2019 with the intention of launching the film in theaters come December. Mendes co-wrote the original script for the upcoming war picture with Krysty Wilson-Cairns. In addition to his directorial and scripting duties, Mendes will also produce with his Neal Street Productions partner Pippa Harris. For the moment, no details related to the plot have been given.

The 1971 project will mark Mendes' first time out as a credited screenwriter. Thankfully, he's teaming up with Wilson-Cairns, whose work on the Neal Street-produced TV series PENNY DREADFUL has been celebrated by many for its dark, twisted, and terrifying take on the 19th-century British fiction publication derived from scandalous subject matter. She also wrote the script for THE VOYEUR'S MOTEL, a film adaptation of the Gay Talese novel about a proprietor who sets up a hotel so he can surreptitiously observe his guests in sexual encounters. Originally, Mendes set the Voyeur project up with Dreamworks, but dropped out when he'd discovered that that a documentary that Talese took part was fixing to present the same story.

When speaking with Deadline about the 1971 deal, Mendes told the entertainment outlet: “I couldn’t be happier to be back working with Amblin and Steven Spielberg again, alongside Donna Langley and all at Universal. I’ve been working on this script for over a year, so it’s very exciting to start making the movie itself a reality.”

To which Spielberg replied: “Our company has been a home for Sam since his first film. I am so happy to have him back here in his old room spinning new stories – especially this hugely daring and ambitious new movie.”

Sam Mendes will get down in the trenches for his 1971 WWI drama when production fires off in April of 2019

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