Christopher Nolan is one of the few directors in Hollywood who gets to make original epic movies. He served with great distinction in the Batman franchise, earned Warner Bros. a couple gabillion dollars, and now he basically writes his own ticket. Audiences love his sprawling sci-fi films like Inception and Interstellar, and their bigness is part of their appeal. Very few directors get to paint on that large of a canvas.

I would have assumed Nolan would be painting with similarly large strokes with Dunkirk, his upcoming war film about the evacuation of troops from France during World War II. But The Hollywood Reporter writes that Dunkirk is only one hour and 47 minutes long. That would make it the shortest film of Nolan’s career since his debut feature Following in 1998, which was made very cheaply as an indie back in 1998. Also:

...that's 62 minutes less than Interstellar, the acclaimed director's previous movie. Interstellar, released in November 2014, was his longest film with a running time of two hours and 49 minutes. Dunkirk is also substantially shorter than fellow 2017 summer movie, Michael Bay's Transformers: The Last Knight, which opens Wednesday and runs a hefty two hours and 29 minutes.

The Last Knight is only two and a half hours? I could have sworn it was eight times that long...

107 minutes is also a half-hour below Nolan’s average film length, which is 131 minutes. That’s a pretty significant gap, and given that previous stories about Dunkirk revealed its unusual structure, which will tell this story from the land, sea, and air, a surprising one. Nolan doesn’t need a lot of screentime to fully explore each of those three groups of characters? Apparently not; Dunkirk opens in theaters on July 21.

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