Lights, Camera and Finally Some Action! Kenneth Branagh Is Seen For the First Time In Full Uniform On the Set of Dunkirk... As Fighter Planes Drop Bombs On the Beaches

Daily Mail, 12 June 2016             See the photos
By Poppy Danby
Thanks, Lyn, Jane

• The 2017 film is a remake of the evacuation nicknamed Operation Dynamo when 338,000 allied soldiers were evacuated from Dunkirk
• It took just one week to save thousands of lives from the beaches and surrounding German forces in 1940
• The remarkable operation was described by Winston Churchill as a 'miracle of deliverance'
• Big screen remark features stars including Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance and Harry Styles
• Stage and screen actor Kenneth Branagh was spotted on the set for the first time on Friday
• Previously, cut-out soldiers were used in place of real actors to give the illusion of a bigger crowd
• A French T-47 Class Destroyer, the Maillé-Brézé, was shipped in from Brittany to avoid the use of CGI

It's one of the most highly anticipated films of 2017 thanks to its all-star cast, which includes big names such as Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance and even One Direction heartthrob, Harry Styles.

However, it was acclaimed actor, Kenneth Branagh who was most recently spotted on the Dunkirk set in full armed forces attire when filming for Christopher Nolan's recreation of the famous World War II evacuation on the beaches resumed on Friday.

And it appeared as though the movie was finally getting into its stride as there was a great deal of action hitting the infamous French beaches, including a number of dramatic explosions and sightings of both authentic fighter jets and ships.

The film is based on the real life evacuation from Dunkirk, which was one of the biggest operations of the Second World War and was one of the major factors in enabling the Allies to continue fighting.

It was the largest military evacuation in history, taking place between May 27 and June 4, 1940. The evacuation, nicknamed Operation Dynamo, saw an estimated 338,000 Allied troops rescued from northern France.

This won't be the first time that Kenneth has shown off his acting prowess in a war-themed film, as he has also starred in big titles such as 'The Goebbels Experiment', 'Cold War' and 'Fortunes Of War'.

And he appeared to slot perfectly into his role for the new movie as he donned a highly accurate 1940s navy uniform, which featured a black hat and blazer, that were adorned with gold detailing. He also made sure to keep cosy in the coastal breeze as he layered up his costume with a cream polo neck jumper and a heavy, woolen coat that extended far down past his knees.

The film tells the story of the Dunkirk evacuation, code-named Operation Dynamo, in between 26 May and 4 June 1940 under the supervision and mastermind of Vice-Admiral Bertram Ramsay.

Fishing boats, ships and pleasure craft were all sent from the Kent coast to Dunkirk to rescue British and French armies as the Germans closed in on the northern coast of France.

Filming began for the Warner Bros big screen remake at the end of last month as two WWII aircrafts and two helicopters touched down at Merville-Lestrem Airport and a French T-47 Class Destroyer arrived in Normandy. They were joined by 50 extras dressed in full uniform.

A spokesman for the film said: 'Dunkirk opens as hundreds of thousands of British and Allied troops are surrounded by enemy forces. Trapped on the beach with their backs to the sea they face an impossible situation as the enemy closes in.'

However, while the huge cast had regularly been pictured out in force during the filming of Dunkirk, up until now there had yet to have been any large explosions or dramatic action. But that all changed on Saturday as controlled eruptions sent flares up into the sky and large billowing clouds of black smoke could be seen across the beaches.

And the crew made sure to cover both land and air with authentic WWII fighter jets and ships making their presence known on set.

Alongside this, large numbers of army extras gathered together to film as they headed towards the tides. However, amongst the men were some demurely dressed female figures, who stood out from the sailors and fighting in classic tweed tailoring and pearls.

While the budget for the US blockbuster has not yet been confirmed director Christopher Nolan was previously given close to $150 million for each of his previous two big titles - 'The Dark Knight Rises' and 'Interstellar'.

Nolan’s latest film is the first recreation of the evacuation since the 1958 original dramatisation by the same name, starring John Mills, Richard Attenborough and Robert Urquhart. Nolan has written the screenplay and 'Dunkirk' has been slated for worldwide release on July 21, 2017.

It was recently announced that Hollywood heavyweights Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy and Mark Rylance would also star, as well as boyband heartthrob Harry Styles.

Movie boss Harvey Weinstein previously expressed an interest in scouting musician Harry for his film, when he toldThe Sun: 'I’ve met him two or three times and he was very interested and charming. I think the guy is a movie star. ‘You know he’s a dashing rogue — a fun-loving, spirited kind of actor that used to be in England all the time. Like David Niven or Douglas Fairbanks, he’s got that vibe, he really does.’

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