The first trailer of Sam Mendes’s upcoming drama 1917 reveals the chaos and urgency of World War I. Soldiers duck for cover as bombs go off in fields and basements. Two young men have to deliver a crucial message behind enemy lines within 24 hours. The lives of 1,600 men depend on this message – including the brother of one of the soldiers.

The stakes are sky-high and the atmosphere grim and full of foreboding. “There is only one way this war ends – last man standing,” declares Benedict Cumberbatch’s character.

The cast includes Colin Firth, George MacKay, Andrew Scott and Game of Thrones alumni Richard Madden and Dean-Charles Chapman. 1917 is Mendes’s first feature since the James Bond production Spectre in 2015. Mendes has written the screenplay of 1917 along with Krysty Wilson-Cairns, and Roger Deakins is behind the camera. The scheduled release date is December 25.

1917 (2019).