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Remember to breathe during this trailer for Sam Mendes' single-take war epic 1917

When last we saw a trailer for Sam Mendes’ WWI action-drama 1917, we didn’t know it would all unfold in one shot. Well, the illusion of one shot, as Alejandro González Iñárritu did with Birdman. Still, that’s plenty impressive when you’re working at this scale—1917 looks as gorgeous as it does epic, with two British soldiers braving bullets, bombs, and crashing planes in order to save 1,600 of their fellow fighters from sure doom. Mendes is making quite the return after one-two punch of James Bond flicks.

Captain Fantastic’s George MacKay and Game Of Thrones’ Dean-Charles Chapman star as those soldiers, while cinematographer Roger Deakins and Dunkirk editor Lee Smith are just a few of the heavyweights behind the scenes. A who’s who of U.K. powerhouses round out the cast, with Benedict Cumberbatch, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, and Richard Madden all dipping in and out of the boys’ journey. Expect to see this one all over next year’s Oscars. 

1917 will see a limited release beginning on Christmas day, and will go wide on January 10.

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About the author

Randall Colburn

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.