Speaking of, here’s Cara Buckley on the making of the film:
He shelved the idea; he had a career to build, and the release of his breakthrough film, “Memento,” (2001), was nearly a decade away. To do “Dunkirk” properly on a vast scale, Mr. Nolan needed lots of Hollywood money. “For British people, it’s kind of sacred ground,” he said. “You have to do it right.” Happily, his films, especially the “Dark Knight” trilogy, went on to make a boatload for Warner Bros., and a few years ago, the studio agreed to back “Dunkirk,” too.
“We felt now was the time to capitalize on that trust and relationship,” Ms. Thomas, who has been a producer on all of Mr. Nolan’s feature films, said by phone. “It very much felt like the sum of everything we’ve learned in prior movies.”
Its running time is just one hour and 47 minutes, which makes it an hour leaner than “Interstellar,” and Mr. Nolan’s shortest film since “Following,” his 1998 feature debut. He wanted “Dunkirk” to be a tight, taut film that plunged into the action without preamble, like the third act of one of his previous films.
Mr. Nolan also did not want to make a typical war movie, and instead built it as a nail biter. To avoid alienating the audience, he also kept out nearly all traces of blood — “it’s not the button we wanted to push,” he said — landing a PG-13 rating even though, he said, the studio had given him the go-ahead to make an R-rated film. “We wanted an intensity not based on horror or gore. It’s an intensity based on rhythm, and accelerating tension, and overlapping suspense scenarios,” he said. “Dunkirk to me is one of the most suspenseful ticking-clock scenarios of all time.”