British filmmaker Steve McQueen (“Small Axe,” “12 Years A Slave”) has started production in London on his next feature, “Blitz.” The war drama focuses on the 1940-1941 bombardment of England during WWII by Germany’s Luftwaffe, a defining moment for the United Kingdom as they endured the bombing campaign for eight months suffering major civilian casualties. The drama is a collaborative partnership between McQueen’s Lammas Park, Apple Studios, New Regency, and Working Title. “Blitz,” a short-form term for Blitzkrieg, is already led by Irish actress Saoirse Ronan (“Little Women,” “See How They Run”), and now a major update has arrived.
According to a report from Cineuropa, the new group of actors joining Ronan in the wartime drama includes veteran actor Stephen Graham (“The Irishman”), Harris Dickinson (“Triangle of Sadness”), Erin Kellyman (“Willow”), Kathy Burke, Elliot Heffernan, and making his acting debut is The Jam’s, Paul Weller.
Interestingly enough, Ronan first caught audiences’ attention as a young actress in the heartbreaking Joe Wright-directed drama “Atonement,” which eventually featured the backdrop of the Second World War and a scene where her character’s sister drowns while hiding from the bombings. The subject of the Blitzkrieg usually appears in most British films about the war but is not explicitly set around it. Because of this, we’re expecting that McQueen is taking a different perspective than we’ve seen in recent British war films such as “1917,” “Dunkirk,” and “Darkest Hour.”
McQueen is coming off the criminally-underrated anthology film series, “Small Axe,” for Amazon, which suffered from category confusion when it was changed from a short film series to a TV mini-series during awards season, but it is a must-watch, regardless.
Other significant features coming from Apple Studios in the near future are Martin Scorsese’s Indigenous crime thriller “Killers of The Flower Moon” and Ridley Scott’s period war epic “Napoleon” starring Oscar-winner Joaquin Phoenix (“Joker,” “Gladiator”). Given the high-profile nature of “Blitz,” there is an expectation that before it begins streaming on Apple TV+, there could be a festival push to help its awards chances. Principal photography has just started, so hopefully, we will get it before the end of 2023 if we’re lucky.