EXCLUSIVE: Sam Mendes is close to landing his two leads for 1917, the WWI drama that he is mounting with Amblin Partners to shoot next April as his first film since the 2015 James Bond film Spectre. George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman are in early negotiations to play the two leads in a drama that follows two young soldiers as they trek across dangerous terrain. Production will start in April for late 2019 release through Universal, which has its output deal with Amblin.
On these shores, MacKay is perhaps best known for his role in Captain Fantastic, and Chapman most certainly for last being seen taking a leap from a high castle window as Tommen Baratheon, the young king who ended his life in Game Of Thrones after his mother, Cersei, blew up half of King’s Landing in a blaze that immolated his wife and an entire religious cult.
Mendes wrote 1917 script with Krysty Wilson-Cairns, and he will will produce with his Neal Street Productions partner Pippa Harris.
Amblin last June won an auction for the 1917 package. Several major young actors chased the leads for the starmaking opportunity of working with Mendes, whose last teaming with Amblin’s Steven Spielberg was the Oscar-winning American Beauty. They made several talent finds in that film.
UTA and Gordon and French rep MacKay and Troika and WME rep Chapman.