Veteran director Steven Spielberg’s film version of Michael Morpurgo’s First World War novel War Horse (1982) has now been given an official trailer with some very accomplished looking footage arriving on-line.
Adapted from Morpurgo’s children’s novel, the film revolves around the experiences of a horse separated from farmer’s son Albert Narracott and sold to the British Cavalry, where he finds service in the killing fields of France with both the British and German forces until ultimately finding himself in no man’s land.
Whilst Morpurgo’s story has already found favour on the stage with a successful adaptation by Nick Stafford (2007), Spielberg’s film is due to hit cinemas in the UK in January with the director assembling the cream of British acting talent to support newcomer Jeremy Irvin in the role of Albert Narracott.
Tom Hiddleston, Emily Watson, David Thewlis and the currently prolific Benedict Cumberbatch all feature in an impressive cast, whilst the addition of screenwriter Richard Curtis (Blackadder Goes Forth) should hopefully ensure that the irony and horror of trench warfare is not forgotten.
Whilst the teaser seems to share the emotional feel-good element and period story telling of Gary Ross’s Seabiscuit (2003) there’s also a hint of the classic Black Beauty tale and hopefully Spielberg will not allow things to become too sentimental or schmaltzy given the backdrop to the drama.
Elsewhere attention has been given to the look of the film with some very rustic coloured scenes evoking the countryside of a bygone era that gives way to darker and muddier tones as we glimpse the battlegrounds of the western front, whilst John Williams’ score seems to guide a trailer that is almost devoid of dialogue albeit for a sole mysterious narrator.
In a summer of consistently brash movie trailers, War Horse comes as something of a welcome departure. Hopefully, come the finishing line the film will be too.
War Horse is released in the UK on 13th January 2012.