Exactly 100 years ago today, on March 21st 1918, more than 750,000 soldiers on both sides lost their lives during the last major offensive of the First World War.
While big Hollywood combat movies typically glorify the act of war, else provide an anti-war sentiment, upcoming Journey’s End (announced today by Lionsgate) promises to be a more British affair led by a cast of the country’s top talent.
Based on RC Sherriff’s play and novel of the same name, Journey’s End is set in March 1918 as C-Company, led by a war-weary Captain Stanhope (Sam Claflin) arrives in northern France to take its turn in the front-line trenches. Told that a German offensive is imminent Stanhope drowns his fears in whisky whilst the officers (Paul Bettany, Stephen Graham, Tom Sturridge) and their cook (Toby Jones) attempt to distract themselves in their dugout with talk of food and life before war. They are joined by Raleigh (Asa Butterfield), a young new officer fresh out of training excited about his first real posting, and a chance to serve under Stanhope. Raleigh’s naivety serves as a stark contrast to the other men’s impending fear as the tension rises and the attack draws ever closer.
Directed by Bafta Award nominee Saul Dibb (The Duchess). Screenplay by Simon Reade (Private Peaceful). Produced by Guy de Beaujeu and Simon Reade. Based on the novel by R.C. Sheriff and Vernon Bartlett and the play by R.C. Sheriff.
Journey’s End releases on Digital on 1st June and Blu-ray & DVD 4th June.