Christopher Nolan says he considered making ‘Dunkirk’ without a script

The filmmaker almost opted to get his cast to improvise the movie's dialogue

Christopher Nolan has revealed he considered making Dunkirk without a script.

The film based around the happenings around the Battle of Dunkirk during the Second World War and was released last month (July 21).

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Nolan says he “got to a point where I understood the scope and movement and the history of what I wanted the film to address, because it’s very simple geography.


“I said, ‘I don’t want a script, because I just want to show it. It’s almost like I want to just stage it. And film it.”

He added that he “felt like I’d kind of mastered that form” of scripted drama.

Nolan said it was producer Emma Thomas – who he is also married to – who talked him out of the idea. “Emma looked at me like I was a bit crazy and was like ‘Okay, that’s not really gonna work’.”

The filmmaker wrote the script for the film, which stars the likes of Harry Styles, Tom Hardy and Cillian MurphyDunkirk is one of his shortest films, clocking in at 106 minutes, and features less dialogue than he is typically known for.

NME gave the film a five-star review on release, which read: “As with Nolan’s previous classics (2008’s The Dark Knight, 2010’s Inception), this is a thrill-packed, nail-biting watch. Dialogue is used sparingly. Instead, its focus is on the frail, often speechless tension as soldiers fight for their lives. It’s a visual experience unlike any other.”