Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Ridley Scott Says 'Exodus' Would Never Get Financed Starring "Mohammad So-and-So From Such-And-Such” Ridley Scott Says 'Exodus' Would Never Get Financed Starring "Mohammad So-and-So From Such-And-Such” James Cameron Says 'Avatar' Sequels Will Make You "Sh*t Yourself With Your Mouth Wide Open” James Cameron Says 'Avatar' Sequels Will Make You "Sh*t Yourself With Your Mouth Wide Open” Welcome Back To The Park: The First Trailer For 'Jurassic World' Is Here Welcome Back To The Park: The First Trailer For 'Jurassic World' Is Here Watch: 2-Hour 'Deleted Magic' Explores Deleted Scenes & Alternate Footage From The Original 'Star Wars' Trilogy Watch: 2-Hour 'Deleted Magic' Explores Deleted Scenes & Alternate Footage From The Original 'Star Wars' Trilogy New Character And Plot Details Emerge For 'True Detective' Season 2 As More Cast Members Confirmed New Character And Plot Details Emerge For 'True Detective' Season 2 As More Cast Members Confirmed James Gunn Says Shared Universe Model Is "Flawed," Plus Listen To "Awesome Mixtape Volume Zero" For 'Guardians' James Gunn Says Shared Universe Model Is "Flawed," Plus Listen To "Awesome Mixtape Volume Zero" For 'Guardians' 'Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens' Trailer Hits Theaters This Friday 'Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens' Trailer Hits Theaters This Friday Christian Bale Admits He Was Initially "Jealous" When Ben Affleck Was Cast As Batman Christian Bale Admits He Was Initially "Jealous" When Ben Affleck Was Cast As Batman Watch: First Trailer For Thomas Vinterberg's 'Far From The Madding Crowd' Starring Carey Mulligan Watch: First Trailer For Thomas Vinterberg's 'Far From The Madding Crowd' Starring Carey Mulligan Watch: Zac Efron Talks About His Masturbation Techniques In 'The Interview' Segment With James Franco Watch: Zac Efron Talks About His Masturbation Techniques In 'The Interview' Segment With James Franco Watch: Footage From "Sick," Unreleased Marilyn Manson Video, Directed By Eli Roth & Featuring Lana Del Rey Watch: Footage From "Sick," Unreleased Marilyn Manson Video, Directed By Eli Roth & Featuring Lana Del Rey Review: Christopher Nolan's 'Interstellar' Starring Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway & More Review: Christopher Nolan's 'Interstellar' Starring Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway & More Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... SXSW Review: Spierig Brothers 'Predestination'  Starring Ethan Hawke SXSW Review: Spierig Brothers 'Predestination' Starring Ethan Hawke From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

First Image From Steven Spielberg's 'War Horse' Shows War, Horses

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist March 11, 2011 at 2:03AM

Update: EW (print edition; not yet online) has more stills from the film which have been scanned by the folks over at The Film Stage. See below.
9

Update: EW (print edition; not yet online) has more stills from the film which have been scanned by the folks over at The Film Stage. See below.

After a spectacularly busy few years, with six films being released in the first five years of the 21st century, Steven Spielberg's been taking something of a breather -- only "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" has reached theaters, and the less said about that, the better, to be honest.

But 2011 sees the legendary director return to his more traditional work ethic, with two classically Spielbergian movies hitting theaters in the space of five days, either side of Christmas. The long-in-the-offing motion-capture adventure "The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn" is first up, followed swiftly by "War Horse," his more dramatic entry, and already looking a major threat for awards season next year.

Based on the successful novel by Michael Morpurgo, which was adapted by the National Theatre in London into a hugely successful stage play (the Broadway version starts previewing at Lincoln Centre next week), it follows Albert, a young boy who enlists in the army during WW1 after his beloved horse Joey is sold and sent to the front. The film is still a good nine months away, but filming has long since wrapped, and Baz Bamigboye has premiered the first official image from the film, which shows three of the major roles in the impressive supporting cast.

Tom Hiddleston, soon to play Loki in "Thor" and "The Avengers," is on the right, Benedict Cumberbatch, now best known for playing the title hero in TV's "Sherlock", on the left, and in the centre is actor Patrick Kennedy, most familiar from "Atonement" (he played the older brother of Keira Knightley and Saoirse Ronan's characters).

Nowhere to be seen is the film's young lead, Jeremy Irvine, plucked from obscurity to topline Spielberg's film, but the 20-year-old actor talked to Bamigboye and dropped a few details about his experience making the film. Despite his character's equine connections, Irvine admits that, "I'm not a huge animal person, and I didn't grow up around horses. In fact, I'd never ridden a horse."

Knowing that this probably wouldn't fly, Irvine started helping out in a stable during the audition process, and once cast, was sent on a two-month training course with Hiddleston, Cumberbatch and Kennedy (who all play army officers). Part of the regime included time spent with 'Liberty trainers,' or horse whisperers. Irvine relates of their methods, "The horses have no tack on and you communicate with them using body language. You get them to run around you, run behind you. You'd take your shoes off and the horse would run off with the shoes. The purpose was to become as comfortable as possible with the horses."

Eleven different horses play Joey at different stages of his life, not to mention the various other steeds that appear in the film. Of course, this only account for the second half of the title; there's plenty of combat involved as well. Irvine describes one scene, a doomed cavalry charge against more advanced German artillery: "It's the weapons of the old world -- our men on horses -- meeting the absolute destruction of these tools of mass slaughter. There was this line of machine guns and there's this wall of lead coming out of these guns. There were real explosioins at my fet, bodies flying through the air, stunt men getting shot at. It was terrifying. The smoke and the smell and the taste of the guns firing. It's not difficult to act scared in that situation."

It's all sounding pretty promising, particularly with the material (which would be tearjerking even if Michael Haneke made it) in the hands of a perfectly-matched Spielberg. The film hits theaters on December 28th. Invest in tissue companies before then. Not like that.




This article is related to: Films, Actors, War Horse, Tom Hiddleston


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates