Watch: Trailer For Steven Spielberg's 'War Horse' Looks Pretty Epic

by Kevin Jagernauth
June 29, 2011 4:08 AM
30 Comments
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Update: The official, English-language version is now embedded after the jump.

Steven Spielberg is going to be very busy for the rest of the year. In addition to finally shooting his long-awaited dream project "Lincoln" this fall, he's got two films coming out, "The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn" and "War Horse" and get ready to adjust your Oscar betting slips, because the trailer has arrived and it's galloping right into the best picture race.

While we'll have to wait for the official English language trailer to hit overnight, The Film Stage has dug up the Spanish subtitled version and it does the job just fine. The film follows a young man named Albert (Jeremy Irvine) and his horse, Joey, and how their bond is broken when Joey is sold to the cavalry and sent to the trenches of World War I. Despite being too young to enlist, Albert heads to France to save his friend, so get your Kleenex boxes The film is based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo and there is a solid supporting cast in place including Emily Watson, Peter Mullan, David Thewlis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Niels Arestrup, Nicolas Bro, David Kross, Leonard Carow, Rainer Bock, Robert Emms and Patrick Kennedy. The trailer itself mostly serves up a lot of the horse running through some pretty grandly staged war settings -- something very familiar for the "Saving Private Ryan" director -- and it's topped off by a pretty typical, but no less rousing score by John Williams.

We'll add the fully English version when it becomes available, but for now take a look below. "War Horse" hits on December 28th.

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More: Films, War Horse

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30 Comments

  • ms.frankenhoover | March 4, 2012 12:11 PMReply

    War horse looks so good!I cant wait 2 see it:)

  • Fred | June 30, 2011 7:37 AMReply

    Forget the film itself, this epic thread has it all....an absolute inversion of the Playlist Advance Hates On A Movie Many People Will Want to See propensity, people using snark phrases that are about twenty years old in net years and, finally, an individual who proclaims not once but twice that War of the Worlds was "dark!"

  • Brian | June 30, 2011 7:02 AMReply

    This made me throw up in my mouth a little.

  • Lucy | June 30, 2011 5:23 AMReply

    I am so confused by some of the comments on this page. How did you get from this trailer that Spielberg is trying to romanticize war? Bombs going off, men dying in the trenches, horse running like mad... Wow Spielberg is trying to make me love war. come on did any of you actually watch the damn trailer. Just wait until you see the damn film before you post stupid comments. And go read the novel Spielberg is only using the material he has it's not his own. No wonder America is sinking because some of you are truly moronic.

  • Alex | June 29, 2011 12:54 PMReply

    Spielberg gets a bad rap because people tend to expect him to make something on par with his best films every time out of the gate. But he's probably the best technical director working today. The problem is he doesn't like to get his hands dirty.

    Every single shot in this trailer looked AMAZING! (The reflection in the horse's eye?! WOW!) But the trailer itself falls flat. Spielberg has always been held prisoner by his sentimentality, which works occasionally, but gets in the way of him making the most of his talents.

    One thing is for sure: this will be the best damn horse movie anyone's seen since The Black Stallion.

  • ujrheis | June 29, 2011 11:28 AMReply

    Looks like the best Hovis advert ever made.

  • hmm | June 29, 2011 10:35 AMReply

    "This is a poor time to make and release a sappy film romanticizing war using the heroics of an animal."

    God your dumb. The book is anti-war and about the horrors of WW1 not just for people, but especially for horses where thousands were killed as well.

  • LA2000 | June 29, 2011 9:45 AMReply

    Stylistically, it looks very early 90's. Everything is gorgeous and backlit and fake looking. And in this day and age, that translates as manipulative which is, for a certain generation, a complete turnoff.

    Personally, I am a sucker for noble animal stories, so I hope it's good.

  • JJ | June 29, 2011 7:24 AMReply

    I love the play and I expect Spielberg to create something completely different from its source material. The trailer clearly has all of his signatures, those wonderful reflective-reflexive shots, long tracking takes, and Kaminski's cinematography. I'm not going to drink the haterade UNTIL after I watch this film and Tintin. I'm glad to see a Spielberg-directed film again! Amen.

  • MDL | June 29, 2011 7:06 AMReply

    Spielberg makes a film based on a children's book about a boy and a horse and a whole bunch of people are critical of it because [I guess] they expect it to be something else. Come on, people! There is no hidden marketing scheme here. There is no reason to think this will be Peter Jackson by way of Guillermo del Toro and Ridley Scott. It is exactly what one would expect from the material and the director.

    P.S. I happen to find horses rather cinematic so I may check it out at some point.

  • drdang | June 29, 2011 7:06 AMReply

    Okay, I'm glad to see I'm not the only who's not feeling it. But it's not anything against Spielberg or his style, it's just that I don't like horses. And this whole movie seemed to be completely built around the love of a horse, and the trailer is a 10x glorification of that. Seriously, guys this is a movie about a frakkin horse, why is the Best Picture spot guaranteed? Just because there's a war somewhere in there? Yes, I can easily see the 'Blind Side' place going to it. But I hope people who don't have any love for horses understand that this movie offers literally nothing else.

  • Ryan | June 29, 2011 7:02 AMReply

    @Kevin I don't get it either. I made peace with Spielberg a long time ago. Reading "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls" gave me a lot of perspective. He doesn't have to make films like "Munich" and "A.I.", but he's really trying to be an auteur. And even if he doesn't succeed on an artistic level, he is an auteur in that no one makes movies that are quite like his movies. People try, but they always fail. Sometimes even he does.

  • Helen | June 29, 2011 6:56 AMReply

    I was hoping for footage of Benedict Cumberbatch too. It does look very saccharin. Hardly a realistic view of WW!. The trenches look beautiful.

  • deplorable | June 29, 2011 6:53 AMReply

    It's unnerving that Spielberg is making a romanticized sappy Lassie war film at this stage in his career. I was all for his darker work with War of the Worlds and Saving Private Ryan. But here he goes, making wartime look like a beautiful tragedy and an event of heart crushing emotion between men and longing, boring women. War films used to play like this to convince young men there was something honorable and timeless in dying for one's country. And to convince young men to you know enlist and die. Too bad though audiences didn't have You Tube. We should know better. Even the liquid eyed horses were scared sh*tless I guarantee you.

  • Tyler | June 29, 2011 5:27 AMReply

    @deplorable

    "There’s a generation of kids growing up knowing nothing but war in America."

    Are you serious? What a ridiculous statement. Children in America know NOTHING of war.......just ask a child in the middle east.

  • samir | June 29, 2011 5:10 AMReply

    Also, that's freaking Niels Arestrup, the badass Corsican prison boss from "A Prophet."

  • deplorable | June 29, 2011 4:55 AMReply

    Why is the criticism dismissed as Haterade? This is a poor time to make and release a sappy film romanticizing war using the heroics of an animal. It doesn't matter if it's about a "justified war" or not, or that it's a "kid's film," that may be worse. There's a generation of kids growing up knowing nothing but war in America, three or four wars depending on where you stand. Spielberg apparently has grown out of his dark phase with Munich and War of the Worlds into a nostalgic phase of battle as self-discovery. No more heartstring pulling. Tin Tin and this show signs of a director ignoring the state of audiences and the world.

  • samir | June 29, 2011 4:54 AMReply

    There are parts of the music in the trailer that sound very much like Band of Brothers, which is like a ten-hour version of Saving Private Ryan.

    That right there encompasses the one problem with this film that may keep me from really enjoying it, which is originality and overwrought emotion. If we've seen this before, or felt this before, then I just can't get excited to see or feel it again.

    I'm sure I'll watch the movie, and I'm sure I'll feel something and be maybe a bit moved by it. But it still won't be anything special or memorable. I don't want to write it off yet, because this is just 2 minutes, but I'm hoping it's more of the same.

    (I also hope the horse isn't just there for cheap emotion).

  • Sean | June 29, 2011 4:53 AMReply

    Basic Spielberg shit.
    But i'll see it since Watson is in it. She aways gives an amazing performance.

  • ugh | June 29, 2011 4:47 AMReply

    Where the heck is Benedict Cumberbatch. Not a happy girl.

  • rotch | June 29, 2011 4:46 AMReply

    I'm a Spielberg fan, but that did nothing to me.

  • wednesday | June 29, 2011 4:44 AMReply

    VERY Spielberg.

  • Underwhelmed | June 29, 2011 4:43 AMReply

    They coudl at least have put a shot in of Benedict Cumberbatch. He's the only reason I want to see the film.

  • Cheese | June 29, 2011 4:39 AMReply

    I second that (minus the love for horses).
    This trailer makes it look like such a snooze fest, and so damn sugar coated. I'm actually taking this off my oscar ballot now.

  • Nik Grape | June 29, 2011 4:22 AMReply

    Meh.

    This is a wet-dream for a Spielberg fan I guess but since I'm no part of that posse consider me bored after seeing that trailer.

    My love for horses is the only thing that will incite me to watch this.

  • Kevin Jagernauth | June 29, 2011 4:19 AMReply

    Gotta admit, was not expecting the Haterade to come out for Spielberg.

  • cc | June 29, 2011 4:18 AMReply

    Looks like Spielberg's homage to "animal" films like THE YEARLING, OLD YELLER, THE BLACK STALLION and THE RED PONY. I love the John Ford GRAPES OF WRATH style shots of silhouettes on the horizon (and some other images recall the horse races in Ford's THE QUIET MAN and THE SHAMROCK HANDICAP.)

  • Deborah Dessaso | June 29, 2011 4:18 AMReply

    For all you naysayers, lighten up. After all, the movie is based on children's book, and I'm sure Spielberg intends the movie for kids as well as adults.

  • styles | June 29, 2011 4:18 AMReply

    this just looks awful, wow.

  • BradZuhl | June 29, 2011 2:25 AMReply

    After the balls-out D-Day sequences in Saving Private Ryan it looks like Spielberg is presenting a sanitized, fantastical, romanticized view of war for the "family" audience.

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