Harry Styles. Prince of your heart. King of the charts. Lord high chancellor of wacky suits. And, now, emperor of all things acting related. But, given the fact that Harry Styles will be in Dunkirk , his big screen debut if you don't count concert movies, you'd think he'd be front and center in all promotional material. And yet Styles isn't in the Dunkirk teaser. The world, AKA Twitter, swooned when we heard that Christopher Nolan was directing Styles in his new movie, centering on the British military exiting the French city of Dunkirk in 1940. But, after this first teaser was released, fans are now getting antsy.
Look, the premise is strong. The teaser's full of tension; it's being directed by the same guy who brought you a few kind of OK movies. You know, like the billion dollar grossing Dark Knight trilogy, the Oscar-sweeping Inception and Interstellar. But why the heck would Nolan pass up on the chance to flaunt the fact that he's got One Direction's most instantly recognizable member not just to star in the movie, but actually cut his Coachella-length hair to do so? The director actually seems to push the point of the teaser to the nth degree by teasingly featuring a whole crowd of young men who look just enough like Harry Styles to induce some Where's Waldo?-stylee madness in the audience.
But nope. As far as I can tell, he's not noticeably featured in the crowd.
Of course, he could be standing at the back. But why would Nolan do that? It's worth noting that none of the bigger names in the movie are featured in the teaser: Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh, and Mark Rylance are all notably absent from this first look. But yes. The strategy's in the name, you guys. He's not Christopher friggin' Nolan for nothing. It's a teaser. He's teasing us. By employing a crowd of almost-Harry-Styles he's emphasizing that sure, Styles will be there, but not yet. He's doing some old-fashioned anticipation building.
This is a pretty smart move. After all, it also means that the audience engages more with the premise of the film than just how cute Styles looks dressed as a British soldier and how good his acting is. Let's not forget, this isn't The Harry Styles Movie. Nope, it's focused on a singularly traumatic battle in a world war that would change the face of Europe — and the world — forever. Of course, there is one other possible explanation for Styles' omission.
Close personal friend of the Directioner and fellow British celebrity, DJ Nick Grimshaw has a different take. He argues that Nolan is just avoiding the inevitable wrath of rabid One Direction fans. During his breakfast show on BBC Radio 1 on Friday August 5, Grimshaw said:
I think the biggest challenge to date is gonna be the wrath of Harry Style's fans on Twitter. If he doesn't put him in enough, or puts him in too much, or there's a bad angle, he might never be able to work again. Nolan's life won't be worth living.
Damn straight, Grimshaw. The One Direction fan cohort can be intimidatingly passionate. But this said, as long as Styles — along with Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh and Mark Rylance — appears in the next trailer, then bad angles be damned. Anticipation's well and good, but it gets old fast.
Images: Warner Bros. Pictures