2023 is just a year shy of 85 years since the commencement of the Second World War, and 104 years since the conclusion of the first. However, despite the considerable lengths of time since their respective beginnings and endings, novelists, screenwriters, and filmmakers are still finding new and inventive ways to transfer the happenings in Europe, Africa and Japan on to the big screen. There is almost an endless pool of remarkable war stories that are only just being discovered.
With many a tale still to be told, 2023 is already showing real signs of being a decent year for the war film. With Christopher Nolan’s long-awaited Oppenheimer coming to our screens in July, as well as several others that are yet to be announced, let’s take a look at the war movies confirmed for a 2023 release…
World War I and horror collide head-on in the period horror-thriller, Bunker. Thanks to films like All Quiet on the Western Front and 1917 in recent years, the horrifying nature of WWI is no secret. Yet, in the form of director, Adrian Langley’s film, we are brought a different take to on horror during the Great War. Stuck in a bunker, an army battalion are mercilessly haunted by a petrifying, and ungodly presence. As bombs drop above, the group are gradually picked off.
Inspired by true events, Come Out Fighting is set in the war-marred terrains of 1944 France. As allied advances gather momentum, the Germans are pushed out of France. Fighter pilot, Lieutenant Frank Ross is tasked with bringing down a lethal M-26 fighter jet deployed by the Germans to counter American and allied progress. When his jet is shot down, Ross must fight for his survival while behind enemy lines.
After the relative success of its predecessor, Netflix has opted to give 2020s Extraction a sequel, with Extraction 2 debuting on the platform in June 2023. Chris Hemsworth’s reprisal as Tyler Rake is undoubtedly the biggest coup for the film, with Golshifteh Farahani also returning. This time around, Rake makes an apparent resurrection after being presumed dead, akin to Bond in Skyfall. The highly-rated mercenary, Rake returns for another action-packed, fully-loaded mission.
Much was made of the illegal war in Iraq, launched by the Bush and Blair administrations in the US and UK, respectively. Now with Putin and Russia’s criminal conflict in parts of Ukraine the subject of recent controversy, the idea of unethical means of waging war is a topical, highly-interesting subject. In Christopher Nolan’s upcoming film, Oppenheimer, we are promised an epic that traverses the story of one of the most destructive, devastating, and contentious man-made weapons ever created: the atomic bomb.
Previous Nolan collaborator Cillian Murphy is set to star in the titular role as J. Robert Oppenheimer, the mastermind behind the atomic bomb, and one of the key physicists of the Manhattan Project. Due to be a fascinating story, and one told with the deft touch of Nolan’s filmmaking mastery, we’ll get a thorough look at the weapon that was immorally deployed to flatten Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
There has been little sympathy with Israel in recent times due to their continued and ruthless assault on Palestine. However, Guy Nattiv’s film, Golda, will serve as a reminder that Israel is a nation that has also suffered from its fair share of conflict. The 2023 film, expected to premiere internationally in August, shares the story of Israeli Prime Minister, Golda Meir who was serving as her country’s leader at the time of the Yom Kippur War in the early 1970s. Starring Helen Mirren, (who looks physically unrecognizable), Golda is set to premiere in February 2023 at the Berlin Film Festival.
Joaquin Phoenix and Ridley Scott reunite after their introductory meeting in Gladiator 23 years ago, and the actor-director duo will be hoping that if their new movie, Napoleon, achieves even half of the acclaim as their previous collaboration. With Phoenix as infamous French conquerer Napoleon Bonaparte, Scott’s film presents the story of how the historical figure rose from a foot-soldier in the French Revolution to perhaps the most powerful man in the world.
With an impressive portfolio of battle victories, as well as the case study of the Napoleonic Wars that still fascinate historians to this day, 2023’s Napoleon is boasting all the signs of another Scott-Phoenix classic. It will also continue the prestige of Apple TV+, which is looking to have a big 2023 two years after winning Best Picture for CODA.
Based on Kirstin Hannah’s New York Times best-selling novel, The Nightingale, Mélanie Laurent’s screen adaptation has certainly been greeted with excitement. With sisters Dakota and Elle Fanning lined up to play two sisters Vianne and Isabelle, whose lives are ripped apart during the Nazi occupation of France, The Nightingale seems like it will it sing, but can it soar?