Fully British Cast Announced for Spielberg's 'War Horse' Movie

June 17, 2010
Source: Empire

War Horse Cast - Jeremy Irvine, Peter Mullan, Emily Watson, David Thewlis

Although we've heard a few rumors in the last few weeks about actors lined up for Steven Spielberg's next movie, War Horse, a fully finalized cast (of at least 14 actors) has finally been announced today on Empire. The lead role of Albert, the owner/friend of the titular horse, which was thought to be a lock for actor Eddie Redmayne, will actually be played by young British actor Jeremy Irvine, of only a UK TV show called "Life Bites" previously, but he's starred in shows at the National Youth Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company. Tom Hiddleston, as announced last week, is also officially in. So who else has Spielberg cast in War Horse?

In addition to Irvine & Hiddleston, the War Horse cast includes: Emily Watson (Equilibrium, Synecdoche New York) and Peter Mullan (Trainspotting, Children of Men, Red Riding) as Albert's parents; David Thewlis (Remus in Harry Potter, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas) and Stephen Graham (Snatch, This Is England); Niels Arestrup (A Prophet, Diving Bell and the Butterfly) as the grandfather of a young French girl (played Celine Buckens) who takes in the horse; plus David Kross (The Reader), Rainer Bock (The White Ribbon), Nicolas Bro, Leonard Carow, Robert Emms and Patrick Kennedy. Its an impressive but still fairly unknown cast, at least for those used to seeing popular Hollywood stars in Spielberg movies.

War Horse, based on Michael Morpurgo's 1982 novel (which also inspired a stage play), traces a friendship between Joey, a horse sold into the British army and sent off to serve on the battlefields of France in World War I, and Albert, his young owner. The two become separated but "continue to be intertwined" as they try to survive the horrors of WWI. Comparisons are being made to Spielberg's Empire of the Sun and Empire says the story "has the scope for the kind of epic action and intimate, heartrending drama that is Spielberg's forte." I certainly hope so! I'm looking forward to seeing Spielberg get back to mixing war with great drama.

I don't have much to say about the cast, mainly because I'm not really familiar with that many of them, but it is interesting. Although, I should bring up a concern that I don't know how Disney is going to market this movie to US audiences without a cast containing at least one truly recognizable star, but if it's as good as I'm hoping, it should do fine anyway. Plus, I'd rather have talented actors in Spielberg's movies than stars that don't fit their characters. Shooting will be starting soon in Europe, so stick around for updates! Thoughts?

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  • The Brit
    Why placate the yanks by casting an American if one isn't needed? Maybe Spielberg realises that most American movies do better financially outside the US anyway.
  • Rashad
    Spielberg's name will carry the movie.
  • Hattori Hanzo
    The Brit says "most American movies do better financially outside the US anyway." If that's true Brit, it's probably due to the fact that we have better taste when it comes to movies.
  • Exactly Rashad, putting his name on it will definitely be enough for American audiences.
  • p liu
    Well it is a film about the British so what's the surprise about having a British cast? Better actors anyway.
  • Baz
    Sam Worthington can play all those roles. At the same time.
  • Harry The Spammer
    Chavs of war.
  • jonny b
  • marilyn mufson
    I have recently seen the stage version of The War Horse in London. The staging was probably the most brilliant I've ever seen. Inspired by "The Lion King," the horses, and farm animals, are puppets, operated by two or even three "puppeteers." The horses are magnificent, and extraordinarily accurate in their depiction of real horses. The first act had me mesmerized--on the edge of my seat. The second act was less impressive because it concentrated on plot sans puppets, though it redeemed itself for the finale. I loved the production, and would highly recommend it, not because of the story but because of the puppets, and the sheer theatricality of the stagecraft. I am wondering if the film version will be able to captivate audiences the way the stage production has?
  • Anon Ymus
    Skilfuly demoralizing moral alibis ---er, we mean 'fables from another time' from New World Order, RED China 'eugenics friendly' capstone Hollywood...
  • Xmadz
    What is the budget?




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