A first glimpse of Christopher Nolan's forthcoming World War 2 film 'Dunkirk' has finally arrived in the form of a 1 minute announcement video, though we don't get to see any of the film's major stars. Still, it makes for an ominous and spine-tingling introduction.

DunkirkHarry Styles stars in 'Dunkirk'

The trailer opens with a shot of the beach at Dunkirk in France. Smoke billows across the sky in the distance as a smattering of soldiers are stationed at the shoreline. One man is seen dumping part of his kit on the ground as he approaches the water. Dead bodies are lined up, shrouded in blankets and sand. Troops fill landing crafts and watch as warplanes soar overhead, threatening destruction.

'At the point of crisis, at the point of annihilation, survival is victory': that's the tagline we get in the video. A phrase poignant when you think of the tens of thousands of young men who were killed on the beaches in 1940 during the Second World War, and yet the hundreds of thousands that managed to escape.

Christopher Nolan ('The Dark Knight', 'Inception' and 'Interstellar') directs this forthcoming war drama, which stars Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance, James D'Arcy and Kenneth Branagh, as well as One Direction's Harry Styles in his acting debut. Styles fans are naturally kind of sad that he didn't feature in the first trailer, but this movie is much more than its actors.

More: Tom Hardy and Cillian Murphy join cast of 'Dunkirk'

'Dunkirk' tells the story of how allied soldiers from Belgium, Britain, Canada, France, Poland and the Netherlands were forced to be evacuated after becoming surrounded by German troops in France. Many were left behind, many sacrificed themselves for their comrades, many surrendered. It's an event that's largely considered both a terrible tragedy and a miracle.

'Dunkirk' is set to be released in movie theaters on July 21st 2017.