We here at Collider are happy to exclusively debut a new behind-the-scenes featurette for the upcoming sci-fi drama Arrival. Directed by Sicario and Prisoners helmer Denis Villeneuve, the film is based on the Ted Chiang short story Story of Your Life and revolves around a linguist (Amy Adams) who is recruited to assist in confronting an alien species that has landed on Earth. Ships appear over a number of areas all around the world, but humanity has no means of communicating with the species in order to find out what they want. Adams’ character, alongside a mathematician played by Jeremy Renner, sets out to find a way to talk with the aliens.
This new featurette touches on Renner’s character Ian Donnelly. While this is undoubtedly Adams’ film, Renner does a terrific job in the supporting role here, and what really struck me about Arrival when I saw it at the Toronto International Film Festival was the fact that it is intelligent sci-fi. The film tackles this “first contact” story with an intense focus on intellect over muscle, delving into how humanity approaches this alien species from a scientific point of view. For a genre called “science-fiction”, so few of Hollywood’s output actually treats its subject matter with a respect for intellect, and in that regard Arrival is incredibly refreshing.
Check out the exclusive featurette in the video, click here to read Brian’s review from Telluride, and click here for Steve’s interview with composer Jóhann Jóhannsson. The film also stars Forest Whitaker and Michael Stuhlbarg. Arrival opens in theaters on November 11th.