Paramount Pictures has released the first trailer for Sicario and Prisoners director Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi drama Arrival. Previously titled Story of Your Life, the film stars Amy Adams as an expert linguist who is enlisted by the U.S. government when mysterious extraterrestrial spacecraft enter Earth’s atmosphere and hover above the ground. Along with Jeremy Renner’s physicist, Adams’ character is tasked with attempting to investigate and communicate with this alien presence.
That’s a fantastic premise for a sci-fi drama, a welcome change from the usual large-scale shoot-em-ups that normally accompany alien invasions and the resulting backlash. Now, there’s every possibility that this movie will turn into a demonstration of Earth’s powerful armaments – judging by the teaser’s title “Global War” and the military’s involvement from the getgo, that’s likely – but with Villleneuve at the helm, we’re more likely to experience unexpected twists and open-ended conclusions. If Arrival truly sticks to the premise, as heard in the teaser, that “Language is the first weapon drawn in a conflict,” then I’m on board with whatever happens afterwards.
Watch the first trailer for Arrival below, which is more of a teaser than anything; the full trailer drops next Tuesday. The film will have its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival and opens in theaters on November 11th.
It’s only a minute long, but the similarity to The Day the Earth Stood Still is strong here. Except in this case, Klaatu isn’t walking among us doling out advice while Gort stands at the ready in case of military interference. There’s a much greater sense of tension in having the hesitant but willing translator attempting to converse with an alien species knowing that the fate of the world rests upon their interaction.
As for the aliens themselves: “What do they look like?” “You’ll see soon enough.” Hopefully that won’t be quite as disappointing as the reveal in Signs, but perhaps we’ll find out next week when the full trailer drops.
Here’s the official synopsis for Arrival:
When mysterious spacecraft touch down across the globe, an elite team – lead by expert linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams) – are brought together to investigate. As mankind teeters on the verge of global war, Banks and the team race against time for answers – and to find them, she will take a chance that could threaten her life, and quite possibly humanity.