Samuel Goldwyn Films has released a trailer for its starry period piece Waiting for the Barbarians, which marks the English-language debut of Colombian filmmaker Ciro Guerra (Embrace of the Serpent).
Oscar winner Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies) stars in this thoughtful adaptation of J.M. Coetzee‘s acclaimed 1980 novel, which finds him playing the nameless magistrate of an isolated frontier settlement on the border of an unnamed empire. The Magistrate looks forward to an easy retirement, that is, until Colonel Joll (Johnny Depp) arrives to report on the security of the border and the activities of the so-called ‘barbarians,’ who are rumored to be planning an attack against the regime. As commander of the regime’s army, Joll conducts a series of ruthless interrogations, which leads the Magistrate to question his loyalty to the empire.
Robert Pattinson co-stars as an officer, and the rest of the cast includes Greta Scacchi, David Dencik, Sam Reid, Harry Melling, Bill Milner, and Gana Bayarsaikhan as a character known simply as “The Girl.”
Coetzee is a South African author whose novel can be read as an allegory for apartheid, and Waiting for the Barbarians ultimately argues on behalf of peace, understanding and inclusivity. It’s a noble effort about a man who uses his power to push back against intolerance, and though it’s unlikely to draw the same audience as Pattinson’s next movie Tenet or any of Depp’s recent blockbusters, here’s hoping that those who do give this film a chance heed its message.
Waiting for the Barbarians will be released on VOD on Aug. 7, so watch the trailer below, and leave a comment letting me know if you think this film will ultimately be released before Tenet hits theaters. Meanwhile, Pattinson is in the midst of filming The Batman, and if you’re curious what his co-star Peter Sarsgaard thinks of his performance as the Caped Crusader thus far, click here.