Oscar buzz is already building for next month’s alien first contact drama Arrival, starring Amy Adams and based on Ted Chiang’s short story, “Story of Your Life” (as was adapted for the screen by the Lights Out screenwriter Eric Heisserer). Movie fans and critics alike are looking forward to director Denis Villeneuve’s foray into science fiction, which will offer a preview of his work ahead of the greatly anticipated Blade Runner sequel. Villeneuve’s previous film Sicario earned three Oscar noms and an impressive 94% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Arrival centers on expert linguist Louise Banks (Adams), whose skills are desperately needed when a group of alien ships land all around the globe. The recent trailers for the film show Banks working with a combined military and civilian team to attempt to communicate with the ships’ occupants and decipher whether their intentions are noble or hostile.
While previous promotional images largely focused on the spaceships and Adams’ character, Arrival features two other big names and Oscar contenders. Three new images released by Paramount Pictures show us Banks working with Ian Donnelly, played by Jeremy Renner, and Colonel G.T. Weber, portrayed by Forest Whitaker. Other cast members in Arrival not pictured here include Michael Stuhlbarg (Steve Jobs), Mark O’Brien (Halt and Catch Fire) and Tzi Ma (24).
The early reviews of Arrival have described a complex, chillingly atmospheric film that asks otherworldly questions but also explores very human elements of unity, love, and loss. The latest clip posted on the movie’s official Instagram, which you can watch above, definitely provides a taste of the creepy and suspenseful vibe. The latest images from the movie show the more grounded parts of Arrival, including the team working on translations, as well as a more emotional moment with an overwhelmed Banks being assisted and comforted by Donnelly.
When critics use terms like “dizzying” and “mind-bending,” it’s a good bet the film will elicit a wide variety of reactions. While Arrival may get a bit trippy, it looks like it will keep audiences focused with some good old-fashioned mystery and puzzle-solving. Oscar bait movies don’t always have mass appeal, but it looks like this one could be as entertaining as it is thought-provoking. If that’s the case, it’s possible that Arrival will prove to be to 2016 what director Ridley Scott’s The Martian was to last year.
Arrival opens in U.S. theaters on November 11, 2016.