After a successful run at both Sundance and Cannes, Wildlife now has a first trailer. Featuring both Jake Gyllenhaal and Carey Mulligan, the emotional teaser suggests the film will complement dynamic performances with strong visual language.
Based on Richard Ford’s 1990 novel, Wildlife marks the directorial debut of Paul Dano. Shot in both Oklahoma and Montana, the 1960-set drama examines the crumbling marriage of Jerry and Jeanette Brinson (Gyllenhaal and Mulligan, respectively) while their son Joe (Ed Oxenbould) processes the experience.
Today, IFC Films released the first trailer for Wildlife. With its vintage Americana aesthetic, the clip is a visual stunner from beginning to end, while Timi Yuro’s 1961 single “Hurt” establishes the narrative mood. Although Gyllenhaal does indeed appear in the trailer, it focuses mostly on the perspective of Mulligan and Oxenbould’s characters as they contemplate the dysfunctional family dynamic.
From 2002 to 2004, Dano appeared in two episodes of HBO’s acclaimed series The Sopranos, and his breakout role came in 2007 opposite Daniel Day-Lewis in Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood. For his performance as The Beach Boy’s Brian Wilson in the 2014 film Love & Mercy, Dano earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor. For Wildlife, he co-wrote the screenplay with long-time partner and fellow performer Zoe Kazan. In 2017, Kazan starred opposite Kumail Nanjiani in Amazon Studios’ Oscar-nominated indie The Big Sick, and she’s accumulated a vast resume over the past decade with her roles on Broadway, television (HBO’s Olive Kitteridge, The Deuce) and film (What If). Kazan is the granddaughter of iconic film Elia Kazan, who directed Marlon Brando in big screen classics like A Streetcar Named Desire and On the Waterfront, along with James Dean for his feature debut in East of Eden.
Visually, Diego Garcia’s cinematography suggests that Wildlife will be a gorgeous-looking film, and the staging of characters within the indoor and outdoor settings shows that Dano already has a good feel for filmmaking. In this first look, it’s Mulligan that stands out most amongst the cast, as her character experiences a rollercoaster of emotions, with a selection of critics’ pull quotes hyping the performance.
In January, Wildlife premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and also screened at the Cannes Film Festival fun earlier this month. Although Dano and Kazan wrote the adaptation together, they don’t actually appear in the supporting cast, which features veteran actors Darryl Cox (RoboCop, JFK, Bottle Rocket) and Bill Camp (The Leftovers, Red Sparrow, Molly’s Game).
For Wildlife, Gyllenhaal and Mulligan add a certain amount of star power, however it’s Dano’s visual language that carries the first trailer. With Kazan at his side, the first-time director seems like he's destined for a long career behind the camera, or at least let’s hope so.
Source: IFC Films/YouTube