Preceded by films like Aguirre, The Wrath of God, Apocalypse Now, and last year’s Embrace of the Serpent, James Gray’s The Lost City of Z has big shoes to fill in returning to the well-worn—albeit compelling—narrative of the white man who seeks treasures in the jungle, but instead finds madness. Enthusiastic early reviews at NYFF last year foretold a sweeping, classically told adventure epic, and the latest trailer, released by StudioCanal UK, reinforces this impression.
Adorned with gorgeous landscape shots that feature diminutive human figures to reinforce the sense of scale, the trailer provides a glimpse into a film that looks nothing less than resplendent. Two years ago, Gray proved himself an able navigator of period milieus with The Immigrant, and here, he has brought a similar shade of sepia to the images (the veteran Darius Khondji lensed both films). But just as The Immigrant transcended its obvious past-ness with passionate performances and heart-stopping emotional beats that effectively transported viewers to turn-of-the-century America, The Lost City of Z appears to do the same, with Charlie Hunnam seeming like a convincing explorer-type and snippets of taut dramatic tension keeping us engrossed through to the trailer’s end.
The Amazon Studios and and Bleecker Street film’s full synopsis reads:
Based on author David Grann’s nonfiction bestseller, The Lost City of Z tells the incredible true story of British explorer Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam), who journeys into the Amazon at the dawn of the 20th century and discovers evidence of a previously unknown, advanced civilization that may have once inhabited the region. Despite being ridiculed by the scientific establishment who regard indigenous populations as “savages”, the determined Fawcett—supported by his devoted wife (Sienna Miller), son (Tom Holland) and aide de camp (Robert Pattinson)—returns time and again to his beloved jungle in an attempt to prove his case, culminating in his mysterious disappearance in 1925.
The Lost City of Z hits theaters on April 14, and when it does, you’ll probably want to catch it on the largest screen possible. Feast your eyes on the trailer above.