If the previous trailer for James Gray’s The Lost City of Z alluded to the obsession that would come to plague the true-life quest of Colonel Percival Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam), the official U.S. trailer for the film, which just dropped, does away with any suggestion and spells out the descent into madness in all caps, effectively placing Gray’s forthcoming film within a genealogy that includes the likes of Aguirre: The Wrath of God, Apocalypse Now and Embrace of the Serpent.
The earlier trailer, with its swelling orchestral music and quotes about ambition and determination, seemed to celebrate the spirit of adventure at least as much as it problematized it. This new trailer is a different story. From the get-go, we are given a sense that Fawcett’s expedition into the jungle is driven not by rational, scientific inquiry or even pure curiosity, but something deeper and darker. “Your soul will never be quiet until you find this place,” an oracle tells Fawcett in the trailer’s opening, and this notion of disturbance pervades the rest of the footage that we see.
Signposts abound that point to the explorer’s increasing instability, and most of these occur largely at the level of dialogue. “He doesn’t care about us. He doesn’t even care about going home. He only cares about your lost city,” a character observes at one point, presumably referring to Fawcett. Elsewhere in the trailer, Fawcett’s wife (Sienna Miller) explodes at him for “[wandering] the jungle” when she is forced to care for the children at home. Indeed, obsession is recognizable as such when one’s life starts falling apart in all other areas, and it is through suggesting this destruction and dissolution that the new trailer rivets so mightily.
Check out the full trailer above, and catch The Lost City of Z when it hits theaters on April 21.