Jane Campion’s return to feature film after a decade-plus interlude—during which she directed a couple short films and created the BBC Two series Top of the Lake and its sequel Top of the Lake: China Girl—commences with The Power of the Dog, which released its first trailer courtesy of Netflix.
Starring Benedict Cumberbatch as fearsome rancher Phil Burbank, the film is set in 1925 “when [Phil’s] brother brings home a new wife and her son,” and “Phil torments them until he finds himself exposed to the possibility of love,” according to the official synopsis. Jesse Plemons stars as Phil’s brother George, while Kirsten Dunst stars as George’s wife Rose and Kodi Smit-McPhee plays her son Peter. The supporting cast is filled out by Thomasin McKenzie, Frances Conroy, Keith Carradine, Peter Carroll and Adam Beach.
The minute-long teaser gives us a brief glimpse at the film through a series of unsettling imagery and little dialogue, over which Phil’s menacing whistle hangs. If the trailer is any indication, The Power of the Dog will be a tense, atmospheric affair, something which Campion is all too familiar with. The highly anticipated film will also feature an original score by Jonny Greenwood, Paul Thomas Anderson’s frequent collaborator.
Positioned as a serious awards contender, The Power of the Dog is planned for a limited theatrical release starting November 17 before Netflix releases it to stream on its platform December 1. Both of these releases follow the film’s world premiere at Venice International Film Festival and centerpiece screening at New York Film Festival.
Check out the trailer for The Power of the Dog below: