The trailer for Scott Cooper's western Hostiles dropped Tuesday night, giving us our first look at Christian Bale's turn as a grizzled 19th-century Army captain with the most intense facial hair since that terrible Batman beard.
The film is set in the 1890s in the midst of the American-Indian Wars, and follows Bale on a quest to escort a former Cheyenne enemy, played by Wes Studi, from New Mexico back to his tribal lands in Montana. During the journey, they pick up a woman (Rosamund Pike) who was widowed after Comanches killed her family.
Bale's character "is a racist," according to the film's synopsis, and "a man who harbors a deep hatred towards the former prisoners now placed in his care." From the looks of the trailer, Hostiles is a hard-edged, stoic western, set in a bleak and unforgiving American frontier.
Crazy Heart and Black Mass director Scott Cooper wrote and directed the film, marking the second time Cooper and Bale have worked together after 2013's Out of the Furnace.
Hostiles premiered at Telluride over Labor Day—alongside Lady Bird, Downsizing, and others—and nabbed one of the warmest receptions all weekend. The Hollywood Reporter called it Cooper's "best," and Bale is already drumming up Oscar buzz for his performance.
"As I was writing [Hostiles], I didn't see the division that we now find ourselves in," Cooper told Variety during an interview last month. "What I wasn't realizing as much as I should have is just how deeply people are suffering and how wide the divide is between those who have and those who don't. So I saw an opportunity to make a film about inclusion, and all of the things we as Americans need to better understand to make this country heal. Because I fear for my children's future if we don't."
Watch the trailer for Hostiles above.