Aliens are a huge part of our culture. There are countless books, movies, and television shows dedicated to the possibility of life outside of our reach. Some of them are good, some are bad, but very few really go into detail about how we’d communicate with them. Contrary to what pop culture has shown us, it’s very unlikely that they’re going to speak any language that has ever appeared on Earth. It’s this potential difficulty that director Denis Villeneuve (Sicario, Prisoners) looks to explore in the trailer for Arrival.
As the title of the film indicates, the movie centers around the appearance of several giant egg-like crafts from space. In order to communicate with whatever happens to be inside these crafts, the army brings in Dr. Louise Banks (Amy Adams), an expert in linguistics. Banks is part of a team led by Colonel Weber (Forest Whitaker) that enters the ship, and she succeeds in making contact with what appears to be vaguely squid-like aliens. As Banks races to decipher the aliens’ language with the help of math whiz Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner), the lack of communication threatens to bring the ire of the aliens down upon the Earth.
Villeneuve is an expert at crafting intense, gripping stories, and Arrival looks to be no different. All the performances look fantastic, especially Adams, who even in the trailer perfectly combines Banks’ fascination with the language of the aliens and the gravity of the situation she finds herself in. Arrival lands in theaters on November 11, and you can check out the first trailer below.