The film, based on Paulette Jiles’ 2016 novel, also reunites Hanks with “Captain Phillips” writer and director Paul Greengrass.
Captain Kidd (Hanks) moves from town to town as a non-fiction storyteller, sharing the news of presidents and queens, glorious feuds, devastating catastrophes and gripping adventures from the far reaches of the globe.
The trailer shows Kidd encountering Johanna (Helena Zengel from “System Crasher”), a 10-year-old taken in by the Kiowa people six years earlier and raised as one of their own. Johanna and Kidd spend time together, traveling across the plains and wilderness to deliver her back to her biological parents.
Along the way, Kidd teaches her about her surroundings and the world that she has never experienced. As they face danger and lawlessness, Hanks does what he does best, playing the protector, and keeping Johanna from harm. “This child is not for sale,” says Kidd as an outlaw tries to buy her from him.
Hanks describes his character as “a storyteller,” noting that he’s “driven, emotional ..[and] noble.”
“I love listening to a great story as much as I like telling one, and that’s why I was so excited about playing Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd,” Hanks said. “He is moved by the pursuit of the truth. Kidd wanted to communicate an authentic worldview to his audiences because he knew that, along with education and entertainment, the powers of enlightenment could be exchanged in the news readings that he gave.”
The trailer also gives viewers a glimpse of Dariusz Wolski’s (“The Martian”) cinematography from sweeping landscapes of the Texan desert to cowboy-run towns. James Newton Howard composes the Western score.
Greengrass said the film is ultimately “a journey towards redemption.”
“‘News of the World’ is set in a bitterly divided, dangerous world and it is a journey of discovery for both Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd (Tom Hanks) and the girl, Johanna (Helena Zengel),” Greengrass said. “Both characters are lost in different ways and are searching for belonging. That is what gives the journey tremendous emotional power.”
Notably, the trailer emphasizes that “News of the World” will open in theaters on Dec. 25. Watch the clip below:
More from Variety
Best of Variety