Following on from Foxcatcher’s impressive first trailer a few months ago, Sony have now released a shorter second offering which, whilst revisiting much of the same ground as trailer #1, shows some great new footage.
For the uninitiated, Foxcatcher centres around the true story of how John Eleuthére du Pont, among other things the sponsor of the USA Wrestling squad, killed Dave Schultz, an Olympic wrestler and his close friend, in 1996. After his trial, he was found guilty of first-degree murder, but also deemed mentally ill, despite his earlier plea of not guilty by insanity being denied. The narrative is taken from the autobiographical novel of Mark Schultz, Dave’s brother, and another wrestler on du Pont’s ‘Team Foxcatcher’.
If the real-life plot isn’t intriguing enough, what will surely draw many people to watch the film is the against-type casting for three of the lead roles. Whilst the supporting cast includes Vanessa Redgrave as du Pont’s wife Jean, a typically classy casting for a film vying for major awards, du Pont himself is played by Steve Carell, who has until now been far more prominent in comedic releases than dramatic. Meanwhile, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo play the Schultz brothers, Mark and Dave. Whilst both Ruffalo and Tatum have dabbled with serious roles – Tatum in Steven Soderbergh’s Side Effects and Ruffalo in a number of films such as You Can Count On Me – it’s still interesting to see them cast in something as genuinely serious as this.
Carell carries a disturbingly detached air about him as du Pont, one that seems to fit a man who was noted to have developed an ‘unhinged psyche’ leading up the killing. Meanwhile, Tatum looks very much on form as Mark Schultz, showing him willing to do anything to succeed. Ruffalo is barely shown in the trailer, suggesting a more supporting role than one might imagine for the victim of the killing that forms the centre of the film, but good things can surely still be expected of him.
The behind the camera duo of director Bennett Miller, whose previous ‘sports drama’ credits include his acclaimed 2011 baseball film Moneyball, and cinematographer Greig Fraser, most notable for Zero Dark Thirty, seem to have achieved some fantastic shots and a particularly gloomy, ‘Fincher-esque’ look.
Along with very strong reviews from the film’s festival tour, Foxcatcher looks like a superb watch, though there’s a bit of a wait for when it’s released next year on 9th January 2015.