The first image from Out of the Furnace and Black Mass filmmaker Scott Cooper’s highly anticipated Western Hostiles has been released online. Written and directed by Cooper, the film takes place in 1892 and stars Christian Bale as a legendary Army Captain who reluctantly agrees to escort a dying Cheyenne war chief (Wes Studi) and his family back home to tribal lands. Cooper shot on location in New Mexico, and that landscape is on full display behind Bale’s weary Captain in this debut image.
The film sounds like it has a bit of a The Searchers vibe to it, as Bale’s character encounters a number of other hostile forces along the trip from New Mexico to Montana. Cooper broke out in a big way with Crazy Heart, then followed that up with the almost punishingly dark Appalachia-set Out of the Furnace. With Black Mass Cooper proved he could craft a compelling period biopic, and now with Hostiles he tries his hand at a Western—a genre that seems tailor made for Cooper’s sensibilities.
Cooper reunites with cinematographer Masanobu Takayanagi on the film and assembled a terrific ensemble cast that also includes Rosamund Pike, Adam Beach, Ben Foster, Jesse Plemons, and Q’orianka Kilcher. Hostiles will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival next month, so look for our review then. The film does not currently have a release date or distributor.
Here’s the official synopsis for Hostiles:
Set in 1892, Hostiles tells the story of a legendary Army Captain (Christian Bale) who, after stern resistance, reluctantly agrees to escort a dying Cheyenne war chief (Wes Studi) and his family back home to tribal lands. Making the harrowing and perilous journey from New Mexico to the grasslands of Montana, the former rivals encounter a young widow (Rosamund Pike) whose family was murdered on the plains. Together, they must join forces to overcome the punishing landscape, hostile Comanche, and vicious outliers they encounter along the way.