Over the past handful of years, Chris Pratt has become an action movie go-to. But come March 8 he will be showing a different side of his acting when he faces off against Ethan Hawke in The Kid. Today brings the first look at the trailer, and it’s a lot to take in.
The clip lays the groundwork for the Vincent D’Onofrio–helmed Western, which marks the actor’s directorial debut. In the film, Chris Pratt plays the villain, who does some pretty horrific stuff, especially to his niece, played by Leila George. Meanwhile, his nephew Rio, played by Jake Schur, goes on the run to try to save his sister and in his journey, links up with Ethan Hawke, who plays Sheriff Pat Garrett.
Hawke has his sights set on another villain, though: Billy the Kid, played by Dane DeHaan. As the film’s synopsis states, “Rio finds himself increasingly entwined in the lives of these two legendary figures as the cat and mouse game of Billy the Kid’s final year of life plays out. Ultimately Rio is forced to choose which type of man he is going to become, the outlaw or the man of valor, and will use this self-realization in a final act to save his family.”
D’Onofrio recently opened up about the project, telling Collider, “It was a bit daunting to shoot a Western in 21 days, but we did it and we all enjoyed it… It’s a very emotional story about a kid in the Wild West. It has aspects of these iconic characters, like Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, but it’s all from the point of view of a young man. When you first meet him, he’s going through an extremely dramatic situation. It’s a tragic beginning, and he goes on this journey.”
The film could bring the first Oscar nod to Pratt, who is almost unrecognizable in the trailer. It could also bring the first Oscar win for D’Onofrio, which Hawke is really hoping for. Hawke recently lamented that D’Onofrio has no Oscar wins while guesting on Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast. “Every year, you watch the Oscars and you watch these big, showy performances, and I’ll lean over to my wife and say, ‘It’s so funny about acting. Right? Most of the people who win these prizes are working with a world-class director with a world-class cinematographer with the best—with a Pulitzer prize–winning screenwriter, they’ve got the best musicians scoring. If you weren’t good in those movies, you suck,’” he said. “But if you watch Criminal Intent every night? Like, this is an Academy-winning performance. There’s no lighting. There’s no writing. There’s no plot. And this guy is f-cking brilliant. And they’re gonna give it to some British dork? Jesus. It makes me crazy.” History will have a chance to right that wrong come the 2020 awards-show season.