Saoirse Ronan and Paul Mescal team up with Garth Davis for their upcoming sci-fi-infused film, in theaters Oct. 6
But as the new trailer for Foe indicates, very little is straightforward in this sci-fi-infused story of isolation and unease. Directed by Garth Davis, the movie is adapted from author Iain Reid’s novel of the same name, with Davis and Reid together writing its screenplay.
In the trailer, Mescal, 27, and Ronan, 29, play married couple Junior and Henrietta, aka Hen, in the year 2065. Their lives are upended by a visitor who recruits Junior to help pilot a space station.
The stranger suggests Junior would be replaced by an artificial intelligence in order to keep Hen company while he is gone, but the looming decision appears to have significant consequences for the couple's relationship.
Foe is “a haunting exploration of marriage and identity set in an uncertain world,” per its synopsis. “Their quiet life is thrown into turmoil when an uninvited stranger (Aaron Pierre) shows up at their door with a startling proposal.”
The film's "mesmerizing imagery and persistent questions about the nature of humanity (and artificial humanity) bring the not-too-distant future to luminous life," the synopsis adds.
Davis, best known for directing the 2016 film Lion and episodes of the series Top of the Lake, told Vanity Fair in August, “What I find really powerful about the movie is it asks us to be awake and to be alive."
"A lot of the problems we face in relationships and with the environment and with all sorts of things coming our way is that we’re asleep at the wheel," said Davis. "This movie is really saying, ‘Wake up. Your life is precious, and if you take it for granted, you’re going to lose it.’ ”
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The film was shot in rural Wangaratta, Australia, where, as Davis told Vanity Fair, its set proved crucial in telling this psychologically fraught tale.
“The house for me is almost like a house of ghosts,” he said of Junior and Hen’s home. “It’s been a patriarchal, generational, rural symbol, with the multiple generations moving through there. The environment was constantly reinforcing the themes of what Henrietta was fighting against, wanting to push up against, and escape from.”
Mescal was nominated for an Oscar this year, his first, for Aftersun. Among his many upcoming projects are Andrew Haigh's All of Us Strangers (in theaters Dec. 22), Richard Linklater’s Merrily We Roll Along and the sequel to Gladiator.
Ronan, a four-time Oscar nominee, has in her upcoming roster of films Steve McQueen's Blitz and Nora Fingscheidt's The Outrun. She last appeared onscreen in 2022’s See How They Run.
Another of Reid’s bestselling novels, I'm Thinking of Ending Things, was adapted for the screen by Charlie Kauffman in 2020.
Foe is in theaters Oct. 6.
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