Charlie Hunnam might be best known for ridin’ through this world on the small screen, but his big-screen roles have been as diverse in character and style as they have been in critical reception. He punched the sky in Guy Ritchie‘s take on King Arthur, fought the hurricane and ghosts alike in Guillermo del Toro‘s Pacific Rim and Crimson Peak, and ventured into the jungles of the early 20th century in James Gray‘s The Lost City of Z(ed). Hunnam time-jumps a bit from that film to the mid-20th century for what might be his most dramatic and difficult role to date in the true-life adaptation, Papillon.
During TIFF last fall, our own Steven Weintraub chatted with Hunnam about the autobiographical tale of the late Henri Charrière‘s experiences in the French prison system and its penal colony. It’s an interesting conversation that reveals Hunnam’s initial reluctance in taking on the role and the path that led him to eventually accept it. Now, the first trailer is here, so Hunnam fans the world over can see his take on the title character. As the trailer reveals, Papillon has earned its R rating for “violence including bloody images, language, nudity, and some sexual material,” but that’s all wrapped up in a riveting story with surrealist elements that suggest this is one story worth watching.
Directed by Michael Noer and adapted by Aaron Guzikoswski, Papillon also stars Rami Malek, Yorick Van Wageningen, Roland Moller, Tommy Flanagan, and Eve Hewson. Look for it in U.S. theaters on August 24th.
Check out the tense, surreal first trailer for Papillon below:
Here’s the official synopsis:
Based on the international best-selling autobiographic books “Papillon” and “Banco”, the film follows the epic story of Henri “Papillon” Charrière (Charlie Hunnam), a safecracker from the Parisian underworld who is framed for murder and condemned to life in the notorious penal colony on Devil’s Island. Determined to regain his freedom, Papillon forms an unlikely alliance with a convicted counterfeiter Louis Dega (Rami Malek), who in exchange for protection, agrees to finance Papillon’s escape.
Check out some newly released images from Papillon along with the film’s poster below: