After wowing audiences with the sweeping post-war drama “Mudbound,” filmmaker Dee Rees has returned with another period piece featuring an A-list cast. Based on a 1996 Joan Didion novel, Anne Hathaway stars as a veteran journalist investigating an arms deal that becomes personal. The film is set to premiere out of competition at the Sundance Film Festival next week in the glitzy Premieres section. Ahead of its industry debut, Netflix has released a thrilling first trailer for the star-studded drama.
The official synopsis reads: “Adapted from the Joan Didion novel of the same title, ‘The Last Thing He Wanted’ is set against the nebulous milieu of the Iran-Contra scandal. Veteran D.C. journalist Elena McMahon (Hathaway) abandons the 1984 campaign trail out of a misguided sense of duty to her father, Dick McMahon (Willem Dafoe). Guilted into running a dangerous fool’s errand on his behalf, Elena leverages the moment to pursue her own investigation but instead gets tipped into the confounding center of the very intrigue she’s trying to expose. Answers turn into questions and wrong turns lead to dead ends in this stylish political thriller as Elena becomes increasingly lost on a map of someone else’s making and the possibility of return — to home and to herself — slowly narrows.”
The film also stars Ben Affleck as Treat Morrison, a high-level U.S. government official who was romantically involved with Hathaway’s character. Rosie Perez also stars as an unnamed character who appears to be either a former colleague or confidante to Elena.
Rees is no stranger to Park City. Her first film, “Pariah,” about a lesbian teenager coming into her sexuality, premiered at Sundance in 2011 to much acclaim. Her third feature, “Mudbound,” also premiered at the festival. The film was an early awards contender for Netflix, and earned Rees a nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay, making her the first black woman to receive that particular honor. “Mudbound” earned a total of four Oscar nominations at the 90th Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Song for Mary J. Blige, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Cinematography for Rachel Morrison, who became the first woman ever nominated in that category.
With strong performances and a sobering subject matter, “The Last Thing He Wanted” is sure to pack a similar punch. Netflix will release “The Last Thing He Wanted” globally on its platform on February 21. Check out the trailer below.