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‘Barkskins’ Trailer: National Geographic’s Limited Series Looks Like ‘The Revenant’s’ Violent Prequel

National Geographic's new limited series "Barkskins," starring David Thewlis and Marcia Gay-Harden, looks to be all about "throat-slittings, lies, and landgrabs."

Marcia Gay Harden

“Barskins”

National Geographic/Peter H. Stranks

As the trailer for National Geographic’s new limited series declares, “Barkskins” looks to be all about “throat-slittings, lies, and land-grabs.” The series, based on the novel by Annie Proulx, looks to be perfect for fans of “The Revenant” or “The New World.”

Per National Geographic:

The series is set in Wobik, a small settlement in what is now the Canadian province of Quebec. As the Catholic Church sends Jesuit priests to convert the indigenous people, France sends indentured servants to populate its territory, along with “Filles Du Roi” (“Daughters of the King”), young women to be matched with husbands, start families, and help the colonies prosper. This disparate group of outcasts, rogues, and innocents must navigate brutal hardships, competing interests, and tangled loyalties at the crossroads of civilization: 1690s New France.

Unfortunately, tension slowly turns into all-out war between the new settlers and the indigenous population as a string of mysterious massacres starts to take place in the colony. Cue a lot of dead bodies hanging from early settlements and a whole lot of tree chopping.

The eight-episode series stars David Thewlis and Marcia Gay Harden and is created by Elwood Reid.

The string of cancelled and delayed television shows moved due to the ongoing global health crisis resulted in an earlier premiere than anticipated for “Barkskins.” The series will premiere May 25, Memorial Day, on Nat Geo, which was previously the release date for the network’s Emmy-contending season of “Genius” focusing on Aretha Franklin’s life. Starring Cynthia Erivo, “Genius: Aretha” was announced as being delayed as of the end of March and currently has no new release date.

“Barkskins” will be introduced with a pre-screening of Alejandro González Iñárritu‘s “The Revenant,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio, as the movie holds commonalities with the series in terms of focusing on humankind in an uncharted landscape. Each subsequent episode of “Barkskins” will see a next-day airing on Hulu.

This series continues National Geographic’s push to create more narrative-form content. With an all-star cast and serious clout behind the camera, this could become an Emmy contender itself, filling the void left by “Genius: Aretha.”

“Barkskins” airs May 25 on National Geographic. Watch the trailer below.

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