It goes without saying that I LOVE the fantasy genre. I always have, and I always will. Give me The Lord of the Rings, give me Chronicles of Narnia, give me Game of Thrones, I love them all. Naturally when I heard about a new fantasy film coming out this fall, I became very interested. The premise of the film seemed very promising, but what really grabbed my attention was the cast; and this brand new trailer, which debuted on MTV.com.
In The Last Witch Hunter, an immortal warrior named Kaulder is tasked to protect modern-day New York from a coven of evil witches. He is joined by the most unlikely ally, a female witch who wants to help bring about the end of the dangerous Witch Queen before she can hatch her deadly scheme.
The cast that they chose for the film is very interesting, and you are introduced to them one by one in the new trailer for the film.
"I've been reading the history of your life..."
The trailer opens with a voiceover from one of my favorites: Michael Caine. While you may recognize him as Alfred Pennyworth, the butler to Mr. Bruce Wayne in The Dark Knight trilogy, I was first introduced to him when he was Lawrence Jamieson in the 1988 comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.
In The Last Witch Hunter, he plays a priest, but one with ancient knowledge. He starts out by saying "I've been reading the history of your life, and I've written my fair share of it." He seems to be somewhat of a historian, which is further evidenced by the background. You can spot a fossil on the right, and what seem to be some sort of relic to his left.
Also, how many priests do you know of that are introduced with a scotch in their hand? Well that may have to do with the individual that he is talking to.
"...but your story has no ending."
We get our first clear look at Vin Diesel as the immortal Kaulder, the film's protagonist. Vin Diesel is best known for his iconic role as Dominic Toretto in the Fast & Furious franchise, his badass stint as Riddick in Chronicles of Riddick, and (who could ever forget) Groot in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy.
In the above shot we see of him, he looks very normal for the lead in a fantasy movie. Set photos that were released months ago feature the actor with a lot more facial hair, but he remains clean-shaven in what we see of him here.
Standing next to him is an actress that should look familiar to any of you fantasy fans out there. That actress is none other than Rose Leslie, who plays the wildling archer Ygritte in HBO's Game of Thrones.
In The Last Witch Hunter, Leslie plays a female witch named Chloe, who assists Kaulder in his mission to take down the witches. Her motivation in doing so is still unknown, but it better be something major for her to go against her own kind.
"You are the greatest soldier of the Axe & Cross..."
There is a scene where Kaulder opens what seems to be a storage closet packed with guns, and I think "great, a fantasy movie with machine guns," but I am immediately silenced when he picks up a sword.
As an actor, Vin Diesel is known for his high-adrenaline action-packed flicks like Fast & Furious. But by picking up the sword, he is telling the fans that he is taking a step in another direction. This is a fantasy film, and they are treating it like a fantasy film. Swords and Vin Diesel in a fantasy action flick. Yes please!
We also get the name of an organization, the Axe and Cross. This is probably the organization that Kaulder belonged to long ago, which means that we will probably get to know some about the character's backstory, which I'm sure is fascinating.
"...in a war between our world, and the next."
It's this shot where we are first immersed into the fantasy scenery. In this case, Kaulder reaches this place after Chloe performs some sort of ritual. Perhaps she cast a portal, or perhaps he is just getting a vision of where he needs to go. Either way, things are starting to drift away from modern-day New York.
My best guess is that the tree is basically the hive of the witches. Later in the trailer, we seem to see something quite sinister moving around inside the tree...which could explain why the very same tree is in flames later in the trailer.
"Well hello Witch Hunter."
This is the first time we see Olafur Darri Olafsson, a lesser-known actor that has made appearances in movies like The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and Contraband. He has also appeared in True Detective.
Olafur plays a powerful witch named Belial, who seems to have some sort of past connection with Kaulder. In the trailer we only see Belial for a few moments, but those few moments let you know that he is a force to be reckoned with as he plays with fire.
"You will be hunted."
Can we all just stop a minute to appreciate the fact that Vin Diesel is holding a flaming sword? The trailer ends on a strong note as Vin Diesel says his only few lines and shows off a bit of his action prowess with the sword and a gun, letting us know that he's taking things up a notch.
"Here's what you don't understand..."
So Elijah Wood is also in the cast as a priest named Dolan, but he doesn't get a whole lot of screen-time in the trailer. We do see him in a few scenes alongside Vin Diesel, but like Rose Leslie, he never utters a word. It will be interesting to see how much his character is integrated into the plot, especially because he seems to be the same kind of priest as Michael Caine.
So Our All-Star Cast Includes:
Vin Diesel, an action and sci-fi veteran who knows how to play an action hero.
Rose Leslie, a tough girl who showed off her acting skills in one of the most successful television shows of our time.
Michael Caine, the lovable mentor that we wept with in The Dark Knight movies.
Elijah Wood, perhaps one of the most recognizable icons in geek culture.
And Olafur Darri Olafsson, a fresh face that is sure to gain a massive fan-base after working on this film.
I'm TOTALLY pumped for this group of actors coming together. Just think about it, The Last Witch Hunter is still a pretty unknown film, and even a cool trailer and interesting premise doesn't necessarily bring you to the theater. But Vin Diesel, Frodo, and Ygritte? Now you're talking.
Obviously Vin Diesel is the lead of the film, which is sure to garner a substantial amount of interest. Fantasy is really a new realm for the actor (Riddick seemed to fit somewhere else), and I'm sure many are going to be excited to see what he can do with the part.
Even for those somewhat unsure about Vin Diesel's part, they have the supporting cast to look to. Rose Leslie certainly knows what she's doing when it comes to the genre. She killed it as Ygritte in GOT, and I'm stoked to see her get a shot as a female lead in a feature flick.
Elijah Wood's Frodo Baggins from Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy is truly iconic. He's sure to bring a massive amount of fans over to the movie (myself included!), and Michael Caine has a decent following from the cinephiles out there.
All together, The Last Witch Hunter combines the acting chops of Furious 7, Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, The Dark Knight, and True Detective. Why would you not want to see this movie?
And now I interrupt you from our standard broadcasting to bring you... butterflies?
I just had to add in this picture out of sheer confusion. After re-watching the trailer over and over again, I was able to connect the dots pretty nicely in terms of how the scene affects the plot, except for with this scene. We only get a half-second glimpse at the scene, and all that wee see are butterflies flying past Elijah Wood and Vin Diesel. If you have any theories about the butterflies, tell me in the comments below or become a Creator today and write your own post about it!