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The Last Thing He Wanted stars Anne Hathaway as a journalist opposite Ben Affleck's government official

By Ale Russian
January 23, 2020 10:36 AM
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Anne Hathaway is diving into one of Joan Didion’s most riveting stories.

The Oscar winner, 37, stars in the first trailer for Netflix’s original film The Last Thing He Wanted as Elena McMahon, a journalist tracking how heavy duty weapons are getting into the hands of Contras in Costa Rica in the mid-’80s. Her reporting leads her to the man in the center of the arms trade — and it just so happens to be her ailing father.

Torn between finishing the story and helping her dad, Elena soon finds herself in a dangerous position with the U.S. government and a right-wing rebel group at her heels.

The adaptation is directed by Oscar nominee Dee Rees, who last found success with 2018’s Mudbound, also a book adaptation for Netflix. Rees picked up a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination at the Oscars that year for her script.

“Didion’s prose is so internal, and this is such a character deep-dive,” Rees told Entertainment Weekly of the film. “[With] Mudbound, I was starting from a script. The book itself wasn’t one I would’ve chosen. This was a book of choice: It’s small but dense. It had that density where it felt like there was more to blow out.”

The trailer gives a glimpse of Willem Dafoe as Elena’s dad, as well as Ben Affleck‘s Treat Morrison, a high-level government official who is keeping an eye on Elena. The movie also stars Rosie Perez in a supporting role.

As Elena embarks on a journey led by her father, it’s not entirely clear what she’s getting herself into.

“We don’t know if what he’s saying is true, if it’s a delusion,” Rees said of Elena’s father. “Is this an Alzheimer’s thing? Is this the past? Is this actually happening? Dick’s the great character who gives us that tension, in terms of what Elena’s looking for.”

The movie will have its world premiere on Jan. 27 at the Sundance Film Festival. It arrives on Netflix Feb. 21.