Steve Carell is fighting inner demons in his new film Welcome to Marwen

Steve Carell is fighting inner demons in his new film Welcome to Marwen, from Forrest Gump director Robert Zemeckis.

In a PEOPLE exclusive trailer, the 56-year-old actor portrays Mark Hogancamp who suffers from a devastating attack that wipes away all his memories.

“I got beaten within an inch of my life because I was different,” Mark explains in a voiceover. “So I created a world where I can be anyone I want.

Mark creates an art installation of a small town and female figurines of the women he knows in real life. Portrayed by Eiza González, Janelle Monáe, Merritt Wever and Leslie Mann, all of them help Mark in his recovery as he deals with the horrific mental trauma he struggles with.

He also creates a figurine of himself, explaining, “This is Hoggie, kind of a braver version of me.”

While Mark allows himself to feel free in his make-believe world, he discovers he can’t shun the real world and escape from his demons.

Steve Carell in Welcome to Marwen

“The only way you’re going to get better is if you face those jerks who beat you up,” Wever’s character, Roberta, tells him.

Facing his attackers in an emotional courtroom scene, Mark says he’s learned to move past his trauma and embrace his current life.

“I have my art and I have my friends. I have hope and that’s something they can’t take away from me,” he explains.

The film also stars Diane Kruger, Gwendoline Christie and Leslie Harter Zemeckis.

An AR app has also been launched to provide fans a gateway to the “World of Marwen” in the first-ever recreation of a movie scene where they can meet the characters and explore the environment of the film.

Welcome to Marwen is in theaters Dec. 21.