‘The Power of the Dog’ trailer showcases Benedict Cumberbatch's menacing cowboy

The Power of the Dog Benedict Cumberbatch
(Image credit: Netflix)

Benedict Cumberbatch is donning the black hat (metaphorically speaking) in The Power of the Dog, the new film from Jane Campion that is set to play both in theaters and on Netflix later this year. The first teaser trailer for The Power of the Dog has just been released.

The Power of the Dog is adapted from the Thomas Savage novel of the same name. The story is about rancher Phil Burbank (Cumberbatch) who inspires both fear and awe in those around him. When Phil’s brother brings home his new wife and her teenage son, Phil treats them with mockery and cruelty. That is until the unexpected comes to pass.

Cumberbatch leads the film that also stars Jesse Plemmons as George Burbank, Kirsten Dunst as his new wife Rose and Kodi Smit-McPhee as her son Peter. Also in the cast (though seemingly absent from this first trailer) are Thomasin McKenzie, Keith Caradine, Frances Conroy and more.

The trailer for The Power of the Dog certainly falls under the teaser category, as it’s more about setting a mood for the film and the complex dynamic between Cumberbatch’s rancher, Dunst and Smit-McPhee. The creepy whistling certainly helps. Watch the full teaser below.

The Power of the Dog is Oscar-winner Jane Campion’s first feature film in 12 years (2009’s Bright Star was her last), but she has kept herself busy with the popular TV miniseries Top of the Lake. Already one of the few female directors ever nominated for Best Director at the Oscars, Campion could very well be in contention again for this film. Any potential buzz could start up real soon as the film will screen at the upcoming Venice and Toronto international film festivals.

Cumberbatch, meanwhile, is sure to have a busy back half of 2021. In addition to The Power of the Dog, the actor is also reprising his role as Doctor Strange in the highly anticipated Spider-Man: No Way Home.

Part of Netflix’s remaining 2021 original movie slate, The Power of the Dog will be one of the film’s from the streamer that gets both a short exclusive theatrical release (Nov. 17) before arriving on the streaming service on Dec. 1. 

For those excited to head back to the theaters for The Power of the Dog, and other movies, you may want to take a look at movie theater subscription deals that can make frequent trips to the theater cheaper. Those willing to wait for streaming just need to make sure they are signed up for Netflix.

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Only Murders in the Building, Yellowstone, The Boys, Game of Thrones and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.