Apple TV+ has dropped the official trailer for Finch, its forthcoming sci-fi film starring Tom Hanks as a robotics engineer who survives an apocalyptic solar flare, then goes on a trek to mountain safety with his trusty dog and robot sidekick. That is so Tom Hanks, amirite? Yes, this is a real movie, not a gag. Based on the trailer—carefully tailored to push all the requisite emotional buttons—the film looks like a strange mix of Castaway, Wall-E, and Chappie. In the right hands, that unlikely mix just might work.
The title was BIOS when the film was originally announced in 2017. The global pandemic put the planned 2020 theatrical release on hold indefinitely, and Universal Pictures eventually sold the rights to Apple TV, which changed the title to Finch. There are reasons to be cautiously optimistic. The film is directed by Miguel Sapochnik, the mastermind behind several big, battle-centric episodes of Game of Thrones, including “Hardhome,” “The Battle of the Bastards,” “The Long Night,” and the hugely controversial (because of a favorite character’s heel turn) “The Bells.” The spec script by Craig Luck and Ivor Powell made 2017’s “Black List” of favorite unproduced screenplays. And you’ve got the world’s most likable everyman (Hanks) in the lead role.
Per the official synopsis:
Tom Hanks stars as Finch, a robotics engineer and one of the few survivors of a cataclysmic solar event that has left the world a wasteland. But Finch, who has been living in an underground bunker for a decade, has built a world of his own that he shares with his dog, Goodyear. He creates a robot, played by Caleb Landry Jones, to watch over Goodyear when he no longer can. As the trio embarks on a perilous journey into a desolate American West, Finch strives to show his creation, who names himself Jeff, the joy and wonder of what it means to be alive. Their road trip is paved with both challenges and humor, as it’s as difficult for Finch to goad Jeff and Goodyear to get along as it is for him to manage the dangers of the new world.
We hear Finch in a voiceover ruminating on just how quickly the world turned into an inhospitable hellscape: “Goodbye crops and food, goodbye everything.” We see him retreat to his underground bunker and befriend Goodyear, who is clearly a Very Good Boi (and a much livelier companion than Wilson the volleyball in Castaway). Finch is delighted when he succeeds in building a robot that clearly states its mission: “Robot must protect dog.” But when an approaching storm threatens to wipe out their enclave, the trio embarks on the aforementioned road trip, hoping to reach the mountains, where apparently they will be safe—or as safe as one can be under the circumstances. Count on at least a couple of gut-wrenching moments to play on our heart-strings before it’s over.
The trailer also hints at other human survivors, possibly hostile, “hiding in the shadows.” The limited cast list appears to confirm this: Samira Wiley plays a survivor named Weaver, while Laura Harrier and Skeet Ulrich play characters named Linda and Sam, respectively.
Finch debuts November 5, 2021, on Apple TV+.
Listing image by Apple TV+