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CinemaCon: Jeremy Renner Says ‘Story of Your Life’ Offers ‘Badass’ Female Lead

Denis Villeneuve's 'Sicario' follow-up arrives later this year.

As part of the Paramount Pictures opening night presentation at CinemaCon 2016 Monday, the studio dropped the first trailer for Denis Villeneuve’s “Story of Your Life.” The film stars Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner as members of a team brought in to help determine a newly-arrived extra-terrestrial race’s intentions with our planet.

In introducing the footage with Adams, Renner said he was largely drawn to the project because it featured a dynamic female protagonist. “It’s Amy’s story, and there’s not enough cinema in Hollywood where we have a strong, badass, intelligent female lead,” he said. “I think that’s important.”

Paramount used the gathering of exhibitors to premiere the moody trailer for the alien invasion thriller. The footage showed government officials enlisting Adams to help translate messages from alien visitors. She joins a team headed up by Forest Whitaker with Renner as a theoretical physicist. She’s being tapped because “language is the foundation of civilization [and] the first weapon drawn in a conflict.”

As for the aliens themselves, the trailer provides a brief glimpse of the octopus-like creatures with tentacles who travel to earth in a large egg-shaped vessel.

Adams and Renner previously worked together on David O. Russell’s “American Hustle.”

With films like 2010 foreign-language Oscar nominee “Incendies,” 2013 thrillers “Prisoners” and “Enemy” with Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal, respectively, and last year’s drug war drama “Sicario,” Villeneuve has continued to forge a unique directorial voice that dabbles in genre without becoming a slave to its conventions. Many eyes are already on his upcoming “Blade Runner” sequel, set to begin filming later this year, but “Story of Your Life” looks to be a tasty appetizer before he goes full-on sci-fi in the world of Philip K. Dick.

One notable change of pace for Villeneuve: Behind the camera on the new film is d.p. Bradford Young, whose talents have been seen on films such as “A Most Violent Year” and “Selma.” Typically Villeneuve works with celebrated 13-time Oscar nominee Roger Deakins, but the look of “Story of Your Life” is no less atmospheric and elegant.

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