At first glance, there’s nothing particularly Hunger Games-y about How I Live Now, an upcoming film from The Last King of Scotland’s Kevin MacDonald. In fact, the film’s new trailer starts out sort of like an updated version of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe: As World War III rages, a sad-faced American teen (Saoirse Ronan) gets shipped off to the idyllic English countryside, where she frolics around with her photogenic cousins. (A few differences: They don’t discover their own Narnia, and Ronan falls in love with one of the cousins (George MacKay). CS Lewis never would have gone for that.)
Halfway through the clip, though, the war comes to Ronan’s sanctuary – dividing her and a female cousin from her paramour and his brother. Suddenly, Roan finds herself roaming a post-apocalyptic wasteland, fighting for her own survival and that of her young charge. Can love prevail even as the world is ending? We don’t know for sure – but a concluding shot of Ronan wielding a gun shows that she may have entered full Action Grrrl mode by the end of the movie.
How I Live Now opens Oct. 4 in the U.K. and later this fall in the U.S.