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Ethan Hawke Questions Drone Warfare in First ‘Good Kill’ Trailer (Video)

Andrew Niccol’s drama explores the psychological impact of being a drone pilot

“If you never face your enemy, how can you face yourself?”

The question is central in the first trailer for writer-director Andrew Niccol‘s “Good Kill” starring Ethan Hawke.

Hawke plays American fighter pilot Tom Egan, who is trained to pilot drone aircraft from the safety of American soil after being grounded.

A decorated combat veteran, Hawke’s character has grown disillusioned by striking his country’s enemies from afar (from Las Vegas, in fact), and even reveals that he feels like a coward for his actions. This disillusionment has strained his relationship with his family, particularly his wife, Molly, played by January Jones, as he numbs his boredom, rage and guilt with alcohol.

The trailer feels incredibly topical given the ongoing debate surrounding drone warfare, and the moral vagueness of the high-tech combat practice are succinctly summed up by Egan’s commanding officer (the always reliable Bruce Greenwood) when he says, “Don’t ask me if it’s a just war. That’s not up to us. To us, it’s just war.”

“Good Kill” marks the third collaboration between Hawke and Niccol, who previously worked together on 1997’s “Gattaca” and 2005’s “Lord of War.”

It was produced by Nicolas Chartier and Zev Foreman of Voltage Pictures and Mark Amin of Sobini Films. The film had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival and its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.

The film, which does not currently have a U.S. release date, also stars Zoe Kravitz and Jake Abel.

Watch the trailer here.