First Look: Matthew McConaughey Fights to Survive in Gus Van Sant's 'Sea of Trees'

by Antoinette Bueno 10:01 AM PDT, September 12, 2014

The eerie first image from Gus Van Sant's highly anticipated Sea of Trees has just been released, featuring a bloody Matthew McConaughey.

In the film, McConaughey plays Arthur Brennan, who treks into Aokigahara -- known as "The Sea of Trees" -- a mysterious dense forest at the base of Japan's Mount Fuji where people go to contemplate life and death. Thinking he’s found the perfect place to die, he encounters Takumi Nakamura (Ken Watanabe), a Japanese man who has also lost his way. The two men begin a journey of reflection and survival, which affirms Arthur's will to live and reconnects him to his love with his wife Joan (Naomi Watts).

McConaughey has previously talked about the intensity of the new film, telling Entertainment Weekly, "I say another title for this film is 'You've got to go through annihilation to get to salvation.' It's one hell of a survival story."

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Given that the film is directed by Van Sant -- known for critically acclaimed films like My Own Private Idaho, Good Will Hunting and Milk -- could this be the film that earns McConaughey another Oscar nomination?

Sea of Trees is set to hit theaters in 2015.

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McConaughey currently has a string of upcoming high-profile projects, including Christopher Nolan's super-secret Interstellar, out November 7.

Check out the trailer below: