By Joey Nolfi
October 22, 2020 at 11:09 AM EDT

Tom Hanks is pushing his Oscar-winning acting prowess to new cinematic frontiers in the new trailer for Paul Greengrass' awards-hopeful western News of the World.

The new footage from the anticipated epic dropped Thursday, previewing Hanks' turn as Civil War veteran Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, who travels the nation spreading non-fiction tales of presidents, queens, international feuds, world disasters, and more to townsfolk across America.

Kidd's world unexpectedly intertwines with that of a 10-year-old girl, Johanna (Helena Zengel), previously taken in by the Kiowa people and raised as one of their own before an accident leaves her square in Kidd's path. Against Johanna's will, the captain takes her with him on a journey to reunite her with her biological aunt and uncle — a trek that poses significant dangers both environmental and human.

"She needs to laugh and dream," Kidd says in the clip when a peer questions his motives in transporting Johanna. "She needs new memories."

In addition to directing News of the World, Flight 93 helmer Greengrass also co-wrote the film's script — adapted from Paulette Jiles' novel — with Lion's Luke Davies, while eight-time Academy Award-nominated composer James Newton Howard scored the film.

Hot off the actor's golden run through last year's awards season as Fred Rogers in Marielle Heller's A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Hanks is again expected to be an acting contender in the Oscar race ahead.

Universal will distribute News of the World on Dec. 25. Watch the trailer above.

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