David Cross Plays an Ex-Lewis & Clark Professor Trekking Through the Pacific Northwest Wilderness in the Trailer for “The Dark Divide”

It’s not a stretch to call “The Dark Divide” the new “Wild,” which maybe makes Cross the new Reese Witherspoon.

IMAGE: Courtesy of "The Dark Divide."

Call it Tobias Fünke Goes Camping.

In the trailer for the upcoming film The Dark Divide, David Cross plays Robert Michael Pyle, the famed lepidopterist and author of several well-regarded nature books, including the one the movie is based on, Where Bigfoot Walks: Crossing the Dark Divide.

In the book, originally published in 1995, Pyle took a monthlong journey into Gifford Pinchot National Forest near Mount St. Helens to investigate the myth of Sasquatch. This, however, does not appear to be a sadcore version of Harry and the Hendersons: Outside of one scene in which Cross is "mistaken" for Bigfoot, the trailer downplays the cryptozoological theme, instead focusing on the more emotional elements of Pyle's life story, namely the death of his wife, played by Debra Messing, from ovarian cancer.

"As he overcomes each hurdle, this shy academic slowly comes to terms with his wife's death," reads the description on the film's website. "He's finding a new appreciation for Thea, and an understanding of how much she brought to his life. As he stumbles and struggles through the journey, Pyle begins to take control of his life and his destiny."

Given that synopsis, it's not a stretch to call this the new Wild, Portland author Cheryl Strayed's account of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, which was adapted for the screen in 2014. Does that make David Cross the new Reese Witherspoon? Possibly!

The trailer is filled with the clichés of an overwrought indie drama—weeping, twee folk music, Cameron Esposito—but it hints at a compelling performance by Cross, and the landscape photography looks absolutely spectacular: It was shot in Gifford Pinchot and other "scenic" Oregon locales. (Also, check out the vintage Lewis and Clark sweatshirt on Cross around 1:30—Pyle, who lives in Southwest Washington, taught there for a spell in the early '90s.)

Of course, the trailer just had to come out today, as much of Oregon and Washington is on fire, including parts of Gifford Pinchot. If you can stomach seeing Pacific Northwest wilderness in its more pristine state, The Dark Divide drops on VOD Sept. 18.

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