Colin Farrell, Christopher Plummer & Q'orianka Kilcher
"The New World" opens at the dawn of the 17th century, just prior to the European colonization of the Americas when the North American population consisted primarily of indigenous American Indian tribes, and isolated Spanish colonies. In 1607, three maritime vessels approach the unfamiliar continent, with 103 sailors on board. As members of the Virginia Company, these adventurers carry a royal charter to found a colony on the edge of the new continent. John Smith sits chained below one of the decks. He has been sentenced to death by hanging upon the ships' docking because of his mutinous grumblings. Nevertheless, Captain Christopher Newport acknowledges Smith's ability to aid with exploration and pardons Smith as a result.
Upon landing, Smith seeks assistance from the Algonquian tribes with colonization, but runs into a hostile band of warriors and is brought to Chief Powhatan as a prisoner. Just as Smith is about to be clubbed to death by a warrior, a young beautiful Algonquian princess, who is curious about the English strangers, steps in between the executioner and Smith. The young girl, Powhatan's youngest daughter, Pocahontas, persuades her father to spare Smith's life. John Smith learns of the Indians' peaceful and happy lifestyle by spending time with Pocahontas, and eventually they fall in love. Their relationship makes Chief Powhatan uneasy.
Eventually Smith returns to Jamestown with a band of Pocahontas' villagers, who intend to aid the hungry men of the Virginia Company. Soon Smith, whose usual aggressiveness has been calmed by Pocahontas and the tranquility of her world, encounters conflict with his fellow Britons. The tension between the settlers and the Native Americans builds, and a battle erupts between them. Before the battle, Pocahontas went to inform Smith; as a result, her father exiles her, and she is sent to the realms of her father's cousin in the North. While she is there, the Chieftain trades her for a copper kettle so the men of Jamestown can hold her as a captive to stop the massacres. Smith doesn't agree with taking her as the hostage, but his fellow took over the captainship from him and took her in.
Smith meets her again to reconcile, but soon decides to leave her for another conquest project commissioned by the King of England. At the requests of Smith, a fellow settler is forced to lead Pocahontas into believing that Smith is dead. Pocahontas spends the rest of her life living with the British settlers. She soon adopts the Anglo-Saxon way of life and is later baptized and renamed "Rebecca". In her grief for Smith, the Algonquian princess has retreated into a world of solitude, and she refuses to speak to anyone. In a few months she accepts the hand of plantation owner John Rolfe in marriage, and the couple runs its homestead and eventually have a son. After a few years Pocahontas is invited to England with her family. The Lady Rebecca is an instant sensation among the British aristocracy, and she is amazed by the new sights she sees in the country. She meets Smith once more before deciding that she will remain loyal to Rolfe with whom she has fallen in love. Before she can return to Virginia she sickens and passes away, leaving Rolfe to care for their son.