The first look at writer Lena Waithe’s first feature film, Queen & Slim, stars Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith as a couple on the run as the world burns around them.
A timely and urgent exploration of race relations, the film highlights the tense dynamic between a white cop and a black man in its new trailer, as well as the relationship of a desperate couple described as the “black Bonnie and Clyde.”
In the trailer, the couple’s first date takes a turn when a police officer pulls them over. As the white officer points a gun at Turner-Smith’s Queen, Kaluuya’s Slim intervenes, killing the officer in self-defense.
A dramatic thriller with undertones of romance, the film is sure to confront the devastating tolls racism and violence take on our society.
The dark and bleak trailer also stars country singer Sturgill Simpson, who can currently be seen in this year’s Jim Jarmusch zombie comedy The Dead Don’t Die.
The film will be directed by Melina Metsoukas, who rose to fame by directing music videos for Rihanna and Beyonce, including Beyonce’s “Formation.” She collaborated with Waithe on the Emmy-winning “Thanksgiving” episode of Master of None.
Waithe, who also won an Emmy for writing and starring in Netflix’s Master of None, has gone on to work on Showtime’s The Chi and the BET series Boomerang.
Queen & Slim marks both Metsoukas and Waithe’s feature film directing and writing debuts, respectively. It’s also Turner-Smith’s first starring feature film role.
Universal first unveiled the film’s first look to the public during the BET Awards Sunday; prior to that, it debuted at Cinemacon in April, where Waithe told viewers the movie is “protest art” intended to spark conversations and highlight injustice. The film is Waithe’s rallying cry. Oddly, she scripted it based on an original idea by author James Frey, of A Million Little Pieces infamy.
“The film is not made to give the audience answers,” Waithe said at Cinemacon. “But instead to ask questions and show what it looks like to be black and in love while the world is burning all around you.”
Queen & Slim hits the big screen Nov. 27. Watch the trailer for yourself below.