It’s so easy to miss a AAA trailer these days, even with all the endless marketing build-up around teasers, pre-trailers (“in one day,” etc) and other forms of cinematic hype. A good trailer is an art form, one that is able to convey a movie’s plot, tone and style all while resisting that ever-present urge to score it to a slowed-down pop song. So here’s the Trailer Park, where we’re parking all the trailers you may have skipped, missed or want to revisit from the past week. Appreciate them. Nitpick them. Figure out if the movies they’re selling are actually going to be any good. That’s all part of the fun, after all.
This week, we’ve got full looks at the directorial debut of Lin-Manuel Miranda, the sequel to Space Jam, the latest from Steven Soderbergh, The Eyes of Tammy Faye and more.
Director: Lin-Manuel Miranda
Release Date: Fall 2021
Broadway sensation Lin-Manuel Miranda will be taking up the director’s chair for the first time to bring Johnathan Larson’s semi-autobiographical musical to the big screen. The first official teaser for the Netflix adaptation of tick, tick… BOOM! sees Andrew Garfield fretting about his own mortality. With In the Heights out today on HBO Max and in theaters, 2021 is shaping up to be a busy year for the multi-talented playwright. The plot follows Garfield playing a fictionalized version of Larson (who composed and wrote the Broadway hit Rent, dying unexpectedly before he could witness the musical’s success)—nearing 30 and with a workshop performance for one of his musicals looming—as he struggles to make it in the world of the performing arts. tick, tick… BOOM! is set to co-star Vanessa Hudgens, Alexandra Shipp, Robin de Jesús, Joshua Henry, Judith Light and Bradley Whitford, the latter as musical legend Stephen Sondheim. Due for a fall premiere, the film is flanked by a number of highly-anticipated movie musicals still yet to release, including Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, Leos Carax’s Annette and Dear Evan Hansen.—Brianna Zigler
Director: Malcolm D. Lee
Release Date: July 16, 2021
The newest trailer for the Space Jam sequel dropped and it focuses less on the Warner Bros. IP universe than the first one, spending more time on the good old fashioned game of basketball that Lebron James and the Looney Tunes characters will be playing together. Space Jam: A New Legacy follows Los Angeles Lakers icon LeBron James who becomes trapped along with his son Dom (Cedric Joe) in something called the “Serververse”—a virtual world dominated by intellectual property at the behest of an evil A.I. named AI-G Rhythm (Don Cheadle). LeBron must then lead a team of Looney Tunes against AI-G and his terrifying, recognizable Warner Bros.-owned characters in a wholesome game of basketball in order to save himself and his son. Instead of overwhelming viewers with the cavalcade of Warner Bros. characters like before, this second trailer allows LeBron and his Tunes to do their thing on the court…though, it’s simply not the same without the Monstars and Danny DeVito. While the film looks like it might be fun in a turn-your-brain-off-and-enter-the-void sort of way, there’s something deeply unsettling about seeing CGI Looney tunes characters with photorealistic fur.—Brianna Zigler
Director: Michael Showalter
Release Date: September 17, 2021
Jessica Chastain has been close to an Academy Award now on several occasions in the past, but you have to imagine that the actress’ eyes probably lit up when she saw the script for The Eyes of Tammy Faye slide across her desk. There are few more reliable ways in Hollywood to earn oneself another Oscar nod than the tried and true “biopic of an eccentric individual that requires heavy makeup and prosthetics,” and this new film looks to be a prime example for both Chastain and co-star Andrew Garfield. The duo are playing Tammy Faye Bakker and Jim Bakker, real-life televangelists who built a sprawling media empire and massive fortune primarily through their program The PTL Club from 1974-1989. Known for her not-subtle makeup and warbling singing style, Tammy Faye was one of the most recognizable faces of TV Christianity in her day. The marriage finally dissolved in the early 1990s following Jim Bakker being convicted of numerous counts of fraud and conspiracy. Ever the charlatan, Bakker has continued as a huckster to this day, as the 81-year-old was selling silver supplements during the pandemic as a potential treatment for COVID-19. Looking at the trailer, it certainly shows no shortage of style, poking quite a bit of fun at the trappings of the 1970s and 1980s. Chastain in particular is practically unrecognizable at times, with costuming and makeup that changes so drastically from shot to shot that it’s impossible to form a consistent idea of what Tammy Faye Bakker really looks like. The Eyes of Tammy Faye should possess a certain satirical edge, having been directed by The Big Sick’s Michael Showalter, the veteran comedic presence of Wet Hot American Summer and many others. The tone here looks like American Hustle meets The Righteous Gemstones.
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Release Date: July 1, 2021
Director Steven Soderbergh’s upcoming film No Sudden Move finally has an official trailer, following last month’s release of the teaser coinciding with the announcement of the film’s Centerpiece Gala placement in the 2021 Tribeca Film festival. The period piece packs an all-star cast of Don Cheadle, Brendan Fraser, Kieran Culkin, Benicio del Toro, David Harbour, Jon Hamm, Julia Fox, Amy Seimetz, Noah Jupe, Craig muMs Grant and Frankie Shaw, and also features Ray Liotta and Bill Duke. Set in Detroit in 1954, the official synopsis of the film is as follows: “No Sudden Move centers on a group of small-time criminals who are hired to steal what they think is a simple document. When their plan goes horribly wrong, their search for who hired them – and for what ultimate purpose – weaves them through all echelons of the race-torn, rapidly changing city.” By the looks of this first full trailer, it seems like we have another fun, exciting crime caper from Soderbergh on our hands. From a script written by screenwriter Ed Solomon (the Bill & Ted movies, Now You See Me movies and Men in Black), the film is produced by Casey Silver, both of whom Soderbergh collaborated with for Mosaic, his HBO series. Following the film’s world premiere at Tribeca on June 18, it will premiere wide on HBO Max on July 1.—Brianna Zigler
Director: Leigh Janiak
Release Date: July 2, 9, and 16, 2021
Netflix has unveiled the first full trailer for its ambitious, quasi-slasher horror trilogy Fear Street, an adaptation of the R.L. Stine book series of the same name. In comparison with the better known Goosebumps, the Fear Street series was intended for an older “young adult” readership, and the stories typically had a darker and more reality grounded tone, rather than the supernatural/monster frights of Goosebumps. The film series looks to preserve that more serious horror tone, while still being accessible to the mainstream Netflix viewership, which we can only imagine is a delicate tightrope to walk. Still, the trailer appears to be pulling it off fairly well. The Fear Street trilogy is composed of three films, titled Part 1: 1994, Part 2: 1978 and Part 3: 1666. It explores the wicked history of the town of Shadyside, which was apparently cursed by a witch hundreds of years ago and is now subject to the occasional massacre, ‘ala the town of Derry in It. Each era seems to evoke a different horror aesthetic—the skull-faced killer in 1994 feels like Ghostface from the Scream series, while the camp-based second installment is begging for a Jason Voorhees-style figure. The final installment, on the other hand, would seem to be mining more of the arthouse horror aesthetic of The Witch. Fear Street is directed by Leigh Janiak, best known for her genuinely disturbing 2014 horror movie Honeymoon with Rose Leslie. One will note that there is a minor Stranger Things reunion happening here, as both Maya Hawke (Robin) and Sadie Sink (Max) are appearing in Fear Street, although its unclear if their characters would be interacting. The three films also star Kiana Madeira, Olivia Welch, Benjamin Flores Jr., Gillian Jacobs, Ryan Simpkins, Ashley Zukerman and many others.—Jim Vorel