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 a first look at the long-awaited (and semi-leaked) Spider-Man: No Way Home as well as Kristen Stewart’s take on Princess Diana in Spencer. Filling things out are a new feature by Jane Campion and an old (at least it SEEMS old) entry to the Kingsman franchise.
Director: Jon Watts
Release Date: December 17, 2021
Spider-Man has a bad track record with doctors, two of which play key roles in the highly anticipated (and highly leaked) first trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home. First, Doctor Strange. Benedict Cumberbatch’s goateed surgeon/sorcerer supreme is filling in as Peter Parker’s other father figure that happened to play Sherlock Holmes and, when asked if there’s a way to undo the unmasking that Spidey was served at the end of Far From Home, tackles the challenge in a way so unhinged as to send Wong packing on a nice safe vacation. Naturally, the multiverse opens up, things start crashing down and the CGI nonsense is only broken up by a few returning characters crossing over from director Sam Raimi’s original Spider-Man trilogy: Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock (another doctor intent on screwing up Peter’s life) and the telltale pumpkin bomb of the Green Goblin. Much of this had been predicted through casting details and the fact that the film was tying in with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which Raimi is directing, but seeing theories pay off should satisfying the true MCU crackpots out there. Everyone else better start taking notes, because things are about to get complicated. The only real question is whether former live-action Spider-Men Tobey Maguire or Andrew Garfield will drop by—something to mull over while you rewatch Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, a great movie that already miraculously pulled off this plot and won an Oscar for its trouble.—Jacob Oller
Director: Pablo Larraín
Release Date: November 5, 2021
After debuting at CinemaCon on Wednesday, the first teaser for Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larraín’s Princess Diana biopic, Spencer, has been released to the public. Starring Kristen Stewart as the late British Royal, the film takes a look at the later years of her life in her marriage to Charles, Prince of Wales (Jack Farthing). The official synopsis from distributor Neon reads as follows: “The marriage of Princess Diana and Prince Charles has long since grown cold. Though rumors of affairs and a divorce abound, peace is ordained for the Christmas festivities at the Queen’s Sandringham Estate. There’s eating and drinking, shooting and hunting. Diana knows the game. But this year, things will be profoundly different.” The teaser features a haunting array of brief shots from the film while a moody rendition of “Perfect Day” by Lou Reed plays in the background, and one moment at the end fleetingly shows off Stewart’s interpretation of Diana’s voice. Spencer features a supporting cast including Sally Hawkins, Timothy Spall, Sean Harris, Richard Sammel, John Keogh, Amy Manson and Niklas Kohrt. The script was penned by Eastern Promises and Locked Down scribe Steven Knight, with a score composed by Jonny Greenwood (Phantom Thread, There Will Be Blood). Spencer follows Larraín’s most recent film, the Spanish-language Ema, which released in the United States this month after a delay due to COVID-19, and he served as the director for all eight episodes of the horror miniseries Lisey’s Story this summer. It is also not the filmmaker’s first try at a biopic, having directed Natalie Portman in Jackie, his take on the life of Jackie Kennedy immediately following the death of her husband.—Brianna Zigler
Director: Jane Campion
Release Date: November 17, 2021
Jane Campion’s return to feature film after a decade-plus interlude—during which she directed a couple short films and created the BBC Two series Top of the Lake and its sequel Top of the Lake: China Girl—commences with The Power of the Dog, which released its first trailer courtesy of Netflix. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch as fearsome rancher Phil Burbank, the film is set in 1925 “when [Phil’s] brother brings home a new wife and her son,” and “Phil torments them until he finds himself exposed to the possibility of love,” according to the official synopsis. Jesse Plemons stars as Phil’s brother George, while Kirsten Dunst stars as George’s wife Rose and Kodi Smit-McPhee plays her son Peter. The supporting cast is filled out by Thomasin McKenzie, Frances Conroy, Keith Carradine, Peter Carroll and Adam Beach. The minute-long teaser gives us a brief glimpse at the film through a series of unsettling imagery and little dialogue, over which Phil’s menacing whistle hangs. If the trailer is any indication, The Power of the Dog will be a tense, atmospheric affair, something which Campion is all too familiar with. The highly anticipated film will also feature an original score by Jonny Greenwood, Paul Thomas Anderson’s frequent collaborator. Positioned as a serious awards contender, The Power of the Dog is planned for a limited theatrical release starting November 17 before Netflix releases it to stream on its platform December 1. Both of these releases follow the film’s world premiere at Venice International Film Festival and centerpiece screening at New York Film Festival.—Brianna Zigler
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Release Date: December 22, 2021
Don’t look now, but we’re beginning to approach another release date for one of the most oft-delayed Hollywood films in recent memory: The King’s Man. The prequel to the action-packed Kingsman series has been one of the unluckiest films out there during the pandemic era, although the initial missed release date for The King’s Man actually predated any serious worries about the pandemic in the U.S., having originally been supposed to arrive in Nov. 2019. Currently, it’s scheduled for Dec. 22, 2021, which will put it roughly 25 months after that initial release date. It’s no wonder that 20th Century Studios wanted to put out a new trailer, in order to remind audiences that this film still exists and has never actually seen the light of day. The entire history of The King’s Man delays is an impressive one, as it has had no fewer than eight different release dates so far. At various points, it has been meant to come out in Nov. 2019, Feb. 2020, Sept. 2020, Feb. 2021, March 2021, Aug. 2021 and Dec. 2021. Filming happened in early 2019. As a reminder, The King’s Man takes place in the early 1900s, and documents the beginning of the super-sophisticated (and independent) international espionage and intelligence agency known as the Kingsman. Ralph Fiennes steps in here as “Orlando Oxford, Duke of Oxford,” neatly filling the “deadly British gentleman” role played by Colin Firth in the original film, and unsurprisingly he has his own protégé to train. We can’t help but wonder if this will all seem extremely familiar, especially with a synopsis like the following: “As a collection of history’s worst tyrants and criminal masterminds gather to plot a war to wipe out millions, one man and his protégé must race against time to stop them.” Still, the new trailer seen below looks absolutely packed with action, and there’s some goofy novelties to be seen here, like a gun-sword straight out of Final Fantasy VIII. The King’s Man can also boast the type of big, impressive ensemble cast that has typified the series, including Fiennes, Gemma Arterton, Rhys Ifans (as Rasputin!), Matthew Goode, Djimon Honsou, Stanley Tucci, Charles Dance, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Tom Hollander and Daniel Brühl among others. We wouldn’t be surprised if the film ended up watchable for that reason alone. Check out the full trailer below, and place your bets for if The King’s Man ends up making this December release date.—Jim Vorel