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 final look at Eternals as well as new looks at The Hand of God, a Bob Ross documentary called Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed, and more.
Director: Paolo Sorrentino
Release Date: November 24, 2021
Holding its world premiere at the upcoming 78th Venice International Film Festival on September 2, the newest film from Academy Award-winning Italian director Paolo Sorrentino (The Great Beauty, The Young Pope), The Hand of God, teases a first look at his Diego Maradona-inspired feature. Shot in Sorrentino’s hometown of Naples, The Hand of God takes place in the 1980s and follows an awkward Italian teenager named Fabietto Schisa (Filippo Scotti), who is saved in a tragic accident by football legend Diego Maradona—drastically altering the course of the teen’s life. In the official synopsis, the film is purported to be Sorrentino’s “most personal story,” and “a tale of fate and family, sports and cinema, love and loss.” After its festival debut, the film is set for a limited released on November 24 and a worldwide release on December 3, followed by its streaming premiere on Netflix on December 15.—Brianna Zigler
Director: Chloe Zhao
Release Date: November 5, 2021
It feels like Disney and the MCU have been sitting on Eternals for eons at this point, but that’s oddly fitting for this particular property, which has always been about a secret, immortal alien race hiding among us. Come November, however, the Eternals will finally be revealed to the rest of us, and the new, final trailer for the MCU’s latest shows a bit of them in combat against their ancient enemy, the Deviants. Says the official synopsis for the film: After an unexpected tragedy following the events of Avengers: Endgame the Eternals—an immortal alien race created by the Celestials who have secretly lived on Earth for over 7,000 years—reunite to protect humanity from their evil counterparts, the Deviants. The Eternals, therefore, have been here among us all along, but they’ve essentially taken a vow not to specifically interfere with our struggles, in the same mold as Marvel’s own The Watcher, who sits and silently judges us from the moon. The one aspect that the Eternals are allowed to interfere in is in the machinations of their sinister flipside, the Deviants. As for why they wouldn’t have stepped in when it came to a threat as grave as Thanos and the Infinity Stones, the trailer tells us exactly why: Because the all-powerful Celestials who created the race of Eternals told them not to. The Celestials have been referenced and hinted at repeatedly throughout the MCU to date, but the only one we’ve really met was the rogue Ego the Living Planet in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. It will be interesting to get some more information on them in particular, as the massive Celestials built much of the foundations of the Marvel universe before most of them died off. A bit less exciting is the presentation here of the Deviants, who seem very CGI-heavy indeed, in a way that uncomfortably reminds one of say, Steppenwolf in Justice League. Let’s hope that director Chloé Zhao’s MCU entry actually has some compelling antagonists tucked away in its back pocket, or this could come off as pretty reductive. —Jim Vorel
Director: Joshua Rofé
Release Date: August 25, 2021
Painter Bob Ross is arguably even more of a cultural icon today, in the 2020s, than he was during the 31 seasons The Joy of Painting initially aired from 1983-1994. The uniquely soothing positive presence of Ross transformed him, years after his death in 1995 from lymphoma, into a veritable saint of internet culture—which naturally also makes him the ideal candidate for a “but did you know about the dark side?” documentary. That film is Netflix’s Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed, which is coming very soon, scheduled for an Aug. 25, 2021 release. To date, there’s been almost no marketing for this humble documentary, but today Netflix released a puzzling little teaser, which claims it “wants to” show us a trailer for the film, but “can’t.” It hints at what is apparently the rotten core of the Bob Ross media empire as it exists today. Our first thought here is to wonder whether much of this drama is exaggerated or invented, especially when we see the name of director Joshua Rofé attached. Earlier this year, Rofé brought us the Hulu documentary Sasquatch, which we felt was very well made but attempted to stretch a lack of significant results into a sensationalized story in order to hide its investigative failings. Hopefully, Netflix’s deep dive into Bob Ross uncovers more genuine material fit for a feature-length doc than Sasquatch did.—Jim Vorel
Director: Jonathan Butterell
Release Date: September 17, 2021
Based on the hit West End musical of the same name by Dan Gillespie Sells and Tom MacRae, itself inspired by the 2011 television documentary Jamie: Drag Queen at 16 directed by Jenny Popplewell, a film adaptation of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is set to hit Amazon Prime Video on September 17. Starring Max Harwood in his debut feature credit, alongside Richard E. Grant, Ralph Ineson, Sharon Horgan, Sarah Lancashire, Lauren Patel, Shobna Gulati, Adeel Akhtar, Samuel Bottomley and Charlotte Salt, the film is directed by English choreographer and its original stage director Jonathan Butterell, from a script penned by original lyricist and book writer MacRae. The story follows Sheffield teenager Jamie New, who harbors a secret aspiration to be a successful drag queen, supported by his best friend, mother and mentor, while struggling to overcome prejudice from his negative father, cruel peers and dismissive career advisors. The exciting, glamorous trailer offers a first look at the energetic movie musical which is sure to offer a bit of light in these less-than-ideal times. The original stage production hit London’s West End in 2017, the acclaim of which garnered productions in Korea, Japan, America and Australia, and it was nominated for five Laurence Olivier Awards.—Brianna Zigler