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kottke.org posts about trailers

Teaser Trailer for David Fincher’s The Killer

Ahh, it seems like only yesterday that I read the news about David Fincher’s upcoming film The Killer. And it was. So now here’s the teaser trailer — interest piqued. What will tomorrow bring?

The Killer stars Michael Fassbender and will make its premiere at the Venice Film Festival on Sept 3, then a limited release in theaters, and then will be streaming on Netflix on Nov 10. As a refresher, here’s what Fincher has been up to lately-ish: directed Mank (2020) & Mindhunter (2017-2019), executive produced Voir and Love, Death & Robots (also directed one episode). Fun Fincher Facts: he was apparently an assistant cameraman for Return of the Jedi and did “matte photography” for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.


Copa 71 — the First Unofficial Women’s World Cup

Produced by Venus & Serena Williams and US soccer star Alex Morgan and directed by Rachel Ramsay & James Erskine, Copa 71 is a forthcoming documentary about a women’s soccer tournament that took place in Mexico City in 1971 that was the first, albeit unofficial, Women’s World Cup. A short teaser trailer is above. From a piece in Variety about the film:

In August 1971, more than 100,000 football fans packed Mexico City’s Azteca Stadium for a historic tournament. Teams from England, France, Denmark, Argentina and Italy flew in for 21 days of matches alongside Mexico’s national team, while eager sponsors lined up for a piece of the action. The players, who received a hero’s welcome wherever they went, might as well have been the Rolling Stones.

They were, in fact, a group of around 100 women — many of them teenagers — taking part in a pioneering unofficial Women’s World Cup. And just as quickly as they tasted fame, it was snatched away as the tournament was all but erased from football history.

Many of the competitors were just teenagers — from Wikipedia:

England’s team included 13-year-old Leah Caleb, 14-year-old Gill Sayell, and 15-year-old Chris Lockwood; their captain was 19-year-old Carol Wilson and they were accompanied by referee Pat Dunn as a chaperone and trainer. 15-year-old Susanne Augustesen scored a hat-trick for Denmark as they beat Mexico 3-0 in the final.

Copa 71 is premiering at the Toronto Film Festival in September and then hopefully will find its way into theaters and onto streaming. (thx, meg)


The Trailer for Ridley Scott’s Napoleon

Well, this looks good: Joaquin Phoenix and Vanessa Kirby star as Napoleon and Josephine Bonaparte in Ridley Scott’s forthcoming film about the French dictator. The film will be out in theaters on November 22 and on Apple+ sometime after that.


The Full Trailer for Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon

Oh boy. I thought the teaser trailer was good, but the full trailer for Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon just dropped and I am. So. Excited. To. SEE. THIS!

At the turn of the 20th century, oil brought a fortune to the Osage Nation, who became some of the richest people in the world overnight. The wealth of these Native Americans immediately attracted white interlopers, who manipulated, extorted, and stole as much Osage money as they could before resorting to murder.

Once again, it’s based on David Grann’s Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, which I highly recommend. Grann + Scorsese appears to be a potent combination — the latter is already signed on to adapt Grann’s latest bestseller, The Wager.


The Trailer for 3 Body Problem

I loved Liu Cixin’s The Three-Body Problem trilogy (read it twice!) and was excited/apprehensive when Netflix announced they’d partnered with Game of Thrones showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff to adapt the books into a TV series. Well, the first trailer is here and has tipped my scales more towards excited. Really looking forward to when this premieres in January March 2024 — if they get it right, this could be something really special.


The Spider-Verse Lego Scene Was Created By a 14-Year-Old Animator

After 14-year-old Preston Mutanga’s Lego version of the trailer for Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse (embedded above) went viral, the team hired him to animate a short Lego sequence for the actual film.

In the brief scene, we see a Lego version of Peter Parker as he observes a dimensional anomaly and sneaks off to the Daily Bugle’s bathroom to alert another Spider-Man about the issue. While the scene is short, it killed in my theater and it also looked as good as anything in the recent Lego films. After seeing it, a few friends of mine even commented that it must have been the same team that animated it. But nope! It was a lone teenager, actually.

You can check out more of Mutanga’s work on his YouTube channel.


Swimming Pool Stories

Icelandic filmmaker Jón Karl Helgason has made a film called Sundlaugasögur (Swimming Pool Stories) about the central role of the swimming pool in Icelandic life. The trailer is above. From Fatherly:

The swimming pool is first and foremost a communal space. “The swimming pool is your second home,” Helgason says. “You are brought up in the swimming pool.” There may be only 160, or so, swimming pools in the entire country (which is roughly 305 miles wide by 105 miles long), but every one of them is the essential social hub of a community, large or small.

The swimming pool is a public utility — as critical as the grocery store or the bank. “The British go to the pub, the French go to the cafes — in our culture, you meet in the swimming pool,” says Helgason. Swimmers come from all walks of life, from farmers to artists to clergymen to celebrities. “You can have 10, 15, 20, 30 people [in the pool] — they’re talking about politics and about their lives.”


Watch the Trailer for Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon

I’ve been waiting patiently on this one: the teaser trailer for Killers of the Flower Moon, directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio. It’s based on the fantastic book by David Grann, Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI.

In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, the Osage rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe.

Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. The family of an Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, became a prime target. One of her relatives was shot. Another was poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more and more Osage were dying under mysterious circumstances, and many of those who dared to investigate the killings were themselves murdered.

The movie will be out in theaters on October 6. Oh, and Scorsese & DiCaprio have already signed on to adapt Grann’s latest book, The Wager, which I recently read and loved.


Oppenheimer

Finally: a full-length trailer for Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, easily the movie I am most looking forward to seeing this summer. Dunkirk was one of my favorite films of the past few years, I’ve done quite a bit of reading about the Manhattan Project over the years, and I studied modern physics in college, so I am all the way in for this. Fingers crossed!

P.S. The movie is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book American Prometheus by Kai Bird and Martin Sherwin. Might have to read this one before the movie comes out.


Trailer for Dune: Part Two

Ok, here’s the first trailer for second part of Denis Villeneuve’s Dune. Time to get hyped! It comes out on November 3 — we have until then to decide what “Timothée Chalamet rides the worm” is a euphemism for.


The Galactic Menagerie, Wes Anderson’s Star Wars

It’s a no-brainer: what if you handed over a visually rich sci-fi universe with slightly campy origins to a quirky auteur with an overwhelming aesthetic, just to see what you’d get? This short trailer imagines Wes Anderson at the helm of his very own Star Wars movie, complete with Bill Murray as Obi-Wan and Owen Wilson as Darth Vader (wow).

See also, from back in 2012, Conan O’Brien’s take on Wes Anderson’s Star Wars, A Life Galactic. I would totally watch either of these movies tbh.


The Barbie Movie

I have very high hopes for Greta Gerwig’s Barbie. It would be incredible if it lives up to them and the first two teaser trailers are a good start.

Also, I love how completely and utterly thirrrrrrsty the video’s description is to establish the bona fides and pedigree of the movie’s cast and crew:

From Oscar-nominated writer/director Greta Gerwig (“Little Women,” “Lady Bird”) comes “Barbie,” starring Oscar-nominees Margot Robbie (“Bombshell,” “I, Tonya”) and Ryan Gosling (“La La Land,” “Half Nelson”) as Barbie and Ken, alongside America Ferrera (“End of Watch,” the “How to Train Your Dragon” films), Kate McKinnon (“Bombshell,” “Yesterday”), Michael Cera (“Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,” “Juno”), Ariana Greenblatt (“Avengers: Infinity War,” “65”), Issa Rae (“The Photograph,” “Insecure”), Rhea Perlman (“I’ll See You in My Dreams,” “Matilda”), and Will Ferrell (the “Anchorman” films, “Talladega Nights”). The film also stars Ana Cruz Kayne (“Little Women”), Emma Mackey (“Emily,” “Sex Education”), Hari Nef (“Assassination Nation,” “Transparent”), Alexandra Shipp (the “X-Men” films), Kingsley Ben-Adir (“One Night in Miami,” “Peaky Blinders”), Simu Liu (“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”), Ncuti Gatwa (“Sex Education”), Scott Evans (“Grace and Frankie”), Jamie Demetriou (“Cruella”), Connor Swindells (“Sex Education,” “Emma.”), Sharon Rooney (“Dumbo,” “Jerk”), Nicola Coughlan (“Bridgerton,” “Derry Girls”), Ritu Arya (“The Umbrella Academy”), Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Dua Lipa and Oscar-winner Helen Mirren (“The Queen”).

Gerwig directed “Barbie” from a screenplay by Gerwig & Oscar nominee Noah Baumbach (“Marriage Story,” “The Squid and the Whale”), based on Barbie by Mattel. The film’s producers are Oscar nominee David Heyman (“Marriage Story,” “Gravity”), Robbie, Tom Ackerley and Robbie Brenner, with Michael Sharp, Josey McNamara, Ynon Kreiz, Courtenay Valenti, Toby Emmerich and Cate Adams serving as executive producers.

Gerwig’s creative team behind the camera included Oscar-nominated director of photography Rodrigo Prieto (“The Irishman,” “Silence,” “Brokeback Mountain”), six-time Oscar-nominated production designer Sarah Greenwood (“Beauty and the Beast,” “Anna Karenina”), editor Nick Houy (“Little Women,” “Lady Bird”), Oscar-winning costume designer Jacqueline Durran (“Little Women,” “Anna Karenina”), visual effects supervisor Glen Pratt (“Paddington 2,” “Beauty and the Beast”), music supervisor George Drakoulias (“White Noise,” “Marriage Story”) and Oscar-winning composer Alexandre Desplat (“The Shape of Water,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel”).

Is that….everybody? In the world?


Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City

The top two comments on YouTube sum this trailer for Asteroid City up pretty well: “Just when you don’t think it can get more Wes Anderson, it gets more Wes Anderson.” and “You know a Wes Anderson movie is a Wes Anderson movie, but you can’t really describe a Wes Anderson movie to someone who has never seen a Wes Anderson movie.” Here’s the synopsis:

The itinerary of a Junior Stargazer/Space Cadet convention (organized to bring together students and parents from across the country for fellowship and scholarly competition) is spectacularly disrupted by world-changing events.

Does it even matter to know this? At this point, you’re either throwing money at the screen after watching this trailer (*raises hand*) or you’re just not interested. For those in the former camp, Asteroid City opens in theaters on June 16.

Update: Asteroid City marks the first Wes Anderson movie without Bill Murray since Bottle Rocket — the actor came down with Covid-19 just before filming began and had to withdraw.


Succession, The Final Season

The official trailer for the now-confirmed final season of Succession (until they do one more, like 12 years from now). Premieres on HBO Max March 26. As I said when the teaser trailer dropped in January, Succession is my current pick for The Best Show on TV Right Now and I’m excited (and sad) for this final season!


A Movie Trailer Editor Deconstructs Iconic Trailers

Bill Neil is a movie trailer editor at Buddha Jones and in this video he guides us through a short history of movie trailers — from Dr. Strangelove in the 60s to Neil’s own Nope trailer — and gently picks them apart to show us how they work. I enjoyed hearing all of the vocabulary for the techniques that they use: rug pull, bumper, diegetic, rise, and signature sound (aka leitmotif).


Ruthless: Monopoly’s Secret History

Now showing on American Experience on PBS: Ruthless: Monopoly’s Secret History.

For generations, Monopoly has been America’s favorite board game, a love letter to unbridled capitalism and — for better or worse — the impulses that make our free-market society tick. But behind the myth of the game’s creation is an untold tale of theft, obsession and corporate double-dealing. Contrary to the folksy legend spread by Parker Brothers, Monopoly’s secret history is a surprising saga that features a radical feminist, a community of Quakers in Atlantic City, America’s greatest game company, and an unemployed Depression-era engineer. And the real story behind the creation of the game might never have come to light if it weren’t for the determination of an economics professor and impassioned anti-monopolist.

You can watch the first ten minutes of the show on YouTube or see the whole thing on the PBS website.

See also The Antimonopolist Origins of Monopoly Differ from Hasbro’s Official Story. (via @Kitbuckley)


They’re Making a Tetris Movie. And It’s a Thriller?

Well, I was not expecting the next video game to be turned into an edgy drama (an 80s Cold War techno-thriller, no less) to be Tetris, but here we are.

Taron Egerton stars in a new Apple Original Film inspired by the true story of how one man risked his life to outsmart the KGB and turn Tetris into a worldwide sensation.

If you’d have told me that this trailer was a Saturday Night Live sketch from 6 years ago, I would have believed you — and as it is, the release date of March 31 gives me pause.1 But I’ll give it a shot.

  1. I don’t actually think this is an April Fools joke — Apple doesn’t usually go in for such nonsense.↩


Succession. Season Four Teaser Trailer. Boom.

With soooo much TV these days, everyone has their own pick for The Best Show on TV Right Now and my pick, aside from the excellent & underrated My Brilliant Friend, is Succession. Since the middle of the first season, I have eagerly looked forward to each episode and I’ve been jonesing for season four since about 2 seconds after the final episode of season three aired. Plus, the opening credits are unskippable. Succession starts up again on HBO Max on March 26.


The Mandalorian. Season Three. Official Trailer.

The length of winter near the northern 45th parallel requires events to look forward to in order to feel like you’re not forever adrift in cold and dark. Big things like vacations and reunions with friends & family as well as small things like getting outside in the afternoon, having something delicious planned for dinner, or just, like, getting to the end of the day having consumed enough water.

One of the things I am looking forward to in the early spring is March 1st because a) the sun will set at an almost respectable 5:38pm instead of the current 4:40pm, and b) season three of The Mandalorian starts. This is the way.


Running with Speed

I love me a good speedrunning video, so I’m interested in seeing Running with Speed, a new feature-length documentary about people who strive to finish video games as fast as they can. You can find the movie on Amazon, Apple TV, and other such places. (thx, rex)


Trailer for The 1619 Project TV Series

Hulu and the NY Times are teaming up to bring Nikole Hannah-Jones’ The 1619 Project to television.

In keeping with the original project, the series seeks to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the very center of our national narrative. The episodes — “Democracy,” “Race,” “Music,” “Capitalism,” “Fear,” and “Justice” — are adapted from essays from The New York Times No. 1 bestselling “The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story” and examine how the legacy of slavery shapes different aspects of contemporary American life.

The six-episode limited series will premiere January 26 on Hulu.


The Trailer for Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer

Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book American Prometheus (Kindle), Christopher Nolan’s newest film follows theoretical physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer as he leads the Manhattan Project to build the world’s first atomic weapon during World War II. If this film is just 50% slow-motion IMAX-scale fluid dynamics simulations, I don’t think I’d be that mad.

I’m curious to see if this film has one of Nolan’s signature time tricks — aside from the Batmen, they almost all do.

Oppenheimer comes out in the US on July 23, 2023.

P.S. If you want to read an excellent book about the Manhattan Project, you can’t do better than The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes — one of my all-time favorite books.


Hell Yeah, Spider-man: Across the Spider-Verse

They just nailed the tone and aesthetic with these Spider-Verse movies. Really looking forward to seeing this one.

As a refresher, here’s how the team at Sony Pictures Animation created the distinctive look and feel of the first Spider-Verse movie.


Trailer for Obi-Wan Kenobi

May the 4th be with you and here’s the trailer for the upcoming Disney+ series, Obi-Wan Kenobi.

The story begins 10 years after the dramatic events of “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith” where Obi-Wan Kenobi faced his greatest defeat — the downfall and corruption of his best friend and Jedi apprentice, Anakin Skywalker, who turned to the dark side as evil Sith Lord Darth Vader.


Weird: The Al Yankovic Story

You have to admire Daniel Radcliffe for his movie & theater role choices since Harry Potter. He’s done Swiss Army Man, Equus on Broadway, all sorts of small & independent films, several on- and off-Broadway plays, and now he’s starring as Al in a Weird Al Yankovic biopic. And……it works? Variety calls it a “scripted mockumentary”. I’ll watch.


Marcel The Shell With Shoes On, The Movie

Dean Fleischer-Camp and Jenny Slate are turning the subject of their series of short films into a feature length movie. Marcel The Shell With Shoes On, shot in a mockumentary style, features the titular character searching for his family. The trailer is very cute. Here’s the original short, from 2010. (via cool stuff ride home)


Apollo 10 1/2

From Richard Linklater (Boyhood, A Scanner Darkly) comes a new Netflix movie called Apollo 10 1/2, in which a young boy growing up in Houston, TX in the 60s gets recruited by NASA to land a accidentally-too-small lunar lander on the Moon. It’s animated1 and premieres on Netflix on April 1.

  1. The movie is rotoscoped, like Linklater’s A Scanner Darkly. I have to say, the rotoscoping effect is not my favorite. Why couldn’t this have been live action? I bet it would find more of an audience that way…↩


My Brilliant Friend, Season Three

So, I have been waiting for months for season three of HBO’s My Brilliant Friend series (based on Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels) and somehow it has snuck in1 and started without me noticing! Anyway, the s03 trailer is above, the first episode aired earlier this week & is on HBO Max now, and new episodes will follow every Monday.

If you haven’t seen the show, you should check out the first two seasons first…this show is a gem and I wish HBO was doing more to promote it.

  1. I’ve logged into HBO Max like 4 times this week and it has shown me nothing about the show, even though I watched the first two seasons of it. Even now, I had to dig to find it. Algorithm, you had one job…↩


The Green Planet

The Green Planet is a new 5-part nature series from the BBC and David Attenborough that focuses on the Earth’s plant life.

Using specialist cameras, this spectacular series allows us to travel beyond the power of the human eye, to look closer at the interconnected world of plants, showcasing over two decades of new discoveries. From deserts, tropical jungles and underwater worlds to seasonal lands and our own urban environment, each episode introduces a set of plants, reveals the battles they face, and the ingenious ways they’ve found to survive.

The trailer is above and here are some clips and behind-the-scenes looks at what it takes to capture some of these incredible scenes.

The Green Planet has already started airing in Britain on BBC, but we won’t be able to see it here in the US until July on PBS.


The Vega Brothers from Quentin Tarantino

One of the (I would assume) many movie ideas from Quentin Tarantino that never quite got off the ground was a prequel about the Vega brothers starring Michael Madsen (Reservoir Dogs’ Vic Vega) and John Travolta (Pulp Fiction’s Vincent Vega). In this imagined trailer for The Vega Brothers, Luís Azevedo cleverly uses footage from older films starring Madsen & Travolta that Tarantino synthesized into Reservoir Dogs & Pulp Fiction as well as subsequent movies starring Madsen & Travolta that were in turn influenced by Reservoir Dogs & Pulp Fiction and fashions it into a coherent, fun narrative.