The thriller, starring Carey Mulligan, just got an exciting new trailer.
After striking up a buzz at Sundance Film Festival in January, Promising Young Woman—from Emerald Fennell (Killing Eve) and starring Carey Mulligan—became one of the year’s most talked-about upcoming releases. But like most items on the 2020 movie schedule, its release was delayed and in limbo for months due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, however, we know that the thriller is set to debut in theaters on December 25, 2020. There’s a new trailer to celebrate the news, too.
The dark comedy follows a young woman named Cassie (Mulligan), a med school dropout who pretends to be drunk at bars to lure in “nice guys” who take her home and plan to take advantage of her. Before they can, though, she reveals she’s sober and plots her revenge. The story hits back at the victim-blaming women face when they come forward with experiences of sexual harassment or assault, and the misled belief that a woman can “ruin a man’s life” by accusing him of misconduct.
Here’s what you need to know about Promising Young Woman.
Laverne Cox also stars, and Margot Robbie produces.
Cox (Orange Is the New Black) joins Mulligan onscreen, along with comedian Bo Burnham, Alison Brie (GLOW), Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights), Jennifer Coolidge (Legally Blonde), Max Greenfield (New Girl), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Superbad), Chris Lowell (Private Practice), Sam Richardson (Veep), Molly Shannon (Superstar), and Clancy Brown (The Shawshank Redemption).
Fennell is also producing with Margot Robbie, her husband Tom Ackerley, and Josey McNamara through their production company, LuckyChap Entertainment.
Fennell wanted to subvert the revenge film stereotype.
Fennell, known for penning the second season of Killing Eve and playing Camilla Parker Bowles in The Crown, makes her directorial debut with Promising Young Woman.
“When I was thinking about Promising Young Woman, I wanted to make a revenge movie, but a movie about how a woman, a real woman, might take revenge, which is different I think to how we normally see it,” she told The Los Angeles Times. “In many ways, it’s a revenge thriller, it’s a romantic comedy, it subverts a lot of tropes we’re used to seeing.
“So one of the first things I thought of was, ‘I wonder what would happen if I went to a bar and pretended to be drunk — really, really, drunk. If somebody hit on me and then realized I wasn’t drunk, would they feel weird about it?’ And if the answer is yes, which I believe it is, then the argument that there’s nothing wrong with that method of seduction is null and void. You only get caught out, you only feel caught out, if you’re doing something you know you shouldn’t be.”
She’s also unsure of the shorthand of calling the film a “#MeToo-era revenge thriller.” Fennell added to the Times, “I think it’s a difficult one. Really, firstly, and this is something I do feel quite strongly, it feels a bit icky to use a movement as a kind of jumping-off point for what is essentially a commercial enterprise.” She also started writing the film before the #MeToo movement resurged.
It’s already getting some Oscar buzz.
Both Mulligan and Promising Young Woman are among several Academy Award prediction conversations, including those of Entertainment Weekly, IndieWire, and Variety. Plus, the film’s theatrical arrival just before the end of the year places it right in the Oscars race. (Nominations will be announced March 15.)
If you still refer to Rotten Tomatoes ratings, PYW has a 92 percent at the time of writing.
There’s a fun, woman-led soundtrack.
We’re not just talking about the spine-chilling remix of Britney Spears’s “Toxic” in the trailer. Paris Hilton’s infamous 2006 smash, “Stars Are Blind,” is also in the film. Such song choices were intentional, Fennell says.
“A lot of songs in this film are for a generation of women; these are all songs that we love and maybe culturally we’ve been told that like eye-roll, guilty pleasure — but fuck off, I love Britney Spears, I love that Paris Hilton song,” she told WWD.