Universal Pictures has released the first look teaser trailer for Melina Matsoukas’ “Queen and Slim,” starring Academy Award nominee Daniel Kaluuya (“Get Out”) and introducing newcomer Jodie Turner-Smith. The Bonnie and Clyde-esque caper drama is written by Emmy award-winning writer Lena Waithe (“Master of None”). Kaluuya and Turner-Smith star as a pair on a first date until things get tangled onto the edge when they’re pulled over that night. The trailer dropped during the BET Awards Sunday night.
While on a forgettable first date together in Ohio, a black man (Get Out’s Daniel Kaluuya) and a black woman (Jodie Turner-Smith, in her first starring feature-film role), are pulled over for a minor traffic infraction. The situation escalates, with sudden and tragic results, when the man kills the police officer in self-defense. Terrified and in fear for their lives, the man, a retail employee, and the woman, a criminal defense lawyer, are forced to go on the run. But the incident is captured on video and goes viral, and the couple unwittingly become a symbol of trauma, terror, grief and pain for people across the country.
As they drive, these two unlikely fugitives will discover themselves and each other in the most dire and desperate of circumstances, and will forge a deep and powerful love that will reveal their shared humanity and shape the rest of their lives.
Waithe, who won a Primetime Emmy for her writing on an episode of “Master of None,” adapts the work of best-selling author James Frey to tell the story, which she says was also inspired by the film “Set It Off.” This is the first feature length project for both Waithe and director Matsoukas, the Grammy-winning music video director whose galore of video shorts includes “Beyoncé: Formation.” First insights from production started churning out back in April at CinemaCon. A stunning first clip was presented by Waithe, who dubs the film “protest art.”
Waithe in an interview with Complex this month:
“It’s such a huge compliment. Bonnie & Clyde changed the conversation. Thelma & Louise is iconic. But the thing that they aren’t realizing is another reference for me would be Set It Off. In terms of black people being at a very difficult place with their back being against the wall and nothing that they [can] do [but] to keep going.”
The cast includes Kaluuya and Turner-Smith, as well as Chloë Sevigny and Bokeem Woodbine. “Queen and Slim” is produced by Bron Studios, as well as Waithe’s own company, Hillman Grad Productions. Also on the production are 3Blackdot, De La Revolución Films and Makeready. Universal Pictures is distributing the film worldwide on November 27.