Despite being most well known for his career as a lead vocalist and seminal member of the Jonas Brothers pop band outfit of the mid-2000s, Nick Jonas has had some experience within the world of acting in several small screen productions. After lending his talents to several features predominantly on TV (Scream Queens, Kingdom), the youngest Jonas brother has had some experience on film (including his voice over work for Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian). Now Nick is finally headed for a meatier – and more complicated – role in a film guaranteed to get people talking.
Directed by the relatively unknown Andrew Neel, Goat saw its world premiere at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival this past January, with an original screenplay by celebrated independent filmmaker David Gordon Green (Our Brand Is Crisis). Produced by cinematic provocateur and celebrity oddball James Franco (This Is the End), the new movie is slated to uncover the seedy underbelly of Greek life in American colleges, with a special emphasis taken to examine hazing rituals in particular.
In the first official trailer for Goat featured above, Ben Schnetzer stars as ‘Brad Land,’ a hopeful pledge to the highly respected, socially organized brotherhood of Phi Sigma Nu, of which his older brother Brett (Jonas) is already a member. What follows is nothing short of shocking, disturbing, and depraved, as the two biological siblings’ loyalty to one another is tested in the name of a whole new kind of fraternity.
For several years now, the hazing rituals that take place largely behind closed doors have been under closer scrutiny than ever, with several leading publications seeing fit to research and distribute some pretty damning exposes on Greek life as a whole. Whether or not Goat will prove to be incredibly truthful in its cinematic retelling of some of the worst horror stories to come out of the American fraternity sub-culture or not remains to be seen, but by the looks of things Neel’s film will be a titillating experience to say the least.
Nick Jonas will be under some scrutiny himself once the film finally sees general release, and the final word of mouth from general moviegoers and critics will set the tone for how the movie will be regarded in perpetuity. But if early buzz is anything to go on, it’s the conversation and harsh questions raised by the film that may prove most lasting. Ob that note, here’s to hoping that Goat goes on to become an unexpected hit that manages to deliver a fair and honest message about hazing rituals on American college campus fraternities.
Goat will see theatrical release in the U.S. on September 23, 2016.