Back in 2005, Sin City set a new bar for graphic novel adaptation – as director Robert Rodriguez delivered an uncompromising adaptation of Frank Miller’s fan-favorite print series. Aided by an all-star cast and stunning visual design, the film was a hit with Sin City readers, film critics, and casual moviegoers alike. Combined with the success of 300 one year later, the project dramatically increased Miller’s reputation – leading to the writer’s first solo directing job, The Spirit, in 2008. Even though The Spirit adaptation fell short of expectations, moviegoers remained eager to play in the stylized worlds that Miller had crafted in print.
With a vast list of Sin City stories waiting to be adapted, a sequel to Rodriguez and Miller’s 2005 movie seemed like an obvious choice for a studio green light. Yet, nine full years went by (in which a 300 follow-up, Rise of an Empire, made it to screen) before Sin City fans would get to see a new live-action installment. Now, following the first trailer and countless images, Dimension Films has unveiled the second full length trailer for Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. You can watch the trailer at the top of the page (if you haven’t already).
Unlike prior footage, which focused heavily on reminding viewers of Sin City‘s unique visual aesthetic, the latest full length trailer finally digs into key Dame to Kill For storylines and characters. Until this point, the studio appeared to be resting heavily on past success and brand loyalty – instead of actually giving moviegoers a genuine reason to get excited for the Sin City sequel. Without a doubt, more Sin City was always an intriguing prospect but it’s been nearly a decade since the first film hit theaters and, in that time, interest in the film series has cooled a bit.
Had the sequel arrived in theaters a couple years after Sin City and 300, Dimension Films might have been able to rest on their laurels but casual moviegoers may need a bit more convincing after all this time – especially since A Dame to Kill For will be going-up against a number of well-established and active brands when it releases in late August: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, and The Expendables 3. No doubt, the film can rely on guaranteed ticket purchases from die-hard fans but it’ll need to cull a solid non-comic book reader following if the studio hopes to turn a substantial profit.
Fortunately, the new trailer does an admirable job of laying out all the key players – while also helping to streamline the narrative setup a bit. As mentioned, the prior trailer had relied heavily on assuming that moviegoers would be excited to see (or at the very least remember) key characters like Marv (Mickey Rourke) and Nancy Callahan (Jessica Alba) – without providing much context for their return. However, the second trailer dramatically improves on the prior effort – managing to present the interconnected plots from Miller’s source installments “A Dame to Kill For” and “Just Another Saturday Night” along with newly crafted chapters “The Long Bad Night” and “The Fat Loss” under a (somewhat) straightforward umbrella tale of political corruption, betrayal, and vengeance.
Of course, the individual arcs are not as interconnected as the trailer might imply but the new montage of footage should help get casual filmgoers into the theater – where it will, once again, be up to Miller and Rodriguez to present any twists, turns, and connections in a way that appeals to both longtime readers and audience members who are simply looking for an enjoyable two hour experience.
Still, for those that were already on board Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, and preferred the subtle approach of previous marketing efforts, the new trailer still provides cool new visual set pieces and a helpful refresher course – listing off the diverse roster of characters: the new (example: Joseph Gordon-Levitt), the returning (example: Mickey Rourke), the recast (example: Dennis Haysbert), and the one with a different face (example: Josh Brolin).
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For will release on August 22, 2014.
Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for any future updates on the Sin City series, as well as movie, TV, and gaming news.