Following his tenure as everyone’s favorite boy wizard in the Harry Potter feature franchise, British actor Daniel Radcliffe has seen something of a resurgence in terms of his public image following a recent string of highly original starring turns in a number of independent films of varying thematic interests and genres. Perhaps most notably starting with his role as acclaimed Beat poet Allen Ginsberg in the 2013 indie drama Kill Your Darlings, Radcliffe has displayed an increasing interest in playing a wide array of character types – subsequently including a demonic lover in Horns, as well as his surprisingly fine tuned appearance in the off-beat rom-com What If.
And starting just last year, Radcliffe has made a string of humorous cameos in a number of studio comedies, including his nearly self-effacing turn in Trainwreck in 2015, and an uncredited tongue-in-cheek role from The Night Before. But in his upcoming comedy Swiss Army Man, Radcliffe is set to turn heads in an entirely unprecedented way as a miraculous, multi-purpose, friendly farting corpse.
In the footage featured above, Paul Dano (Love & Mercy) stars as a shipwrecked survivor on an unmapped island of uncertain origin, who comes across another stranded survivor in the form of Radcliffe’s seemingly lifeless, and flatulent, body. What ensues thereafter appears to be a highly original comedy/drama of an entirely fraternal sort, as the two fast friends set about exploring their newly found island habitat and home in the hopes of securing passage back to civilization – all while helping Radcliffe’s prone body find its way back to life.
After premiering at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival to a mixed early reception, a reportedly, “continuous stream of audience members kept standing up and bolting for the door throughout the film,” according to Variety, after being greeted with the outlandish and seemingly sophomoric premise. However, several more initial critics began to come around and warm to the film’s underlying humanity and humor as they began to see “Dano and Radcliffe, both fully committing with delectable zeal, project a certain tragic fragility that adds heft to the proceedings,” as published by THR.
It remains to be seen how warmly general audiences receieve the new film when it finally sees theatrical release and distribution from A24, especially considering the remarkable tenacity of co-directors Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s highly original narrative. That being said, A24 has been on a bit of a hot streak of late when it comes to picking up well made independent films, like Ex Machina and The Witch, and with any luck Swiss Army Man will be another bold new film to include in the studio’s growing stable of original acquisitions.
Swiss Army Man will presumably see theatrical release in the U.S. sometime within the next year.