Brand new character posters for the offbeat thriller Bad Times at the El Royale have been released, showcasing the movie's mysterious characters. The posters include actors like Chris Hesmworth, Dakota Johnson, Jon Hamm, and Jeff Bridges.
In Bad Times at the El Royale, a group of strangers cross paths at a run-down motel in the 1960s that physically straddles the state line between California and Nevada. Each stranger is harboring their own dark secret, and appear to be seeking some kind of redemption, only to face certain dangers that may end up threatening their lives. The movie stars Hemsworth, Cynthia Erivo, Bridges, Hamm, Johnson, Cailee Spaeny, and Lewis Pullman, and was written and directed by Drew Goddard (The Cabin in the Woods, Cloverfield). Now, in anticipation of the movie's October release date, character posters have been unveiled that showcase closeups of the brooding main characters lit by the title's neon glow.
Though the new character posters offer little in the way of character details, the ambiguity is fitting, given that few characters in Bad Times at the El Royale appear to be who they seem. The posters almost function as a whodunit lineup, including Hemsworth as a dangerous cult leader named Billy Lee (who appears to be the movie's main antagonist), Erivo as a struggling singer named Darlene Sweet, Bridges as a priest/thief named Father Daniel Flynn, Hamm as a vacuum cleaner salesman named Laramie Seymour Sullivan, Johnson as a mysterious criminal named Emily Summerspring, Spaeney as Emily's sister and partner-in-crime known only as Emily's Sister, and Pullman as the motel's concierge.
Despite the fact that specific plot details for the movie are limited, the posters certainly match the unique tone showcased in the Bad Times at the El Royale trailer. This tone fits in well with Goddard's filmography, which typically features a grisly aesthetic contrasted by darkly comedic undertones, similar to his work on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and his directorial debut, The Cabin in the Woods.
In fact, speaking of Goddard's unique balancing act between grisly and comedic, his involvement with the upcoming Sinister Six movie is especially fitting. Similar to Sony's Venom, The Sinister Six's greatest challenge will be in creating sympathetic, likable characters, despite the fact that they just so happen to be ruthless villains. Goddard's meticulous approach to incorporating unexpected levity in moments of darkness can play well to the movie's advantage, especially given that it'll arguably be his most mainstream project yet.