Joel and Ethan Coen are highly-respected, Oscar-winning, filmmakers who have frequently taken jabs at the Hollywood industry in which they operate, with movies like Barton Fink and The Big Lebowski, among others. The duo's upcoming film Hail, Caesar! will be their first full-blown show-business satire - one set around the mid-20th century, during Hollywood's Golden Age (as it's called).
Universal Pictures has released the first official Hail, Caesar! trailer online, and you can watch it above. The preview introduces us to the film's protagonist: one Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin), a Hollywood "fixer" whose latest batch of problems include the kidnapping of major Hollywood star Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) - the A-list leading man of the eponymous "prestige picture" - at the hands of a mysterious group that identifies itself as simply being "The Future." Mannix is loosely based on real-life Golden Age Hollywood "fixer" Joseph Edgar Allen John Mannix, as it were.
The Hail, Caesar! trailer serves up a combination of the Coen Brothers' beloved style of off-beat humor and wit, while at the same time running down through the film's impressive ensemble cast. Brolin and Clooney have both worked multiple times with the Coens before, as have such other celebrated Hail, Casear! cast members as Frances McDormand - who's married to Joel Coen and won her Oscar for the Coens' movie Fargo - and Oscar-winner Tilda Swinton (who appeared in Burn After Reading).
Other noteworthy Hail, Caesar! actors include Ralph Fiennes (The Grand Budapest Hotel) and Scarlett Johansson (Avengers: Age of Ultron), as well as Alden Ehrenreich (Beautiful Creatures), Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street), and Dolph Lundgren (The Expendables 3). To top it all off, Channing Tatum costars as a Hollywood musical star of the era - meaning, between this film and the upcoming 2015 western The Hateful Eight, Tatum shall have collaborated with both Quentin Tarantino and the Coen Brothers on separate projects in a matter of months. Not bad, right?
Working behind the scenes on Hail, Caesar! are trusted Coen Brothers collaborators; cinematographer Roger Deakins and the composer Carter Burwell (among others) - further suggesting that the project ought to be yet another quality, entertaining, and all around cleverly funny, original offering from the the filmmaking siblings. Hail, Caesar! might not be arriving in time for the late 2015/early 2016 awards season rush (unlike other upcoming period films that explore Hollywood's past, such as Trumbo), but it's not like the Coens are trying to create their own "prestige picture" here - given the targets of Hail, Caesar!'s satire, anyway.
Then again, seeing as director Steven Spielberg's Cold War drama/thriller Bridge of Spies - which was co-written by the Coen Brothers - has been (no surprise) generating positive buzz even ahead of its theatrical bow, maybe the Coens will be part of this year's awards season conversation (again), all the same...
Hail, Caesar opens in U.S. theaters on February 5th, 2016.
Source: Universal Pictures