YouTube Originals ups its, er, original movie game with the trailer for its Susan Sarandon headlined drama, Viper Club. With YouTube progressively stepping its game up in the original series division (most notably, on the Karate Kid sequel series Cobra Kai), it's to be expected that the YouTube-backed streaming subscription service would start doing the same with films.
So far, the YouTube offshoot has limited its efforts to mostly documentaries about modern pop stars (Demi Lovato: Simply Complicated) or genre fare driven by internet personalities (Logan Paul in The Thinning), as far as original movies are concerned. Viper Club sees the service expand its brand to encompass more prestigious fare, in the form of a drama-thriller about an ER nurse (Sarandon) whose journalist son is captured while carrying out a dangerous assignment in the Middle East.
Viper Club is the second featured directed by Maryam Keshavarz and marks the latest step in the filmmaker's ongoing evolution, following her efforts on the acclaimed Iranian coming of age drama Circumstance and an episode of Ava DuVernay's heralded OWN drama series, Queen Sugar. The film further reunites Keshavarz with her Circumstance script consultant Jonathan Mastro (who shares cowriting credit with the director) and is being distributed theatrically by Roadside Attractions. You can watch the Viper Club trailer in the space below.
Sarandon is joined in the Viper Club cast by a team of seasoned character actors that includes Matt Bomer (Magic Mike XXL), Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie) and Adepero Oduye (Pariah), as well as Lola Kirke (Mozart in the Jungle) and Julian Morris (Hand of God) in supporting roles. The movie is making its world premiere at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival today (September 10, at the time of writing), thus demonstrating YouTube's hopes that Keshavaraz's film will become a legitimate awards season contender for them.
With Amazon Studios and Netflix having brought multiple titles to compete in this year's film festivals in Venice and Toronto (including early Oscar frontrunners Beautiful Boy and Roma, respectively), now's as fitting a time as any for YouTube to bring its own awards season hopeful to the table. The company has a lot of catching up to do before it's in the same league as its streaming competitors (both of which have Oscar wins to their name already), but Viper Club is both an important step forward into that world for them and yet another intriguing late 2018 offering from Roadside (which also has The Oath and Ben in Back in the pipeline).
Source: YouTube Originals
- Viper Club (2018) release date: Oct 26, 2018