Steve Carell plays real-life assault victim Mark Hogancamp in the trailer for Robert Zemeckis' Welcome to Marwen. The film is based on Jeff Malmberg's acclaimed 2010 documentary Marwencol, which explores how the real Hogancamp found a therapeutic outlet in his miniatures art, after he was physically brutalized and left with severe brain damage that robbed him of much of his memory. Welcome to Marwen marks the second documentary-turned movie that Zemeckis has directed in recent years, after his 3D film The Walk (which was released in 2015).
Written by Zemeckis and Caroline Thompson (Edward Scissorhands, Black Beauty, City of Ember), Welcome to Marwen reveals what happens when, one night, Mark is viciously attacked by a group of Nazis outside a bar that he helps his friend Caralala (Baby Driver's Eiza González) to run. Unable to afford therapy after he is released from the hospital more than a month later, Mark instead fuels his recovery by constructing a 1/6-scale WWII era village in his backyard. Universal has now released a trailer for the film online, following its sneak peek at CineEurope last week.
As the trailer illustrates, Welcome to Marwen (which was formally titled The Women of Marwen) dips its toe into fantasy by exploring the characters and world of Marwen: the fictional village that Mark assembles. Marwen's imaginary citizens are brought to life by names like Diane Kruger (In the Fade) and Falk Hentschel (Legends of Tomorrow), as well as Zemeckis' own wife Leslie. Meanwhile, in the film's real world, Leslie Mann costars as Mark's new neighbor and Janelle Monáe plays a friend that Mark makes during his time in rehab. You can watch the trailer in the space above, then check out the film's poster, below.
Welcome to Marwen arrives in theaters over this year's Thanksgiving frame. It will have some fierce competition when it does and square off with films like Creed II for attention from adult moviegoers. Zemeckis' last film, the WWII romance/thriller Allied, didn't have much luck when it opened during the same holiday week two years ago. That movie got lukewarm reviews and only earned $119.5 million at the global box office against an $85 million budget. Welcome to Marwen should have an easier time since it cost less, but it remains to be seen if the film generates the sort of awards season buzz that Allied did not.
It will also be interesting to see if Welcome to Marwen has a greater or smaller cultural impact than Marwencol. Zemeckis' The Walk was mostly celebrated, yet failed to leave the lasting impression that Man on Wire - the Oscar-winning documentary that inspired that film - did, seven years earlier. There are certainly timely elements to Welcome to Marwen, in the way it examines the limitations of healing through art and champions the women in Mark's life (not to mention, its welcome anti-Nazi message). For those same reasons, it's possible that Zemeckis will fare better at tapping into the zeitgeist with his second documentary-turned movie than his first effort in that area.
Source: Universal Pictures
- Welcome to Marwen (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018