The Berlin Film Festival has announced its opening night film for 2016, and they’re going with the Coen Brothers. The fest said today that the latest comedy from the filmmaking duo, Hail, Caesar!, will kick the festival off on February 11th, which interestingly enough is a week after the movie opens in theaters stateside. The original story follows the life of a studio fixer (Josh Brolin) who is presented with plenty of problems to fix, including the kidnapping of a major studio’s befuddled star (George Clooney).
While it’s a tad disappointing that the Coen Bros. opted to sit this year’s awards race out, it’s actually quite nice to know that we’re getting an auteur-driven film in February of next year. “Good movies” don’t always have to open during the last four months of the year in order to remain “prestigious”, as was clearly exemplified by the success of Wes Anderson’ latest The Grand Budapest Hotel, which opened last year’s Berlin Film Festival before hitting theaters in March, eventually going on to win 4 Oscars.
This won’t be Joel and Ethan Coen’s first brush with Berlin—their Western True Grit opened the festival in 2011, albeit Hail, Caesar! looks to be a very different (but no less enticing) film. This remains one of my most anticipated 2016 new releases, and if one isn’t immediately won over by the promise of a new movie written and directed by the Coens, one need only look at the cast for further convincing: Scarlett Johansson, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes, Channing Tatum, Emily Beecham, David Krumoltz, Christopher Lambert, Dolph Lundgren and Jonah Hill.
Check out the film’s trailer—either for the first or the 33rd time—below. Hail, Caesar! opens in theaters on February 5, 2016.