Universal Pictures has released the first trailer for the fascinating upcoming film Queen & Slim. The movie hails from a story idea by James Frey (yes, the Million Little Pieces guy) that was then written as a screenplay by The Chi creator Lena Waithe, and it tackles incredibly incendiary subject matter: the killing of a police officer by an African-American male. Daniel Kaluuya and newcomer Jodie Turner-Smith star as a black couple on a first date who are pulled over for a minor traffic violation, only for the situation to escalate as Kaluuya’s character kills the cop in self-defense. In fear for their lives and how this situation will be interpreted by others, the two decide to go on the run.
In the wrong hands, this premise is a disaster. But this trailer shows a keen understanding of all the nuances of this kind of situation, and I love the idea of the shooting serving as the inciting incident, as we the audience then follow the story of the two individuals on the run. There’s definitely a Bonnie and Clyde and Thelma & Louise vibe running through here.
The movie serves as the feature directorial debut of Melina Matsoukas, who helmed episodes of Insecure and Master of None (including the Waithe-penned “Thanksgiving”) as well as a number of music videos including Beyonce’s “Formation.” This would be a provocative, compelling trailer regardless, but the fact that this is a major release from Universal Pictures makes it all the more impressive. From the studio that released Green Book, no less!
Check out the Queen & Slim trailer below. The film opens in theaters on November 27th.