Trailer-wise this week, we saw: Twitter go batshit over the ‘Joker’ teaser, featuring Joaquin Phoenix as the world’s most famous supervillain; a first look at Jim Jarmusch’s all-star zombie movie; clips for two returning series; more Zac Efron as Ted Bundy; and Kristen Stewart as one half of the most notorious literary hoax of the 21st century. Check it out.
Cobra Kai, Season 2
Because you can never sweep too many legs, Johnny. The Karate Kid spin-off/franchise extension/YouTube original returns on April 24th. “Cobra Kai … never dies!”
The Dead Don’t Die
Jim Jarmusch makes a zombie comedy, costarring Adam Driver, Bill Murray and Tom Waits? What gods did we please?! The indie-film godhead finally takes his “deadpan” sense of humor to its logical destination. It looks like Zombie Movie 101: corpses have risen from the grave, unsuspecting locals become someone’s lunch, the authorities have to combat these shuffling fiends one headshot at a time, yadda yadda yadda. You can already tell from the trailer, however, that the Stranger Than Paradise director has put his own spin on this. Just the way that Driver says the word “ghouls” makes us howl. And that’s before you realize that long-haired decomposing guy in the diner is Iggy Freakin’ Pop. It opens June 14th, which we are hereby declaring a national holiday.
Echo in the Canyon
Laurel Canyon in the 1960s earned its reputation as a boho enclave par excellence and a songwriter’s hot spot; the amount of genuinely classic rock that came out of that utopian Los Angeles neighborhood back then was awe-inspiring. And lucky for you, Jakob Dylan has volunteered to be your tour guide in this doc that talks to the folks who made it happen, ranging from producer Lou Adler to musicians like Brian Wilson and Jackson Browne to superfans like the late, great Tom Petty. Bonus: You get to see Dylan and a host of famous friends (Beck, Norah Jones, Regina Spektor) work on their tribute album to the bygone California-dreamin’ scene. It hits theaters May 24th.
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile
It will forever be known as the Zac-Efron-plays-Ted-Bundy movie, and you can see from this trailer how the upcoming Netflix docudrama weaponizes its star’s good looks in order to sell the mass murdered as one charming ladykiller. Lily Collins plays Liz Kendall, the girlfriend who starts to entertain notions that maybe her man is hiding something (Ted, just admit it); John Malkovich is a judge who hands down a sentence to the defendant when he’s not chewing great wads of scenery. It hits the streaming service and select theaters on May 3rd.
You remember when the internet went all batshit crazy over some trailer Wednesday morning? Yes, this is the one. Joaquin Phoenix unveils his own unique antihero stamp on the Clown Prince of the Crime, in what looks to be a long, dark, Batman-less night of the soul. This teaser had folks on Twitter instantly comparing it to Taxi Driver, which, come on — slow your roll a bit there, people. At the very least, it looks like the Oscar-nominated actor has put 110-percent commitment into the roll, looks good in a purple suit and is doing some really weird things with his back muscles. Oct. 4th.
Let’s say you’ve just come to town, and you’re crashing on this very nice lady’s couch, and it all seems like one big metropolitan daydream. Then the older woman asks if you can keep a secret, and she shows you her book. Only it has a different name on it: J.T. Leroy. Also it has a different author’s photo on the back, which suggests this was written young waif-like boy. And then once the book becomes a huge success, she convinces you to dress up like this young, fake literary phenomenon and pretend to be him at book signings and public events, because it’s not like the lady can do it, right? Laura Dern is Laura Albert, the mastermind behind this hoax. Kristen Stewart is Savannah Knoop, the young lady who was conscripted into this con. Check it out on April 26th.
Trial By Fire
Because what’s a summer movie season without the occasional based-on-a-true-story drama nestled on between the tentpole blockbusters? Edward Zwick (Glory) directs this recounting of how inmate Cameron Todd Willingham (Jack O’Connell) and Texas do-gooder Elizabeth Gilbert (Laura Dern, who seems to be having a busy year) fought to get him off Death Row. The trailer makes this look … earnest, to say theleast. May 17th.
Yellowstone, Season 2
“All the angels are gone, son … there’s only devils left.” This surprise hit from the Paramount Network will return for its sophomore season on June 19th, and the first trailer is here to remind you of a couple of things. Namely, that: Kevin Costner looks great in a cowboy hat; creator Taylor Sheridan has a knack for hardboiled Western dialogue; this show is incredibly well-cast (Gil Birmingham, Kelly Reilly, Wes Bentley, Cole Hauser); and Justified‘s Neal McDonaugh, who seems to be set up as the season’s resident villain, can do blue-eyed menace like nobody’s business.