Hollywood movie-star abductions, crises of faith, film-within-a-film shenanigans, and Channing Tatum as a tap-dancing sailor: That’s the high-brow/low-brow recipe for Hail Caesar!, the Coen Brothers‘ upcoming showbiz comedy set to hit theaters on February 5th, 2016.
The freewheeling first trailer offers a glimpse of a classic Coen plot: 1950s studio fixer Eddie Mannix finds himself overwhelmed on the set of Capitol Pictures’ latest “prestige picture” Hail Caesar!, when dimwit leading man Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) is abducted and held on a $100,000 ransom by a mysterious group called “The Future.”
The clip also showcases the “army of technicians and actors and top-notch artistic people” working on various Capitol projects – including a temperamental director (Ralph Fiennes), a scheming actress (Scarlett Johansson) and a Gene Kelly-ish hoofer (Channing Tatum). The all-star cast also features Jonah Hill, Frances McDormand, Christopher Lambert and Tilda Swinton as a gossip columnist hounding Mannix about the drama.
Though the trailer focuses primarily on the abduction storyline, it hints at deeper spiritual troubles for the overwhelmed Mannix, who is shown taking confession – only 27 hours after his previous visit. “It’s really too often,” his priest says. “You’re not that bad.”
Joel and Ethan Coen – who co-wrote, directed and produced Hail Caesar! – first mentioned the film in 2004, confirming official development last year. Following the duo’s most recent directorial effort, 2013’s Inside Llewyn Davis, they co-wrote the screenplays for the 2014 war-sports drama Unbroken (directed by Angelina Jolie) and Steven Spielberg’s upcoming historical thriller Bridge of Spies, out October 16th.