Did the New ‘Captain Marvel’ Trailer Show Us a Scene From the End of the Movie?

The first time I watched the new trailer for “Captain Marvel,” it seemed like all sizzle and no steak — totally sick and generally awesome, but light on details. It made sense, considering the way Marvel likes to keep important details under wraps. They’d naturally want to save the good plot stuff for the movie itself and not give it all away like some other studios tend to do.

But after a couple more viewings things, I realized that actually it’s full of little details that could be telling us a lot about what’s in store. And one of these details involves a dialogue exchange that feels very much like something that would take place late in the movie. Maybe even immediately before the climactic fight.

It’s not immediately obvious that the exchange in question even is one, because it involves one bit of dialogue from early in the trailer and another bit that comes far later. The first part comes right after the Marvel logo, when Annette Bening’s unnamed character is telling Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) about her backstory.

Also Read: The Biggest Questions We Have After That Intense New ‘Captain Marvel’ Trailer

“Your life began the day it nearly ended. We found you with no memory. We made you one of us, so you could live longer, stronger, superior. You were reborn.”

It’s actually a weird line even in the context of the trailer — other dialogue indicates that for at least a while Carol is going to think she’s just a Kree alien, and not a human from Earth. So that line above feels like it’s part of a late stage conversations on those grounds alone. But something Captain Marvel herself says near the end of the trailer reinforces that idea.

“I’m not gonna fight your war. I’m going to end it.”

Also Read: How Will ‘Captain Marvel’ Play Into That Wild ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Ending?

Before connecting those two lines to each other I remarked to one of my colleagues here at TheWrap that Carol’s comment felt like a defiant response to the main villain, who would be somebody who has been manipulating her. And then I noticed that we get a brief glimpse at the scenery when she’s making that declaration.

Here’s Captain Marvel delivering that line:

And here’s Bening delivering the other line from the beginning of the trailer.

That’s pretty obviously the same place, and with standard shot reverse shot dialogue framing.

The vibe from these first two trailers is that the structure of the movie will be something like: in the first act, Carol chases the Skrull Talos (Ben Mendolsohn) to Earth and discovers she has a history there; in the second act, she finds out what that history is; in the third act, she responds to that revelation.

This scene from the new trailer plays like Carol has found out she’s human and is confronting the person who gave her those Kree superpowers/hid her past. Then, that person tries to spin the situation as being for Carol’s benefit. And, finally, Carol defiantly declaring that she’ll no longer be a puppet for the Kree Empire.

So if that’s an accurate read on the general structure of the film and on this scene in particular, that would place it in the third act.

The question, then, that I have is why this bit would be in this trailer. Marvel is very clever with its marketing, and wouldn’t include something like this on accident. It would likely be because there has to be something else at the center of this story that we’re really given no hint of in the trailer — something, maybe, that ties “Captain Marvel” directly to “Avengers: Infinity War” and next year’s “Avengers 4.”

So while we congratulate ourselves for piecing these details together, we’re still missing crucial pieces of what will matter in the story this movie presents. There’s definitely some other hidden layer. Unfortunately, we still have to wait another three months to find out what that layer is.

It’s also possible that this is an intentional misdirection inserted in such a way that it seems like they were thought you’d never notice, but which they actually hoped you would notice so you wouldn’t figure out the truth. Damn, Marvel, you got me paranoid.

Whatever the answer ends up being, “Captain Marvel” is out March 8.

Related stories from TheWrap:

New ‘Captain Marvel’ Trailer Filled With Wild Space Action (Video)

The Biggest Questions We Have After That Intense New ‘Captain Marvel’ Trailer

How Will ‘Captain Marvel’ Play Into That Wild ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Ending?

The first time I watched the new trailer for “Captain Marvel,” it seemed like all sizzle and no steak — totally sick and generally awesome, but light on details. It made sense, considering the way Marvel likes to keep important details under wraps. They’d naturally want to save the good plot stuff for the movie itself and not give it all away like some other studios tend to do.

But after a couple more viewings things, I realized that actually it’s full of little details that could be telling us a lot about what’s in store. And one of these details involves a dialogue exchange that feels very much like something that would take place late in the movie. Maybe even immediately before the climactic fight.

It’s not immediately obvious that the exchange in question even is one, because it involves one bit of dialogue from early in the trailer and another bit that comes far later. The first part comes right after the Marvel logo, when Annette Bening’s unnamed character is telling Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) about her backstory.

“Your life began the day it nearly ended. We found you with no memory. We made you one of us, so you could live longer, stronger, superior. You were reborn.”

It’s actually a weird line even in the context of the trailer — other dialogue indicates that for at least a while Carol is going to think she’s just a Kree alien, and not a human from Earth. So that line above feels like it’s part of a late stage conversations on those grounds alone. But something Captain Marvel herself says near the end of the trailer reinforces that idea.

“I’m not gonna fight your war. I’m going to end it.”

Before connecting those two lines to each other I remarked to one of my colleagues here at TheWrap that Carol’s comment felt like a defiant response to the main villain, who would be somebody who has been manipulating her. And then I noticed that we get a brief glimpse at the scenery when she’s making that declaration.

Here’s Captain Marvel delivering that line:

And here’s Bening delivering the other line from the beginning of the trailer.

That’s pretty obviously the same place, and with standard shot reverse shot dialogue framing.

The vibe from these first two trailers is that the structure of the movie will be something like: in the first act, Carol chases the Skrull Talos (Ben Mendolsohn) to Earth and discovers she has a history there; in the second act, she finds out what that history is; in the third act, she responds to that revelation.

This scene from the new trailer plays like Carol has found out she’s human and is confronting the person who gave her those Kree superpowers/hid her past. Then, that person tries to spin the situation as being for Carol’s benefit. And, finally, Carol defiantly declaring that she’ll no longer be a puppet for the Kree Empire.

So if that’s an accurate read on the general structure of the film and on this scene in particular, that would place it in the third act.

The question, then, that I have is why this bit would be in this trailer. Marvel is very clever with its marketing, and wouldn’t include something like this on accident. It would likely be because there has to be something else at the center of this story that we’re really given no hint of in the trailer — something, maybe, that ties “Captain Marvel” directly to “Avengers: Infinity War” and next year’s “Avengers 4.”

So while we congratulate ourselves for piecing these details together, we’re still missing crucial pieces of what will matter in the story this movie presents. There’s definitely some other hidden layer. Unfortunately, we still have to wait another three months to find out what that layer is.

It’s also possible that this is an intentional misdirection inserted in such a way that it seems like they were thought you’d never notice, but which they actually hoped you would notice so you wouldn’t figure out the truth. Damn, Marvel, you got me paranoid.

Whatever the answer ends up being, “Captain Marvel” is out March 8.

Related stories from TheWrap:

New 'Captain Marvel' Trailer Filled With Wild Space Action (Video)

The Biggest Questions We Have After That Intense New 'Captain Marvel' Trailer

How Will 'Captain Marvel' Play Into That Wild 'Avengers: Infinity War' Ending?

The Biggest Questions We Have After That Intense New ‘Captain Marvel’ Trailer

On Monday Marvel dropped the second trailer for “Captain Marvel,” the first female-led standalone movie for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and at first glance it seemed pretty straightforward — it’s a movie about a superpowered woman trying to find out who she really is and getting caught up in some kind of crazy cosmic conflict.

But at second — and third, and fourth, and fifth, and so on (we’re not kidding) — it doesn’t seem quite so simple. Combine that with the assumption that “Captain Marvel” will in some way be a crucial piece of the greater MCU story ahead of “Avengers 4” next May, and there’s a lot to try to parse from this two-minute trailer.

So after spending way too much time staring at the new “Captain Marvel” trailer, we’ve got a lot of questions. Let’s get into it.

Also Read: New ‘Captain Marvel’ Trailer Filled With Wild Space Action (Video)

1. How Is Carol Danvers Secretly Important to Whatever Is at the Center of the Story?

There’s a conspicuous line early on in the trailer: Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), speaking to Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) declares that “something in my past is the key to all of this.” Assuming that “all of this” is referring to the general conflict at the core of the movie, which involves the galactic war between the Kree and the shapeshifting Skrulls, why would Carol Danvers’ past be so crucial?

She was, after all, just a regular human before she was converted to the (we think) half-Kree superhero that she is now. Did she stumble into some kind of important battle? Did she see something she wasn’t supposed to? Did the Kree wipe her memory to make her forget whatever it was?

There’s also the looming threat of Thanos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s future. And as we saw during the post-credits scene in “Infinity War,” Nick Fury specifically called her when he realized what was happening. We have to think then, if this movie is so important to the greater story of “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers 4,” that whatever it is in her past that’s so crucial in this moment may very well also be the key to saving the universe from Thanos.

We just have no idea what it might be at this point.

Also Read: How Will ‘Captain Marvel’ Play Into That Wild ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Ending?

2. And Related to That, Will “Captain Marvel” Reveal Why Earth Is so Central to the Greater Galactic Situation?

If there’s one thing the Marvel Cinematic Universe has made crystal clear since at least “Thor,” it’s that Earth has some kind of crucial connection to events of galaxy-scale importance, even if puny earthling aren’t directly involved. And that was true long before the two times Thanos tried to invade the planet.

For starters, we know the Kree have been meddling with humanity behind the scenes for millennia, which is how the (we assume still-canon) Inhumans were created. Later on, during the middle ages, Norway was the site of a critical battle between the forces of Asgard and the Frost giants, which is of double importance because it’s after this battle that Odin decided Earth was the best place to hide the Space Stone. (Also known as the Tesseract.)

Somehow the Space Stone remained safely hidden for centuries. Not only that, but Earth also became home to another Infinity Stone, the Time Stone, kept safe for thousands of years by Masters of the Mystic Arts. And even after the Space Stone was removed from earth, the Mind Stone stayed behind on Loki’s scepter, meaning that for more than a thousand years, there have been at least two Infinity Stones on earth at any given time.

Also Read: The Complete Timeline of Marvel Cinematic Universe Movies, From ‘Iron Man’ to ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’

Meanwhile, out of all the sentient races in the galaxy, Ego the Living Planet was only able to produce a child who could inherit Ego’s powers successfully with a human — the resulting child, Peter Quill, even survived direct contact with an infinity stone without dying.

And that’s not even getting into how Carol Danvers is either a half-human, half kree, or a human turned by science magic into a human-kree hybrid — remember, according to Marvel studios boss Kevin Feige, Carol is the most powerful superhero in the MCU.

So, what’s up with that? Clearly, Earth and the human race have some kind of special importance. And whatever secret thing is in Carol’s backstory may help explain that.

Also Read: All 35 Stan Lee Marvel Movie Cameos Ranked, Including ‘Venom’ (Photos)

3. How Long Was Carol Actually With the Kree?

“Captain Marvel” takes place at some point in the 1990s, and we can infer that when we meet her, she’s an experienced Kree warrior with years of service under her belt. Carol certainly seems to think she’s 100% a Kree at the beginning of this trailer. But she’s also having flashes of old memories that clearly happened here — she appears to have been an Air Force captain —  and she enlists Nick Fury to help her find out WTF.

We have to wonder how old those memories are. What if Danvers was in the Air Force much earlier than the 90s setting, like sometime in the 1980s? She could still look so young as a result of faster-than-light travel time dilation. It could also just be that the space magic the Kree put into her bloodstream allowing her to live longer. Living longer is one of the perks of being Kree, after all.

One thing is for sure: Nick Fury isn’t yet the eyepatched, badass leader of S.H.I.E.L.D. we know and love. But he’s in SHIELD, so presumably has access to government records that could possibly shed light on Carol’s past. It would be weird if all he has to do is visit the Pentagon to find records going back to the early Clinton administration — which is at most just a couple of years earlier.

Also Read: With ‘Luke Cage’ and ‘Iron Fist’ Canceled, Is Netflix’s Marvel TV Universe Falling Apart? (Commentary)

4. And Why Does Carol Think She’s a Kree?

In the trailer, Carol indicates that she doesn’t know she’s from Earth. This is not part of Carol’s story in the comics, and so it feels like a really significant point. It also provides a parallel to another MCU character, Peter Quill, who thought he was fully human before discovering that his dad was actually a Celestial.

Just as that revelation had universe-shattering consequences for Quill, could the fact that Carol thinks she’s a full-on alien only to discover in this movie that she’s actually a human, enhanced with Kree DNA, be similarly huge? Considering that seems to be the entire plot of the movie, it seems likely.

Speaking of…

5. Who Is Actually the Villain?

The trailer shows how, at first anyway, Carol is a devoted Kree warrior in the fight against the shapeshifting Skrulls, until at some point she decides to stop fighting the war. That makes us think the Skrull, whatever they’re actually up to on Earth, aren’t actually the bad guys their naturally-reptilian green skin and pointy ears would suggest. Despite Carol Danvers explicitly telling Nick Fury otherwise.

Also Read: ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ — Here’s What Happened Next in the Comic Book Version of the Story

We think the trailer actually spells it out for us: the villain is whoever Annette Bening is playing. The clue comes during the scene in which Bening’s still-unrevealed character breaks down Carol’s origins to her: how the Kree found Carol injured and suffering amnesia, added some Kree… stuff to her bloodstream, and made her better, stronger, faster, etc. Here’s a screenshot:

Now check out the moment Carol starts to tell an unseen *someone* “I’m not gonna fight your war. I’m gonna end it”:

Kind of looks like they’re standing in the same room for that conversation, doesn’t it? And Bening’s comment sure feel like the kind of thing someone who’s been gaslighting you (for their twisted idea of The Greater Good) might say near the end of a story, when you find out and try to quit.

And finally…

6. What Are the Skrulls Up to on Earth?

If Annette Bening’s Kree character is the true villain here, then what does that mean for the Skrulls? In the comics, the Skrulls only end up in a war with the Kree because the imperialistic Kree came after them first — meaning there’s a good chance that the MCU Skrulls could in turn be less villainous than they appear.

Meanwhile, the main thrust of the action that we’ve seen so far indicates that the Captain Marvel has chased the Skrulls to Earth, but why did they go there? Is this just a random place they fled to, or are they after something specific? Maybe an Infinity Stone to use against the Kree? Earth sure seems to have a lot of them…

Related stories from TheWrap:

How Will ‘Captain Marvel’ Play Into That Wild ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Ending?

Marvel Hints at More ‘Daredevil’ After Netflix Cancellation

‘Marvel’s Runaways’ Go to War With Their Parents in Season 2 Trailer (Video)

On Monday Marvel dropped the second trailer for “Captain Marvel,” the first female-led standalone movie for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and at first glance it seemed pretty straightforward — it’s a movie about a superpowered woman trying to find out who she really is and getting caught up in some kind of crazy cosmic conflict.

But at second — and third, and fourth, and fifth, and so on (we’re not kidding) — it doesn’t seem quite so simple. Combine that with the assumption that “Captain Marvel” will in some way be a crucial piece of the greater MCU story ahead of “Avengers 4” next May, and there’s a lot to try to parse from this two-minute trailer.

So after spending way too much time staring at the new “Captain Marvel” trailer, we’ve got a lot of questions. Let’s get into it.

1. How Is Carol Danvers Secretly Important to Whatever Is at the Center of the Story?

There’s a conspicuous line early on in the trailer: Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), speaking to Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) declares that “something in my past is the key to all of this.” Assuming that “all of this” is referring to the general conflict at the core of the movie, which involves the galactic war between the Kree and the shapeshifting Skrulls, why would Carol Danvers’ past be so crucial?

She was, after all, just a regular human before she was converted to the (we think) half-Kree superhero that she is now. Did she stumble into some kind of important battle? Did she see something she wasn’t supposed to? Did the Kree wipe her memory to make her forget whatever it was?

There’s also the looming threat of Thanos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s future. And as we saw during the post-credits scene in “Infinity War,” Nick Fury specifically called her when he realized what was happening. We have to think then, if this movie is so important to the greater story of “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers 4,” that whatever it is in her past that’s so crucial in this moment may very well also be the key to saving the universe from Thanos.

We just have no idea what it might be at this point.

2. And Related to That, Will “Captain Marvel” Reveal Why Earth Is so Central to the Greater Galactic Situation?

If there’s one thing the Marvel Cinematic Universe has made crystal clear since at least “Thor,” it’s that Earth has some kind of crucial connection to events of galaxy-scale importance, even if puny earthling aren’t directly involved. And that was true long before the two times Thanos tried to invade the planet.

For starters, we know the Kree have been meddling with humanity behind the scenes for millennia, which is how the (we assume still-canon) Inhumans were created. Later on, during the middle ages, Norway was the site of a critical battle between the forces of Asgard and the Frost giants, which is of double importance because it’s after this battle that Odin decided Earth was the best place to hide the Space Stone. (Also known as the Tesseract.)

Somehow the Space Stone remained safely hidden for centuries. Not only that, but Earth also became home to another Infinity Stone, the Time Stone, kept safe for thousands of years by Masters of the Mystic Arts. And even after the Space Stone was removed from earth, the Mind Stone stayed behind on Loki’s scepter, meaning that for more than a thousand years, there have been at least two Infinity Stones on earth at any given time.

Meanwhile, out of all the sentient races in the galaxy, Ego the Living Planet was only able to produce a child who could inherit Ego’s powers successfully with a human — the resulting child, Peter Quill, even survived direct contact with an infinity stone without dying.

And that’s not even getting into how Carol Danvers is either a half-human, half kree, or a human turned by science magic into a human-kree hybrid — remember, according to Marvel studios boss Kevin Feige, Carol is the most powerful superhero in the MCU.

So, what’s up with that? Clearly, Earth and the human race have some kind of special importance. And whatever secret thing is in Carol’s backstory may help explain that.

3. How Long Was Carol Actually With the Kree?

“Captain Marvel” takes place at some point in the 1990s, and we can infer that when we meet her, she’s an experienced Kree warrior with years of service under her belt. Carol certainly seems to think she’s 100% a Kree at the beginning of this trailer. But she’s also having flashes of old memories that clearly happened here — she appears to have been an Air Force captain —  and she enlists Nick Fury to help her find out WTF.

We have to wonder how old those memories are. What if Danvers was in the Air Force much earlier than the 90s setting, like sometime in the 1980s? She could still look so young as a result of faster-than-light travel time dilation. It could also just be that the space magic the Kree put into her bloodstream allowing her to live longer. Living longer is one of the perks of being Kree, after all.

One thing is for sure: Nick Fury isn’t yet the eyepatched, badass leader of S.H.I.E.L.D. we know and love. But he’s in SHIELD, so presumably has access to government records that could possibly shed light on Carol’s past. It would be weird if all he has to do is visit the Pentagon to find records going back to the early Clinton administration — which is at most just a couple of years earlier.

4. And Why Does Carol Think She’s a Kree?

In the trailer, Carol indicates that she doesn’t know she’s from Earth. This is not part of Carol’s story in the comics, and so it feels like a really significant point. It also provides a parallel to another MCU character, Peter Quill, who thought he was fully human before discovering that his dad was actually a Celestial.

Just as that revelation had universe-shattering consequences for Quill, could the fact that Carol thinks she’s a full-on alien only to discover in this movie that she’s actually a human, enhanced with Kree DNA, be similarly huge? Considering that seems to be the entire plot of the movie, it seems likely.

Speaking of…

5. Who Is Actually the Villain?

The trailer shows how, at first anyway, Carol is a devoted Kree warrior in the fight against the shapeshifting Skrulls, until at some point she decides to stop fighting the war. That makes us think the Skrull, whatever they’re actually up to on Earth, aren’t actually the bad guys their naturally-reptilian green skin and pointy ears would suggest. Despite Carol Danvers explicitly telling Nick Fury otherwise.

We think the trailer actually spells it out for us: the villain is whoever Annette Bening is playing. The clue comes during the scene in which Bening’s still-unrevealed character breaks down Carol’s origins to her: how the Kree found Carol injured and suffering amnesia, added some Kree… stuff to her bloodstream, and made her better, stronger, faster, etc. Here’s a screenshot:

Now check out the moment Carol starts to tell an unseen *someone* “I’m not gonna fight your war. I’m gonna end it”:

Kind of looks like they’re standing in the same room for that conversation, doesn’t it? And Bening’s comment sure feel like the kind of thing someone who’s been gaslighting you (for their twisted idea of The Greater Good) might say near the end of a story, when you find out and try to quit.

And finally…

6. What Are the Skrulls Up to on Earth?

If Annette Bening’s Kree character is the true villain here, then what does that mean for the Skrulls? In the comics, the Skrulls only end up in a war with the Kree because the imperialistic Kree came after them first — meaning there’s a good chance that the MCU Skrulls could in turn be less villainous than they appear.

Meanwhile, the main thrust of the action that we’ve seen so far indicates that the Captain Marvel has chased the Skrulls to Earth, but why did they go there? Is this just a random place they fled to, or are they after something specific? Maybe an Infinity Stone to use against the Kree? Earth sure seems to have a lot of them…

Related stories from TheWrap:

How Will 'Captain Marvel' Play Into That Wild 'Avengers: Infinity War' Ending?

Marvel Hints at More 'Daredevil' After Netflix Cancellation

'Marvel's Runaways' Go to War With Their Parents in Season 2 Trailer (Video)

William Nicholson’s ‘Hope Gap’, With Annette Bening, Bill Nighy & Josh O’Connor, Inks Key Deals For Protagonist

EXCLUSIVE: William Nicholson’s (Gladiator) drama Hope Gap, starring Annette Bening (American Beauty), Bill Nighy (Love Actually) and Josh O’Connor (God’s Own Country), has sold into key markets for UK sales firm Protagonist Pictures.

EXCLUSIVE: William Nicholson’s (Gladiator) drama Hope Gap, starring Annette Bening (American Beauty), Bill Nighy (Love Actually) and Josh O’Connor (God’s Own Country), has sold into key markets for UK sales firm Protagonist Pictures. Deals have closed in Germany/Austria (Tobis), Spain (A Contracorriente), Italy (Cloud 9), Australia and New Zealand (Transmission), Scandinavia and Iceland (SF Studios), China (DD Dream), Japan (Kino Films), Latin America (California Filmes)…

‘Gladiator’ & ‘Shadowlands’ Writer Bill Nicholson On “Hope Gap”, His “Most Intense And Loving” Movie Yet

Hope Gape is a cove on the south-east of the UK. “It’s where I went as a child,” Shadowlands, Gladiator and Les Miserables scribe William ‘Bill’ Nicholson tells me. “It was a place to be alone. “When the waves recede it leaves a vast expans…

Hope Gape is a cove on the south-east of the UK. "It's where I went as a child," Shadowlands, Gladiator and Les Miserables scribe William ‘Bill’ Nicholson tells me. "It was a place to be alone. "When the waves recede it leaves a vast expanse like the surface of the moon. It was like a secret world where you're like a giant or a god. It was a place of escape, otherness." Hope Gap is also the name and location of Nicholson's second feature as a writer-director. Bill Nighy, A…

Billy Crystal, Kevin Kline, Annette Bening Stage A Mildly ‘Nice Day’: Off Broadway Review

Nearly 10 years ago, Billy Crystal and writer Quinton Peeples started work on a screenplay they’d eventually call Have A Nice Day. Not terribly long in Hollywood development years, but eons removed from our current political climate.
Performed an…

Nearly 10 years ago, Billy Crystal and writer Quinton Peeples started work on a screenplay they’d eventually call Have A Nice Day. Not terribly long in Hollywood development years, but eons removed from our current political climate. Performed and recorded (by Amazon’s Audible) as a staged Off Broadway reading last night and tonight by a starry ensemble – Crystal, Kevin Kline, Annette Bening and Dick Cavett, among others – Have a Nice Day, with its progressive, honest and…

Annette Bening Set For ‘All My Sons’ Broadway Revival; Tracy Letts To Co-Star

Annette Bening and Tony Award winner Tracy Letts will star in director Gregory Mosher’s Broadway revival of Arthur Miller’s classic 1947 drama All My Sons. The Roundabout Theatre Company production, announced today, will begin previews April 4, 2…

Annette Bening and Tony Award winner Tracy Letts will star in director Gregory Mosher’s Broadway revival of Arthur Miller's classic 1947 drama All My Sons. The Roundabout Theatre Company production, announced today, will begin previews April 4, 2019, with an official opening April 22. The limited engagement at Broadway’s American Airlines Theatre runs through June 23. Additional cast and the design team will be announced soon. Bening and Letts will play Kate and Joe…

Annette Bening, Tracy Letts to Star in Broadway Revival of ‘All My Sons’

Annette Bening and Tony winner Tracy Letts will return to Broadway this spring in a new revival of Arthur Miller’s 1947 drama “All My Sons.”

Gregory Mosher will direct the new production, set to begin previews on April 4 in advance of an official opening on April 22 at Roundabout’s American Airlines Theatre. The limited engagement will run through June 23, 2019.

Bening and Letts will play the heads of the Keller family as it struggles to stay intact and to fight for its future just after World War II when a long-hidden secret threatens to emerge — forcing the clan to reckon with greed, denial, repentance and post-war disenchantment across generations.

Also Read: BroadwayHD Expands Executive Team With Hire of Former Time Warner Exec Tom Kinney

The remaining cast members and design team have yet to be announced.

Miller’s drama has become a staple on Broadway since the original production, which won Tony Awards for both Miller and director Elia Kazan.

A 1987 revival starring Richard Kiley won the Tony for Best Revival, while a 2008 revival with John Lithgow and Dianne Wiest marked the Broadway debut of Katie Holmes.

Also Read: ‘Pretty Woman’ Broadway Review: The Hooker Julia Roberts Made Famous Is Back, and She Can Belt

Letts is the only individual to win Tony awards as both an actor, for a 2013 revival of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and as a playwright, for 2008’s “August: Osage County.”

Bening, who made her Broadway debut in 1987’s “Coastal Disturbances,” is a four-time Oscar nominee, most recently for 2010’s “The Kids Are All Right.” She won a Golden Globe for that film as well as 2004’s “Being Julia.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

BroadwayHD Expands Executive Team With Hire of Former Time Warner Exec Tom Kinney

Tatiana Maslany to Make Broadway Debut Opposite Bryan Cranston in ‘Network’

Cuba Gooding Jr to Return to Broadway in ‘Chicago’

‘Pretty Woman’ Broadway Review: The Hooker Julia Roberts Made Famous Is Back, and She Can Belt

Annette Bening and Tony winner Tracy Letts will return to Broadway this spring in a new revival of Arthur Miller’s 1947 drama “All My Sons.”

Gregory Mosher will direct the new production, set to begin previews on April 4 in advance of an official opening on April 22 at Roundabout’s American Airlines Theatre. The limited engagement will run through June 23, 2019.

Bening and Letts will play the heads of the Keller family as it struggles to stay intact and to fight for its future just after World War II when a long-hidden secret threatens to emerge — forcing the clan to reckon with greed, denial, repentance and post-war disenchantment across generations.

The remaining cast members and design team have yet to be announced.

Miller’s drama has become a staple on Broadway since the original production, which won Tony Awards for both Miller and director Elia Kazan.

A 1987 revival starring Richard Kiley won the Tony for Best Revival, while a 2008 revival with John Lithgow and Dianne Wiest marked the Broadway debut of Katie Holmes.

Letts is the only individual to win Tony awards as both an actor, for a 2013 revival of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and as a playwright, for 2008’s “August: Osage County.”

Bening, who made her Broadway debut in 1987’s “Coastal Disturbances,” is a four-time Oscar nominee, most recently for 2010’s “The Kids Are All Right.” She won a Golden Globe for that film as well as 2004’s “Being Julia.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

BroadwayHD Expands Executive Team With Hire of Former Time Warner Exec Tom Kinney

Tatiana Maslany to Make Broadway Debut Opposite Bryan Cranston in 'Network'

Cuba Gooding Jr to Return to Broadway in 'Chicago'

'Pretty Woman' Broadway Review: The Hooker Julia Roberts Made Famous Is Back, and She Can Belt

‘Life Itself’ Film Review: Canned Tear-Jerker About Destiny Is a Jaw-Dropping Mess

If all you need from a love story are two people smiling at each other and a narrator saying they’re in love, then “Life Itself” is for you. If all you require to show the passage of years is a CG montage or some cheap makeup, then “Life Itself” is for you. If the only way you’ll know things are tough is if everyone dies, then “Life Itself” is for you.

For everyone else, though, writer-director Dan Fogelman’s “Life Itself” is a glib, noxious, airplane-unworthy melodrama so insecure about its time-hopping, tragedy-strewn events and heart-stricken characters that, in its naked manipulation and narrative condescension, it resembles anything but the words of its title. One is likely to find more clarifyingly human drama in a 30-second Hallmark ad than in nearly any scene of this jaw-droppingly performative schmaltz.

Fogelman is the creator of NBC’s hit, award-winning, multigenerational soap “This Is Us,” fans of which readily accept that a cadre of writers, actors and directors have targeted their tear ducts with forensic zeal. But the two-hour movie version of interconnected highs and lows represented by “Life Itself” withers under the weight of so much forced emotion and storytelling trickery. Not to mention there’s a full-bore campaign to canonize Bob Dylan’s song “To Make You Feel My Love” as a shelter of squishiness inside the maelstrom of existence that feels practically unseemly.

Watch Video: ‘Life Itself’ New Trailer: Dan Fogelman Brings Together All-Star Cast in Tearjerker Movie

Before one can even get to the movie’s softest center, however, there’s an artificially edgy outer shell in which Annette Bening’s serene therapist listens to Oscar Isaac’s caustic Will bemoan the end of his marriage to perfect wife Abby (Olivia Wilde, beatified to a fault) by way of brusque one-liners, flights of fantasy, “Pulp Fiction” shoutouts (not kidding), and flashbacks to a romcom-idealized courtship in which Will — in the same frame! — tour-guides the proceedings. (The first sign you’re in shaky hands: the effects gimmick that reads “Nifty!” instead of “Illuminating!”)

Aside from the uncharitable notion that Will was institutionalized for being unfunny, this mini-portrait of a broken man is so facile and grating (Isaac looks like he’s selling something out of the trunk of his car, hoping not to get caught) that the mushy idiocy of the rest of the movie is almost a balm. Almost.

“Life Itself” is two other stories, as well. There’s angry young musician Dylan (Olivia Cooke), whose band name is PB&J. So when Dylan, still not over the childhood loss of her parents, picks a fight in the club, that means a punch and a gooey sandwich in the face. (Also, her thrash version of the Dylan song is … unfortunate.)

Also Read: ‘This Is Us’ Creator Says Season 2 Finale Flash-Forward Is as Far Into the Future as We’re Going

How does Spain sound? That’s where Fogelman’s heart-juggling attention-deficit movie goes next, for a subtitled romance between olive picker Javier (Sergio Peris-Mencheta, “Snowfall”) and smiling waitress Isabel (Laia Costa, “Victoria”), not to mention some ham-fisted tension between serious-minded Javier and his benevolent boss (Antonio Banderas, coolly watchable).

By now, “Life Itself” is beginning to feel as if three earnest-but-rejected short stories had been Frankensteined in a lab to create one crazily ambitious, but still unpublishable, novel. Not helping is that terrible scripter’s crutch: incessant narration explaining who everyone is and what they’re going through instead of letting the actors show us. On top of that, the movie keeps nudging us with references to the literary device of the unreliable narrator — Abby’s line of study in college — as if we haven’t figured out already that the movie thinks “unreliable” means going left instead of right, tossing in a twist, shifting the action overseas, or making a character we like into someone we don’t.

Sorry, that’s just storytelling. And in this case, the cringeworthy kind that Fogelman needs to justify by repeating the phrase “unreliable narrator.”

Also Read: Olivia Wilde’s ‘A Vigilante’ Picked Up by Saban Films and DirecTV

By the end, when the connections are revealed (although easily predicted), and people have stopped getting hit by buses (also not kidding), here are many of the things “Life Itself” has ruined: Mandy Patinkin and Jean Smart as grandparents; the seriousness of mental illness; sassy baristas; Samuel L. Jackson (all over again); movie references; flirty post-coital talk; profanity; people-growing-old-in-seconds sequences; chapter titles for movies; olive oil. And to reiterate (a favorite tactic of the movie’s): Dylan; flashbacks; narration; love; death; your two hours.

It’s no artistic crime to see life as a grand canvas upon which the big emotions play, even if the unremarkable cinematography is pre-peak-TV flat. There’s arguably too little real feeling in movies these days, anyway, so Fogelman’s desires for “Life Itself” are understandable. But the way he reverse-engineers the story to sell the rollercoaster of life isn’t genuine; it’s a menu of stylistic distractions that feels at-you, instead of with-you, its meshed destinies like some kind of scorekeeping. Its actors are representations, not flesh-and-blood people. It treats tragedies the way a horror movie relies on jump scares. And it practically chomps at the bit to kill off its characters, so it can get to its cloying platitudes.

The biggest question you’ll leave thinking isn’t “How is life so mysteriously wonderful?” but “Who walks backward onto a street?”



Related stories from TheWrap:

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Olivia Wilde on ‘Fighting the Patriarchy’ and Directing Her First Movie (Video)

If all you need from a love story are two people smiling at each other and a narrator saying they’re in love, then “Life Itself” is for you. If all you require to show the passage of years is a CG montage or some cheap makeup, then “Life Itself” is for you. If the only way you’ll know things are tough is if everyone dies, then “Life Itself” is for you.

For everyone else, though, writer-director Dan Fogelman’s “Life Itself” is a glib, noxious, airplane-unworthy melodrama so insecure about its time-hopping, tragedy-strewn events and heart-stricken characters that, in its naked manipulation and narrative condescension, it resembles anything but the words of its title. One is likely to find more clarifyingly human drama in a 30-second Hallmark ad than in nearly any scene of this jaw-droppingly performative schmaltz.

Fogelman is the creator of NBC’s hit, award-winning, multigenerational soap “This Is Us,” fans of which readily accept that a cadre of writers, actors and directors have targeted their tear ducts with forensic zeal. But the two-hour movie version of interconnected highs and lows represented by “Life Itself” withers under the weight of so much forced emotion and storytelling trickery. Not to mention there’s a full-bore campaign to canonize Bob Dylan’s song “To Make You Feel My Love” as a shelter of squishiness inside the maelstrom of existence that feels practically unseemly.

Before one can even get to the movie’s softest center, however, there’s an artificially edgy outer shell in which Annette Bening’s serene therapist listens to Oscar Isaac’s caustic Will bemoan the end of his marriage to perfect wife Abby (Olivia Wilde, beatified to a fault) by way of brusque one-liners, flights of fantasy, “Pulp Fiction” shoutouts (not kidding), and flashbacks to a romcom-idealized courtship in which Will — in the same frame! — tour-guides the proceedings. (The first sign you’re in shaky hands: the effects gimmick that reads “Nifty!” instead of “Illuminating!”)

Aside from the uncharitable notion that Will was institutionalized for being unfunny, this mini-portrait of a broken man is so facile and grating (Isaac looks like he’s selling something out of the trunk of his car, hoping not to get caught) that the mushy idiocy of the rest of the movie is almost a balm. Almost.

“Life Itself” is two other stories, as well. There’s angry young musician Dylan (Olivia Cooke), whose band name is PB&J. So when Dylan, still not over the childhood loss of her parents, picks a fight in the club, that means a punch and a gooey sandwich in the face. (Also, her thrash version of the Dylan song is … unfortunate.)

How does Spain sound? That’s where Fogelman’s heart-juggling attention-deficit movie goes next, for a subtitled romance between olive picker Javier (Sergio Peris-Mencheta, “Snowfall”) and smiling waitress Isabel (Laia Costa, “Victoria”), not to mention some ham-fisted tension between serious-minded Javier and his benevolent boss (Antonio Banderas, coolly watchable).

By now, “Life Itself” is beginning to feel as if three earnest-but-rejected short stories had been Frankensteined in a lab to create one crazily ambitious, but still unpublishable, novel. Not helping is that terrible scripter’s crutch: incessant narration explaining who everyone is and what they’re going through instead of letting the actors show us. On top of that, the movie keeps nudging us with references to the literary device of the unreliable narrator — Abby’s line of study in college — as if we haven’t figured out already that the movie thinks “unreliable” means going left instead of right, tossing in a twist, shifting the action overseas, or making a character we like into someone we don’t.

Sorry, that’s just storytelling. And in this case, the cringeworthy kind that Fogelman needs to justify by repeating the phrase “unreliable narrator.”

By the end, when the connections are revealed (although easily predicted), and people have stopped getting hit by buses (also not kidding), here are many of the things “Life Itself” has ruined: Mandy Patinkin and Jean Smart as grandparents; the seriousness of mental illness; sassy baristas; Samuel L. Jackson (all over again); movie references; flirty post-coital talk; profanity; people-growing-old-in-seconds sequences; chapter titles for movies; olive oil. And to reiterate (a favorite tactic of the movie’s): Dylan; flashbacks; narration; love; death; your two hours.

It’s no artistic crime to see life as a grand canvas upon which the big emotions play, even if the unremarkable cinematography is pre-peak-TV flat. There’s arguably too little real feeling in movies these days, anyway, so Fogelman’s desires for “Life Itself” are understandable. But the way he reverse-engineers the story to sell the rollercoaster of life isn’t genuine; it’s a menu of stylistic distractions that feels at-you, instead of with-you, its meshed destinies like some kind of scorekeeping. Its actors are representations, not flesh-and-blood people. It treats tragedies the way a horror movie relies on jump scares. And it practically chomps at the bit to kill off its characters, so it can get to its cloying platitudes.

The biggest question you’ll leave thinking isn’t “How is life so mysteriously wonderful?” but “Who walks backward onto a street?”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron Lead Cast for Animated 'Addams Family'

Annette Bening Joins Cast of Marvel Studios' 'Captain Marvel'

'Genius: Picasso' Star Antonio Banderas Portraits (Exclusive Photos)

Olivia Wilde on 'Fighting the Patriarchy' and Directing Her First Movie (Video)

‘Captain Marvel’: Brie Larson Blasts Off in First Trailer (Video)

Brie Larson debuted the first trailer for “Captain Marvel” during “Good Morning America” on Tuesday.

“Captain Marvel,” starring Larson as the studio’s first female superhero to get her own standalone movie, will be a prequel set before “Iron Man.” Samuel L. Jackson will also return as Nick Fury — this time without the eyepatch because the film will be set in the 1990s (presumably before he lost use of his left eye).

Ben Mendelsohn, Jude Law, Annette Bening, Lee Pace and Gemma Chan also star.

See Photo: Here’s Your First Look at the Skrulls in ‘Captain Marvel’

“Captain Marvel” is directed by “Mississippi Grind” helmers Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck. Meg LeFauve (“Inside Out”) wrote the script with Nicole Perlman (“Guardians of the Galaxy”). Victoria Alonso, Louis D’Esposito and Stan Lee are executive producers, with Kevin Feige producing.

More to come…

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Who or What Are the Skrulls, the Villains in ‘Captain Marvel’?

Brie Larson debuted the first trailer for “Captain Marvel” during “Good Morning America” on Tuesday.

“Captain Marvel,” starring Larson as the studio’s first female superhero to get her own standalone movie, will be a prequel set before “Iron Man.” Samuel L. Jackson will also return as Nick Fury — this time without the eyepatch because the film will be set in the 1990s (presumably before he lost use of his left eye).

Ben Mendelsohn, Jude Law, Annette Bening, Lee Pace and Gemma Chan also star.

“Captain Marvel” is directed by “Mississippi Grind” helmers Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck. Meg LeFauve (“Inside Out”) wrote the script with Nicole Perlman (“Guardians of the Galaxy”). Victoria Alonso, Louis D’Esposito and Stan Lee are executive producers, with Kevin Feige producing.

More to come…

Related stories from TheWrap:

Here's Your First Look at the Skrulls in 'Captain Marvel' (Photo)

How Will 'Captain Marvel' Play Into That Wild 'Avengers: Infinity War' Ending?

Who or What Are the Skrulls, the Villains in 'Captain Marvel'?

‘Life Itself’ Film Review: Dan Fogelman’s Roided-Out Tearjerker Is Darkly Satisfying

Dan Fogelman is not afraid to explore the darker corners of humanity, but he’s super clear that you’re getting a dump truck full of sugar to make the medicine go down.

At least he has been, with content like NBC’s hit “This Is Us.” That show has to burn through an awful lot of story, and is subject to the standards of broadcast television. But Saturday night at the Toronto Film Festival, at the premiere of his new feature “Life Itself,” Fogelman proved he can find some balance while serving up silly sentiment — by giving you pain and tragedy as only an R-rated movie can.

An A-list army of Oscar Isaac, Annette Bening, Antonio Banderas, Olivia Wilde and adorable crank Mandy Patinkin were perfectly paired off in early trailers for the film, which seemed to tell the stories of couples and their existential adventures.

Also Read: Dan Fogelman’s ‘Life, Itself’ Trailer Debuts During ‘This Is Us’ Finale (Video)

We’re happy to report the film is a reverse-engineered family tree of bleakness that is buffered by so much bittersweet love story that you can’t help but get attached. It’s like overhearing some soap-opera-level exposition at the beauty salon or catching pieces of a candid phone call on the metro.

The mom said what? She got hit by a bus? He did it right in the therapist’s office? She attacked her with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?

All of these are plausible reactions to “Life Itself,” written and directed by Fogelman.

To describe its plot in detail is to betray the game of the film, but suffice it to say that the sum of its parts are exhilarating. Isaac, considerably famous and respected at this fruitful point in his career, is impressively committed to his plight as lovesick puppy bent on giving wife Wilde the life of her dreams. You think it works?

Newcomer Olivia Cooke is dazzlingly angry and listless as their daughter, struck by her own tragedy. Bening is the perfectly minimal Nancy Meyers-esque therapist helping through questions, and acting as a de facto narrator (something several voices are charged with, including a hilarious and random section given to Samuel L. Jackson).

Fogelman seemed humbled in introducing the film, marveling at TIFF venue Roy Thompson Hall and making the aww-shucks joke that “it looks like a place where Abraham Lincoln gets shot.”

But we’d argue that Fogelman has hit a new stride (which seems to be the promise that streamers like “Life Itself” distributor Amazon Studios make to creators straying from traditional platforms). He is free from the tempered sweetness of “This Is Us,” for which he no longer serves as day-to-day showrunner, and the quality of the writing notches above that of his 2011 script “Crazy Stupid Love.”

Fogleman purists will not be disappointed. The last 20 minutes of the film are an absolute blood bath of sentimentality, with an uplifting and sticky message that we are who we come from. That we carry the spirits of our loved ones into the next chapter of their story by living our own lives.

But it is the darkness that makes this a movie grownups can enjoy, and will surely make it a valuable library title for Amazon — and a valuable next step for Fogelman as a creator.

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘This Is Us’ Creator Dan Fogelman Teases the First Scene of Season 3 (Photo)

‘Life Itself’ New Trailer: Dan Fogelman Brings Together All-Star Cast in Tearjerker Movie (Video)

Dan Fogelman’s ‘Life, Itself’ Trailer Debuts During ‘This Is Us’ Finale (Video)

Dan Fogelman is not afraid to explore the darker corners of humanity, but he’s super clear that you’re getting a dump truck full of sugar to make the medicine go down.

At least he has been, with content like NBC’s hit “This Is Us.” That show has to burn through an awful lot of story, and is subject to the standards of broadcast television. But Saturday night at the Toronto Film Festival, at the premiere of his new feature “Life Itself,” Fogelman proved he can find some balance while serving up silly sentiment — by giving you pain and tragedy as only an R-rated movie can.

An A-list army of Oscar Isaac, Annette Bening, Antonio Banderas, Olivia Wilde and adorable crank Mandy Patinkin were perfectly paired off in early trailers for the film, which seemed to tell the stories of couples and their existential adventures.

We’re happy to report the film is a reverse-engineered family tree of bleakness that is buffered by so much bittersweet love story that you can’t help but get attached. It’s like overhearing some soap-opera-level exposition at the beauty salon or catching pieces of a candid phone call on the metro.

The mom said what? She got hit by a bus? He did it right in the therapist’s office? She attacked her with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?

All of these are plausible reactions to “Life Itself,” written and directed by Fogelman.

To describe its plot in detail is to betray the game of the film, but suffice it to say that the sum of its parts are exhilarating. Isaac, considerably famous and respected at this fruitful point in his career, is impressively committed to his plight as lovesick puppy bent on giving wife Wilde the life of her dreams. You think it works?

Newcomer Olivia Cooke is dazzlingly angry and listless as their daughter, struck by her own tragedy. Bening is the perfectly minimal Nancy Meyers-esque therapist helping through questions, and acting as a de facto narrator (something several voices are charged with, including a hilarious and random section given to Samuel L. Jackson).

Fogelman seemed humbled in introducing the film, marveling at TIFF venue Roy Thompson Hall and making the aww-shucks joke that “it looks like a place where Abraham Lincoln gets shot.”

But we’d argue that Fogelman has hit a new stride (which seems to be the promise that streamers like “Life Itself” distributor Amazon Studios make to creators straying from traditional platforms). He is free from the tempered sweetness of “This Is Us,” for which he no longer serves as day-to-day showrunner, and the quality of the writing notches above that of his 2011 script “Crazy Stupid Love.”

Fogleman purists will not be disappointed. The last 20 minutes of the film are an absolute blood bath of sentimentality, with an uplifting and sticky message that we are who we come from. That we carry the spirits of our loved ones into the next chapter of their story by living our own lives.

But it is the darkness that makes this a movie grownups can enjoy, and will surely make it a valuable library title for Amazon — and a valuable next step for Fogelman as a creator.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'This Is Us' Creator Dan Fogelman Teases the First Scene of Season 3 (Photo)

'Life Itself' New Trailer: Dan Fogelman Brings Together All-Star Cast in Tearjerker Movie (Video)

Dan Fogelman's 'Life, Itself' Trailer Debuts During 'This Is Us' Finale (Video)

‘Life Itself’ Stars & Director Dan Fogelman On Pic’s Vital, Hard-Edged Heart – Toronto Studio

Busy times are afoot for Dan Fogelman—well, busier than usual. Preparing to launch the highly anticipated third season of his NBC family drama This is Us in a matter of weeks, the series creator is currently in Toronto on behalf of his second fea…

Busy times are afoot for Dan Fogelman—well, busier than usual. Preparing to launch the highly anticipated third season of his NBC family drama This is Us in a matter of weeks, the series creator is currently in Toronto on behalf of his second feature directorial outing, Amazon Studios’ Life Itself. Another emotional, inter-generational tale from Fogelman, Life Itself follows a young New York couple from the first moments of courtship through marriage and the birth of…

‘Life Itself’ New Trailer: Dan Fogelman Brings Together All-Star Cast in Tearjerker Movie (Video)

A new trailer for Dan Fogelman’s “Life Itself” has been released in which the “This Is Us” creator examines life’s perils and rewards.

“When I ask you out, it’s going to be the most important moment of my life — and I just want to make sure I get it right,” Oscar Isaac’s character tells Olivia Wilde’s.

The trailer is full of love, anger, tears — and a whole lot of punches.

See Video: Dan Fogelman’s ‘Life, Itself’ Trailer Debuts During ‘This Is Us’ Finale

“Life Itself” weaves together the stories of multiple characters who interact with one another stretching from New York to the Spanish countryside.

Directed and written by Fogelman, the movie stars Isaac, Wilde, Antonio Banderas, Annette Bening and Olivia Cooke.

Also Read: ‘This Is Us’ Creator Dan Fogelman’s ‘Life, Itself’ Heads to Amazon in $10 Million Deal

“Life Itself” was produced by Temple Hill’s Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey, along with FilmNation Entertainment’s Aaron Ryder and Fogelman.

“Life Itself” will hit theaters on September 21.

Watch the trailer above.

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A new trailer for Dan Fogelman’s “Life Itself” has been released in which the “This Is Us” creator examines life’s perils and rewards.

“When I ask you out, it’s going to be the most important moment of my life — and I just want to make sure I get it right,” Oscar Isaac’s character tells Olivia Wilde’s.

The trailer is full of love, anger, tears — and a whole lot of punches.

“Life Itself” weaves together the stories of multiple characters who interact with one another stretching from New York to the Spanish countryside.

Directed and written by Fogelman, the movie stars Isaac, Wilde, Antonio Banderas, Annette Bening and Olivia Cooke.

“Life Itself” was produced by Temple Hill’s Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey, along with FilmNation Entertainment’s Aaron Ryder and Fogelman.

“Life Itself” will hit theaters on September 21.

Watch the trailer above.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'This Is Us' Creator Dan Fogelman Pens Open Letter to NY Giants Fans' 'Beautiful Boy' Eli Manning

'This is Us' Review: Dan Fogelman Mines Great Melodrama From Everyday Life

'This Is Us' Is the 'Dramedy Version' of 'Lost,' Creator Dan Fogelman Says

‘The Seagull’ Film Review: All-Star Cast Flourishes in Chekhov Adaptation

Every part in a Chekhov play, no matter how small, is a great part and filled with potential, and Elisabeth Moss proves that in this new screen version of “The Seagull,” which has been adapted by the playwright Stephen Karam.

Moss plays Masha, which is a small role in relation to the lead roles of the famous actress Arkadina and the ambitious ingénue Nina. At the start of “The Seagull,” Masha famously says, “I’m in mourning for my life,” but Karam cleverly begins his screenplay with the set-up of the last scene in the play and then flashes back to the beginning, when there still seems to be some hope for everyone.

Moss reads that well-known line about being in mourning for her life in a way that exactly catches the tone of Chekhov: deeply anguished yet also somehow comic. Chekhov considered “The Seagull” a comedy and called it that in his text, even though it is filled to the brim with the sadness of what can happen between people who love unrequitedly and compete with each other.

Watch Video: Saoirse Ronan, Annette Bening Row Into This Year’s Oscar Race in ‘The Seagull’ Trailer

There have been other films of “The Seagull,” and many different contemporary stage productions. Sidney Lumet directed a movie adaptation with Vanessa Redgrave as Nina in 1968, and the 1975 Williamstown production was filmed for PBS with Blythe Danner as a very spontaneous, in-the-moment, and heartbreaking Nina. And anyone who saw Meryl Streep play Arkadina in “The Seagull” in Central Park in 2001 will remember her in it, especially the way she did an expert cartwheel on stage.

Arkadina is played by Annette Bening here, and her celebrated literary lover Trigorin is played by Corey Stoll. In the first scenes, which are presented as a flashback, Arkadina’s son Konstantin (Billy Howle, “On Chesil Beach”) has prepared an avant-garde play starring his girlfriend Nina (Saoirse Ronan), and Arkadina keeps interrupting the performance with rude remarks. Bening plays Arkadina in a much crueler way than she is usually portrayed in this scene; she is very cutting, and yet Bening is believable later when Arkadina wonders, “Why did I hurt him?”

Also Read: Annette Bening Joins Cast of Marvel Studios’ ‘Captain Marvel’

As played by Bening, Arkadina is a vain woman and a ruthless winner who is disgusted by her son’s weakness and pretentiousness and jealousy. In the big scene where Arkadina dresses Konstantin’s head wound after he has attempted suicide, Bening smiles at Howle more like a girlfriend than a mother. Bening’s Arkadina is a woman without a shred of maternal feeling, and this makes her very different from Streep’s Arkadina, who was angry with her son but still tied to him.

Stoll is an extremely sexy Trigorin, especially when he looks at Ronan’s Nina with bedroom eyes as he takes her on a boat ride and rows her along, but the tone of his voice sounds jaded and cruel, and this matches what we have seen and heard of Arkadina. (Never has Bening’s throaty voice sounded more deadly and more heartless than it does here.)

When Bening plays her second big scene, in which Arkadina has to do anything she can think of to hold on to Trigorin, director Michael Mayer keeps the camera steadily on her face as she flatters Trigorin out of his urge to leave her for the younger Nina. After Arkadina has won, Stoll’s Trigorin sits back and says, “I am weak and spineless…is that what women want?” This is a very funny line as delivered here, and it hits just the right tragic-comic note.

Watch Video: Saoirse Ronan Is a Confused Newlywed in the First Trailer for ‘On Chesil Beach’

“The Seagull” has been “opened up” so that some scenes play outdoors, and that works well because these characters are supposed to be amidst nature on a country estate. This mobility helps keep the material fluid, as does the very hard-working score by Nico Muhly and Anton Sanko, which becomes particularly ominous before Konstantin’s attempted suicide (what sounds like a mixed male and female chorus starts to shriek on the soundtrack). But the most impressive thing about this film of “The Seagull” is that every role has been ideally cast.

Moss somehow manages to dominate the whole film and stay most in the memory in spite of limited footage, but Bening plays her last moment here extraordinarily well, and this closing scene with Arkadina generally gives actresses trouble. (Streep didn’t seem to know how to play it, as if it were a puzzle that she couldn’t figure out.)

Bening is physically fluttery throughout most of the film, which expresses Arkadina’s desperate need to never face the facts. But in our last view of this woman, Bening decides to keep very still, her eyes glassy and fixed on some distant point, and the effect is like a surprisingly bold move in an otherwise circumspect poker game. The PBS version of “The Seagull” with Blythe Danner is still the best film adaptation of this play, but this movie has much to recommend it.



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Every part in a Chekhov play, no matter how small, is a great part and filled with potential, and Elisabeth Moss proves that in this new screen version of “The Seagull,” which has been adapted by the playwright Stephen Karam.

Moss plays Masha, which is a small role in relation to the lead roles of the famous actress Arkadina and the ambitious ingénue Nina. At the start of “The Seagull,” Masha famously says, “I’m in mourning for my life,” but Karam cleverly begins his screenplay with the set-up of the last scene in the play and then flashes back to the beginning, when there still seems to be some hope for everyone.

Moss reads that well-known line about being in mourning for her life in a way that exactly catches the tone of Chekhov: deeply anguished yet also somehow comic. Chekhov considered “The Seagull” a comedy and called it that in his text, even though it is filled to the brim with the sadness of what can happen between people who love unrequitedly and compete with each other.

There have been other films of “The Seagull,” and many different contemporary stage productions. Sidney Lumet directed a movie adaptation with Vanessa Redgrave as Nina in 1968, and the 1975 Williamstown production was filmed for PBS with Blythe Danner as a very spontaneous, in-the-moment, and heartbreaking Nina. And anyone who saw Meryl Streep play Arkadina in “The Seagull” in Central Park in 2001 will remember her in it, especially the way she did an expert cartwheel on stage.

Arkadina is played by Annette Bening here, and her celebrated literary lover Trigorin is played by Corey Stoll. In the first scenes, which are presented as a flashback, Arkadina’s son Konstantin (Billy Howle, “On Chesil Beach”) has prepared an avant-garde play starring his girlfriend Nina (Saoirse Ronan), and Arkadina keeps interrupting the performance with rude remarks. Bening plays Arkadina in a much crueler way than she is usually portrayed in this scene; she is very cutting, and yet Bening is believable later when Arkadina wonders, “Why did I hurt him?”

As played by Bening, Arkadina is a vain woman and a ruthless winner who is disgusted by her son’s weakness and pretentiousness and jealousy. In the big scene where Arkadina dresses Konstantin’s head wound after he has attempted suicide, Bening smiles at Howle more like a girlfriend than a mother. Bening’s Arkadina is a woman without a shred of maternal feeling, and this makes her very different from Streep’s Arkadina, who was angry with her son but still tied to him.

Stoll is an extremely sexy Trigorin, especially when he looks at Ronan’s Nina with bedroom eyes as he takes her on a boat ride and rows her along, but the tone of his voice sounds jaded and cruel, and this matches what we have seen and heard of Arkadina. (Never has Bening’s throaty voice sounded more deadly and more heartless than it does here.)

When Bening plays her second big scene, in which Arkadina has to do anything she can think of to hold on to Trigorin, director Michael Mayer keeps the camera steadily on her face as she flatters Trigorin out of his urge to leave her for the younger Nina. After Arkadina has won, Stoll’s Trigorin sits back and says, “I am weak and spineless…is that what women want?” This is a very funny line as delivered here, and it hits just the right tragic-comic note.

“The Seagull” has been “opened up” so that some scenes play outdoors, and that works well because these characters are supposed to be amidst nature on a country estate. This mobility helps keep the material fluid, as does the very hard-working score by Nico Muhly and Anton Sanko, which becomes particularly ominous before Konstantin’s attempted suicide (what sounds like a mixed male and female chorus starts to shriek on the soundtrack). But the most impressive thing about this film of “The Seagull” is that every role has been ideally cast.

Moss somehow manages to dominate the whole film and stay most in the memory in spite of limited footage, but Bening plays her last moment here extraordinarily well, and this closing scene with Arkadina generally gives actresses trouble. (Streep didn’t seem to know how to play it, as if it were a puzzle that she couldn’t figure out.)

Bening is physically fluttery throughout most of the film, which expresses Arkadina’s desperate need to never face the facts. But in our last view of this woman, Bening decides to keep very still, her eyes glassy and fixed on some distant point, and the effect is like a surprisingly bold move in an otherwise circumspect poker game. The PBS version of “The Seagull” with Blythe Danner is still the best film adaptation of this play, but this movie has much to recommend it.

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‘The Seagull’ Review: Annette Bening & Saoirse Ronan Lead Sterling Cast In Smart Take On Chekhov Classic

The great director Sidney Lumet brought a beautifully acted version of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull to the screen in 1968, but apparently it has taken another half-century to get a another version that gives Chekhov’s 1895 play a new spin in…

The great director Sidney Lumet brought a beautifully acted version of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull to the screen in 1968, but apparently it has taken another half-century to get a another version that gives Chekhov’s 1895 play a new spin in movies. I have to say, the new The Seagull compares favorably to any previous attempt, particularly in bringing out the lighter aspects of what is a very funny piece. Lumet’s version had the likes of James Mason and Vanessa Redgrave…

Annette Bening Joins Disney/Marvel’s ‘Captain Marvel’

Annette Bening is venturing into the Marvel Universe with Captain Marvel. The Oscar-nominated actress has joined the Brie Larson in Disney/Marvel’s first female-led superhero pic, currently in production and set for a March 8, 2019 bow. Anna Bode…

Annette Bening is venturing into the Marvel Universe with Captain Marvel. The Oscar-nominated actress has joined the Brie Larson in Disney/Marvel’s first female-led superhero pic, currently in production and set for a March 8, 2019 bow. Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck are directing the film which is set in the 1990s and centers on Carol Danvers, an Air Force pilot who becomes one of the universe's most powerful heroes when her DNA was fused with that of an alien during an…

Annette Bening Joins Cast of Marvel Studios’ ‘Captain Marvel’

Four-time Oscar nominee Annette Bening is doing her first ever superhero movie and joining the cast of Marvel Studios “Captain Marvel,” an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.

“Captain Marvel,” starring Brie Larson as the studio’s first female superhero to get her own standalone movie, will be a prequel set before “Iron Man.”

Samuel L. Jackson will also return as Nick Fury — this time without the eyepatch because the film will be set in the 1990s (presumably before he lost use of his left eye).

Also Read: How Will ‘Captain Marvel’ Play Into That Wild ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Ending?

“Captain Marvel,” to be directed by “Mississippi Grind” helmers Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, will also feature the first-ever appearance of iconic Marvel alien antagonists, The Skrulls.

At last year’s San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel rocked the Hall H crowd and showed some concept art designed for the movie, which follows Air Force pilot Carol Danvers, who is blessed with half-alien DNA and has the superpowers of strength, energy projection and flight.

Meg LeFauve (“Inside Out”) wrote the script with Nicole Perlman (“Guardians of the Galaxy”). Victoria Alonso, Louis D’Esposito and Stan Lee are executive producers, with Kevin Feige producing.

Also Read: ‘Captain Marvel,’ ‘Tomb Raider’ Writers Take on Sony’s ‘Silver and Black’

“Captain Marvel” is set for release on March 8, 2019.

Bening is repped by CAA.

The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news.

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Four-time Oscar nominee Annette Bening is doing her first ever superhero movie and joining the cast of Marvel Studios “Captain Marvel,” an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.

“Captain Marvel,” starring Brie Larson as the studio’s first female superhero to get her own standalone movie, will be a prequel set before “Iron Man.”

Samuel L. Jackson will also return as Nick Fury — this time without the eyepatch because the film will be set in the 1990s (presumably before he lost use of his left eye).

“Captain Marvel,” to be directed by “Mississippi Grind” helmers Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, will also feature the first-ever appearance of iconic Marvel alien antagonists, The Skrulls.

At last year’s San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel rocked the Hall H crowd and showed some concept art designed for the movie, which follows Air Force pilot Carol Danvers, who is blessed with half-alien DNA and has the superpowers of strength, energy projection and flight.

Meg LeFauve (“Inside Out”) wrote the script with Nicole Perlman (“Guardians of the Galaxy”). Victoria Alonso, Louis D’Esposito and Stan Lee are executive producers, with Kevin Feige producing.

“Captain Marvel” is set for release on March 8, 2019.

Bening is repped by CAA.

The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news.

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Jimmy Kimmel Scores Record YouTube Week With 'Mean Tweets – Avengers Edition' Boost

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‘The Seagull’ Review: Annette Bening and Saoirse Ronan Do Chekhov Well, But the Movie Can’t Keep Up — Tribeca

The actors excel in this adapted stage classic, but indulgent direction gets in their way.

Great plays are plays for a reason. If something succeeds onstage, it’s usually because it was written for that medium. Of course, if Hollywood can make a blockbuster out of a video game, classic Russian dramas are fair game. Unfortunately, although “The Seagull” sports a winning cast, the latest adaptation of the stage classic should have let Anton Chekhov’s writing speak for itself. 

The drama unfolds on a Russian country estate, and it involves the intertwining love lives of the actress Irina Arkadina (Annette Bening), her lover and well-known author Boris Trigorin (Corey Stoll), her lovesick son Konstantin (Billy Howle), and their young neighbor Nina (Saoirse Ronan). Konstantin loves Nina and envies Trigorin’s success, Nina is starstruck and becomes infatuated with Boris, who’s aroused by Nina’s admiration, and Irina is too busy tracking Trigorin’s waning desire to take an interest in her son.

Meanwhile, Masha (Elisabeth Moss) is so desperately in love with Konstantin that she weeps incessantly. The schoolteacher, Medvedenko (Michael Zegen), follows her around like a puppy. Masha’s mother, Polina (Mare Winningham), loves Doctor Dorn (Jon Tenney), who looks after Irina’s brother Sorin (Brian Dennehy), who surveys the action with an old man’s bemused concern.

Annette Bening

Annette Bening and Jon Tenney in “The Seagull”

Sony Pictures Classics

Staying true to the theory of Chekhov’s gun (which states that if a gun appears in the first act of a play it must go off by the next), Konstantin shoots a seagull and lays it at Nina’s feet. Howle, who made an impression in “Dunkirk,” attacks Konstantin’s malaise with such vigor that one wonders what could possibly ail such a lithe young man. It works to justify Irina’s confusion when, seeking the attention of both the women in his life, Konstantin uses the gun again.

It goes without saying that Bening and Ronan are both excellent in their respective roles — one as the aging diva and the other the wide-eyed ingenue. Both are skilled in balancing the comedic with the dramatic, earning laughs and gasps in equal measure. But Moss takes the cake; Masha is the kind of role that keeps actresses like Moss employed. She’s pitch perfect from the moment she says, “I’m in mourning. For my life,” with the same wry tone and killer timing as, “A lot of women drink. Just not as openly as I do.”

With such talent, all director Michael Mayer had to do was keep the camera still and shoult “action.” The Broadway director known for “Spring Awakening” and “American Idiot,” gutsy productions that landed like a shot of adrenaline into a flailing musical theater canon, Mayer films “The Seagull” like he’s choreographing a Green Day song. The film is littered with so many dolly shots that swing to Bening’s face, it’s a wonder she didn’t get whiplash during the production. It is Annette Bening, after all. Doing Chekhov. You don’t need to do much.

Mayer and screenwriter Stephen Karam (whose play “The Humans” won the Tony in 2016), open the movie with the play’s final act before returning to the actual beginning, a showing of Konstantin’s play starring Nina two years prior. The device works to orient the audience and set up some intrigue, but when the final act comes back around, Mayer repeats the minutes-long opening. That lengthy repetition not only drags out the ending unnecessarily, but feels like a particularly odd choice here. Chekhov was known to leave certain dramatic events off the page (such as Konstantin’s suicide attempt); such economy sharpened his storytelling. No such luck here.

The editing, where it relaxes, goes a long way toward emphasizing the play’s humor. The reactions of each character during Konstantin’s play are priceless, as is a cut to Irina’s spirited singing after someone suggests Nina perform. Trigorin and Nina’s courtship hurdles forward inevitably, and Stoll skirts the line between charming and slippery with the assurance of a “House of Cards” actor. Theater lovers will enjoy seeing these actors take on such iconic roles, but they’ll find themselves wishing they were seeing the same great talent on the stage.

Grade: C+

“The Seagull” premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 21, 2018. “The Seagull” opens in theaters on May 11.

Tribeca Film Review: ‘The Seagull’

Why is it that in cinema, remakes are so often reviled, whereas on stage, each new production of a classic play brings a fresh wave of anticipation, as we wonder how the director and cast might choose to interpret the characters this time around, and t…

Why is it that in cinema, remakes are so often reviled, whereas on stage, each new production of a classic play brings a fresh wave of anticipation, as we wonder how the director and cast might choose to interpret the characters this time around, and thrill to the idea of watching the material brought to […]

Annette Bening, Adam Driver, Jon Hamm in Talks for CIA Drama ‘Torture Report’

Annette Bening, Adam Driver, Jon Hamm, and Jennifer Morrison are in negotiations to star in CIA drama “The Torture Report.” Scott Z. Burns is directing from his own script. Vice Studios is producing and financing for the project, which centers on the CIA’s extreme interrogation program on detainees following the 9/11 attacks. Along with Burns, […]

Annette Bening, Adam Driver, Jon Hamm, and Jennifer Morrison are in negotiations to star in CIA drama “The Torture Report.” Scott Z. Burns is directing from his own script. Vice Studios is producing and financing for the project, which centers on the CIA’s extreme interrogation program on detainees following the 9/11 attacks. Along with Burns, […]

Annette Bening, Adam Driver, Jon Hamm, Jennifer Morrison In Talks To Join Scott Z. Burns’ CIA Drama From VICE Studios

EXCLUSIVE: Annette Bening, Adam Driver, Jon Hamm and Jennifer Morrison are all in talks to star in a CIA drama tentatively titled The Torture Report, which will be written and directed by The Bourne Ultimatum and Contagion scribe Scott Z. Burns. VICE Studios is handling the financing for this project, which focuses on the CIA’s rendition and interrogation program following 9/11.
Back in December 2014, the U.S. Senate Select Intelligence Committee released a 500+ page…

EXCLUSIVE: Annette Bening, Adam Driver, Jon Hamm and Jennifer Morrison are all in talks to star in a CIA drama tentatively titled The Torture Report, which will be written and directed by The Bourne Ultimatum and Contagion scribe Scott Z. Burns. VICE Studios is handling the financing for this project, which focuses on the CIA's rendition and interrogation program following 9/11. Back in December 2014, the U.S. Senate Select Intelligence Committee released a 500+ page…

Dan Fogelman’s ‘Life, Itself’ Trailer Debuts During ‘This Is Us’ Finale (Video)

Amazon released the first look at “This Is Us” creator Dan Fogelman’s upcoming film “Life, Itself” during Tuesday’s season finale of his hit show “This Is Us.”

Directed and written by Fogelman, the movie stars Oscar Isaac, Olivia Wilde, Antonio Banderas, Annette Bening and Olivia Cooke.

It weaves together the stories of multiple characters who interact with one another stretching from New York to the Spanish countryside.

Also Read: ‘This Is Us’ Showrunners Isaac Aptaker, Elizabeth Berger Sign With CAA (Exclusive)

“Life, Itself” was produced by Temple Hill’s Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey, along with FilmNation Entertainment’s Aaron Ryder and Fogelman.

Fogelman’s most recent credits include serving as the writer and creator of NBC’s “This Is Us,” as well as being a producer on “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,” in which Cooke starred as well.

His screenplay credits also include “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” “Last Vegas” and “Tangled.”

Also Read: ‘This Is Us’ Creator Dan Fogelman’s ‘Life, Itself’ Heads to Amazon in $10 Million Deal

He previously directed the Al Pacino-Annette Bening dramedy “Danny Collins.”

Fogelman is represented by WME and Management 360.

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Amazon released the first look at “This Is Us” creator Dan Fogelman’s upcoming film “Life, Itself” during Tuesday’s season finale of his hit show “This Is Us.”

Directed and written by Fogelman, the movie stars Oscar Isaac, Olivia Wilde, Antonio Banderas, Annette Bening and Olivia Cooke.

It weaves together the stories of multiple characters who interact with one another stretching from New York to the Spanish countryside.

“Life, Itself” was produced by Temple Hill’s Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey, along with FilmNation Entertainment’s Aaron Ryder and Fogelman.

Fogelman’s most recent credits include serving as the writer and creator of NBC’s “This Is Us,” as well as being a producer on “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,” in which Cooke starred as well.

His screenplay credits also include “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” “Last Vegas” and “Tangled.”

He previously directed the Al Pacino-Annette Bening dramedy “Danny Collins.”

Fogelman is represented by WME and Management 360.

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