In the normal course of events, we probably wouldn’t write up a 19-second teaser for a movie, especially if the teaser’s purpose is to let you know that a more full trailer is coming in just a handful of days. But, then, most movies aren’t George Miller’s follow-up—lo these many years later—to the relentlessly thrilling Mad Max: Fury Road, and most teasers don’t stuff as much “Holy shit” into themselves as the one for Three Thousand Years Of Longing.
Based off of A.S. Byatt’s 1994 short story The Djinn In The Nightingale’s Eye, the trailer for Three Thousand Years opens on Idris Elba as the titular Djinn, doing what djinn do in stories, i.e., apparently getting sucked, with all their great cosmic power, into a ity bitty living space. The teaser then starts jumping aggressively, giving us shots of Tilda Swinton, swimming pools, weird musicians, battles, executions, and more in a blisteringly fast set of cuts.
What’s most interesting about the trailer is how defiant it is, re: early descriptions of this film, described by Miller himself as an “anti-Max Max” about a long conversation between the Djinn and a scholar he offers three wishes to. Miller has certainly not allowed the quiet or restrained nature of that premise to color the film he’s made, which looks vibrant as all get out and filled with life. We have no idea that the movie’s going to be like, mind you, but “a quiet conversation between two people” is definitely not going to encompass it.
Mostly, it just fills us with questions. What’s up with that spider thing? Who’s going to get their head cut off? What’s up with that guy’s big guitar? What about that spider thing, it’s awful and we hate it.
All (or, at least some) will hopefully be answered this Friday, when the trailer for Three Thousand Years Of Longing is released. The film itself will premiere at Cannes later this month.