This morning, the first look at Joel and Ethan Coen’s hotly anticipated new film Hail, Caesar! hit the internet in the form of a glossy, zippy trailer. (Give it a look-see above.) Few filmmakers have the power to inspire such immediate excitement through pre-release promotion as the Coen brothers. Like big-name American talents such as Paul Thomas Anderson or Quentin Tarantino, a new film from the CoBros is more than another release on the calendar, it’s a major event for movie-lovers. Anyone who fancies themselves even the slightest film buff stopped and took notice when the trailer surfaced, eager to see what the master filmmakers had cooked up this time. And of course, they did not disappoint.
For their first proper feature since 2013’s sublimely melancholic Inside Llewyn Davis, the Coens put a little pep back in their step and reverted to the screwball-comedy mode of The Hudsucker Proxy and Intolerable Cruelty. Hail, Caesar! stars Josh Brolin as a Golden Age Hollywood “fixer,” a studio employee tasked with keeping stars’ public profiles clean and free of scandal. But he’s got his work cut out for him when the leading man on a big gladiator epic (frequent Coen collaborator George Clooney) gets kidnapped by a mysterious syndicate known only as “The Future”. The madcap scramble to get him back in time to complete the film drags Brolin through a Tinseltown wonderland where Scarlett Johansson leaps into a pool while dressed as a mermaid (swoon) and Channing Tatum completes his transformation into the latter-day Gene Kelly (equal, but different swoon). Typical Coen faces such as Frances McDormand and Tilda Swinton appear alongside newcomers Ralph Fiennes and Jonah Hill, though the stealth star here may be master cinematographer Roger Deakins, spinning a gold-tinted vision of Old Hollywood in glorious 35mm.
The film will hit theaters on February 6, 2016, which will give us plenty of time to watch this trailer hundreds more times in advance of the big rollout. Is Hail, Caesar! your most eagerly anticipated debut of 2016? Weigh in below.