You know how just yesterday I was talking about Serena, starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper, and openly wondering why it has been sitting on the shelf for over 2 years? That was funny timing on my part because StudioCanal just released the first trailer for Serena today.
As a reminder, Serena is based on a 2008 novella by Ron Rash, and takes place in 1929 North Carolina, where young newlyweds George (Cooper) and Serena Pemberton (Lawrence) move to build a timber empire. Their ambition is all-consuming and dangerous — neither is afraid to kill or destroy anyone who opposes them — but they’re turned against each other when Serena finds she can’t bear children. Back when the movie was first announced in early 2012, the role of Serena was compared to Lady Macbeth, which might explain why Lawrence was not the only one attracted to the part. The film was originally meant to star Angelina Jolie and be directed by Darren Aronofsky, but it instead fell to Lawrence and Danish filmmaker Susanne Bier.
However, Cooper and Lawrence actually wrapped filming on this back in May 2012, a couple of months before their other movie together, Silver Linings Playbook, made its premiere at the Toronto Film Festival. In the time since then, Cooper and Lawrence have actually already made another movie together, last year’s American Hustle, and Bier has shot and finished another movie of her own, A Second Chance. Many assumed the delay on Serena must have meant it was a troubled production, but insiders swore that it was simply because Bier was an intense perfectionist. Plus, they may have felt some pressure after everyone loved Cooper and Lawrence together so much in Silver Linings Playbook. How could Serena live up to that?
Bier eventually got over that, though, and Serena has apparently been finished now since late last year when it was quietly being screened around Hollywood in the hopes of picking up a distributor. No one bit, but European-based StudioCanal eventually came to the rescue, and currently has Serena scheduled to debut at the London Film Festival in early October. After that, it will hit UK theaters on October 24th before expanding to France on November 12th, Australia/New Zealand on November 27th, and Germany on December 18th. We don’t actually know for sure when it is going to play anywhere else, but the trailer does end with the text “In Theaters November 27.” So, that’d be a good guess.
When a movie has taken this long to arrive it’s usually safe to assume that it must not be very good. However, that trailer actually looks kind of interesting, if perhaps trying a bit to hide some of the film’s more artistic flourishes. The big question here might be whether or not audiences are ready to see Jennifer Lawrence do some very, very not nice things because that trailer makes it seem like her character turns into a straight-up ruthless, murdering madwoman. In an alternate universe, this is what would happen to Pat (Cooper) if he ever stepped out on Tiffany (Lawrence) after the events of Silver Linings Playbook.
Serena is due to “hit theaters November 27.”