‘Vengeance’ Trailer: B.J. Novak Satirizes the True Crime Podcast World
Focus Features has released the first trailer for “Vengeance,” the upcoming directorial debut from “The Office” star B.J. Novak.
Novak stars in the film as Ben Manalowitz, a successful but conceited radio host from New York who flies to Texas for the funeral of Abilene, a girl he hooked up with a few times, after her family mistakenly believes he was her boyfriend. While in town, Ben is taken under the wing of Abilene’s brother Ty (Boyd Holbrock), who reveals to him that he believes Abilene was murdered, rather than dying from an opioid overdose.
Although Ben doesn’t believe Ty’s theory, he agrees to help investigate the murder and produce a podcast about their findings. Without Ty’s knowledge, however, he actually intends to frame the podcast as a story about how people latch on to conspiracy theories in order to avoid facing reality. The trailer shows the ensuing investigation into Abilene’s death, while emphasizing the culture clash between the two very different men.
“The two of us are going to avenge her death,” Holbrock tells Novak in the trailer. “So as a personal boundary, I don’t avenge deaths,” Novak replies.
In addition to Novak and Holbrock, “Vengeance” also stars Dove Cameron as Ty’s sister and Issa Rae as Ben’s boss. Ashton Kutcher, J. Smith-Cameron, Isabella Amara and Lio Tipton round out the ensemble cast. Along with directing, Novak also penned the script. Jason Blum produces the film for Blumhouse Productions, while Greg Gilreath and Adam Hendricks produce for Divide/Conquer. Focus Features distributes the film.
Talking with Variety about the trailer release and the film which is set to be released on July 29, Novak said, “It’s so easy to misinterpret our connections these days, and it’s also easy to fall in love with someone after they’re out of your life, when you can obsess over their photos and your own memories and regrets. I started there which led me to this idea: what if you were expected to avenge the death of a someone you barely knew?” Novak added, “I wanted to put the character somewhere he was really lost, living with a family in the place he least understood. And then when I looked at a map, Texas was just staring at me. It has this almost mythological quality. From the Alamo onwards, vengeance is in Texas’s DNA. I found that Texas was full of contradictions, especially in that it feels like the most intimidating place and yet also the friendliest.”
Novak who also wrote the script says casting the film was the most fun process for him. Aside from searching about who was best for each role, he looked at composition that he says “would make the cast feel interesting and fresh, and yet all fit well together.”
“Vengeance” will premiere in theaters July 29. The 2022 Tribeca Festival will be screening the world premiere of the film as its centerpiece screening on June 12.
Watch the trailer below.
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