Imaginative writer Neil Gaiman is having a good year. The TV adaptation of his 2001 novel American Gods is burning up plasma screens with its divinely hot gay sex scenes and now John Cameron Mitchell (creator of the gender-bending rock musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch) is directing Gaiman’s short story “How to Talk to Girls at Parties,” a punk rock sci-fi set in 1970s London with Nicole Kidman playing a punk rock alien queen set on conquering Earth.
The film is actually debuting at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival tomorrow, but we’ve snagged several trailers for it below (each one gets progressively darker). Let’s have a look:
Here’s the first, which is lovey dovey and romantic (until the penis joke at the end)…
… the second (featuring Kidman as Queen Boadicea)…
… and the third, which is kind of nightmarish.
The film features Alex Sharp as Enn, a teenage punk rocker who meets a cult-like group of beautiful young women at a party. He falls for Zan (Elle Fanning) and later discovers that the girls are really aliens lead by Queen Boadicea (Kidman).
If you’re curious, you can actually read Gaiman’s short story for free online. (It took us about 15 minutes). It’s beautiful, poetic and doesn’t contain Fanning or Kidman’s characters — in fact, the entire thing is strangely lyrical and ends with surprising rape undertones. In short, it’s exactly the mysterious and emotionally raw material that Cameron has explored in his previous work.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Mitchell said that Gaiman gave him the following advice for expanding and adapting his short story:
The directive he gave was: Let’s keep it earthbound, let’s not make it a sci-fi in the modern sense where it’s a space opera. Let’s keep it a day in the life of [London borough] Croydon, but an alien experiencing it as something rather exotic.
It has been seven years since Mitchell’s last film, Rabbit Hole, though he has also taken several small acting roles in shows like Girls, Vinyl and The Good Fight. He’s also reportedly writing, co-directing and will star in a semi-autobiographical musical television series called Homunculus.