It’s taken its sweet time to get here, but Jeff Nichols’ science fiction thriller Midnight Special is finally getting close to release. It’s been delayed on a number of occasions, but will make its wide public debut next month, and an eerie, atmospheric new trailer for the chase film has just dropped. It gives you a taste of what’s in store and should serve to get you pumped up for this one.
This trailer gives you a solid idea of what is really, at its core, a fairly simple plot. A father, Roy, played by Michael Shannon, must go on the run to protect his son, Alton (Jaeden Lieberher), who is gifted with special powers. These are the type of powers that many want to use for their own nefarious ends, and the father and son are pursued by a mysterious branch of the government, led by Paul Sevier (Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Adam Driver), and an extreme religious sect, fronted by Calvin Meyer (Oscar nominee Sam Shepard). They have to avoid these dangers and try to uncover the true nature of Alton’s awesome abilities.
Though the stakes are great, and there is more going on, the thrust of Midnight Special is really a father doing whatever it takes to protect his son and keep him safe from harm. Joel Edgerton aids Roy and Alton, and Kirsten Dunst plays the boy’s mother, forming what is a formidable cast.
Midnight Special marks the fourth collaboration between Jeff Nichols and Michael Shannon, who have previously worked together on Shotgun Stories, Take Shelter, and Mud, and who have since reteamed for the upcoming Loving (which also co-stars Joel Edgerton). The two appear to enjoy working together.
This is a movie we’ve been keeping an eye on for some time, and one that looks like it could straddle some genre boundaries—Midnight Special appears to have plenty to appeal to both horror and science fiction fans, as well as those who enjoy tense thrillers and chase movies. So, you know, damn near everyone.
Sometimes movies wind up being delayed like this because they’re not particularly good, but thus far the critical reception for Midnight Special has been largely positive, and it currently has an 88% Fresh rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. The film recently screened as part of the competition at the 66th annual Berlin Film Festival, and it will how stateside next month in Austin, Texas as part of the film portion of SXSW. This is all ahead of a wider March 18 release date.