Universal Pictures has released the new trailer for the upcoming film Queen & Slim. The movie hails from a story idea by James Frey that was then written as a screenplay by The Chi creator Lena Waithe, and it tackles incredibly incendiary subject matter: the killing of a police officer by an African-American male. Daniel Kaluuya and newcomer Jodie Turner-Smith star as a black couple on a first date who are pulled over for a minor traffic violation, only for the situation to escalate as Kaluuya’s character kills the cop in self-defense. In fear for their lives and how this situation will be interpreted by others, the two decide to go on the run.
The movie serves as the feature directorial debut of Melina Matsoukas, who helmed episodes of Insecure and Master of None (including the Waithe-penned “Thanksgiving”) as well as a number of music videos including Beyonce’s “Formation.” This would be a provocative, compelling trailer regardless, but the fact that this is a major release from Universal Pictures makes it all the more impressive.
This new trailer goes for it even harder than the first one did. The subtext is heavy and obvious here, but intentionally so. Queen & Slim isn’t shying away from taking on real-world systemic racism head on. What remains to be seen is how audiences respond to it, especially audiences of different demographics. And I’m not just talking about White vs Black/People of Color audiences, who will obviously factor in their own unique experiences into their take on the film. I’m also curious to see how folks who praise the rebellious, anti-establishment antics of modern icons like Heisenberg and the Joker respond when the heroes are a pair of otherwise ordinary Black people forced to go on the run and take aim at a system that targets them. Expect heated conversations over this one, and rightfully so.
Check out the new Queen & Slim trailer below. The film opens in theaters on November 27th.