Universal Pictures on Wednesday released the latest trailer for Queen & Slim, the upcoming romance drama directed by Melina Matsoukas and written by Emmy winner Lena Waithe.
The film stars Oscar-nominated actor Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out, Widows) and newcomer Jodie Turner-Smith.
BuzzFeed News attended an exclusive screening of the film's first 12 minutes last week, where Matsoukas teased more of what's to come. She also shared some tidbits about making the project.
At the Q&A, Matsoukas said the film was intended to be a way of honoring "black people who have lost their lives to police brutality."
The film begins with our leads on their very first date at a diner in Ohio. There's some light flirting, but it's clear that this encounter probably won't lead to a second date. After the dinner date, they head home, only to be stopped by a police officer who pulls them over for a small traffic mishap. The officer starts by asking Slim (Kaluuya's character) for his registration.
He hands it over, but the situation escalates after the officer asks him to step out of the vehicle. Seeing that the officer was unable to find anything suspicious in the car (spoiler: The officer was deliberately being difficult), Slim asked if he could go because it was cold outside. Offended by being asked to hurry things along, the officer snaps and pulls out his gun and orders Slim to kneel on the ground with his hands behind his back. Queen — who, we learned earlier in the film, is a criminal defense lawyer — gets out of the car and begins defending Slim against the officer.
The police officer is enraged at this point and turns his weapon from Slim to Queen and fires a bullet that wounds her. Slim tackles the officer and there's a bit of a scuffle. Defending himself, Slim finally manages to get the gun — which had been tossed aside in the mayhem — and shoots the officer just as he's about to lunge toward him. Queen and Slim, who had only just met that night, are forever tied together because of the incident.
Though they're dubbed the black Bonnie and Clyde in the film, Matsoukas said "that's not really who they are."
Matsoukas said she wanted to create a dialogue with the film "to have people talking about both sides," but at its heart, this is a project about black love.
Queen & Slim is Matsoukas's directorial debut, a film she said was influenced by the work of other black filmmakers, including Spike Lee (Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X) and Julie Dash (Daughters of the Dust).
There are still a few details audiences won't know until they see the film, like whether Queen and Slim survive or what their real names are, which Matsoukas said won't be revealed until the end of the movie.