A devil’s bargain to ponder: more mo-cap-free, starring roles for Andy Serkis, but all of them in maudlin teen cancer dramas that make “50/50” seem like the underrated romp it isn’t? Okay, okay, the recently released trailer for Ian Fitzgibbon-directed “Death of a Superhero” actually looks halfway interesting, but still it’s a quandary to be considered.
Quite a lot of buzz has already coalesced for the film, with some positive reviews after its September TIFF premiere, and now the trailer has arrived, thanks to Movieline. Tribeca Films promptly acquired the film, which is adapted from the novel of the same name by author Anthony McCarten. ‘Superhero’ stars Thomas Brodie-Sangster (endearing or obnoxious as the red-headed youngster in “Love Actually“), all grown up as Donald, an Irish teen stricken with leukemia, who turns to his passion for comic books and drawing as an escape. A “Pan’s Labyrinth” if Ofelia were Jean Giraud, the film brings in Serkis as his sympathetic therapist, who slowly draws Donald into the world, as well as Aisling Loftus, playing the free-spirited love interest.
The film looks to defy its conventional premise by displaying fantastic performances, which feels confirmed by the trailer, and also the reality-blurring inclusion of Donald’s drawings into his life, a surreal touch that distinguishes the film greatly from others of its ilk. Check out the trailer below, if only for the Andy Serkis’ screaming match with Sangster, which conjures up the sounds of King Kong, Gollum, and Caesar, all in the same breath, and then check out the film when it lands April 17th on VOD, iTunes, and Amazon. A limited theatrical run follows on May 4th.