Fox Searchlight has debuted the official trailer for “Wendy,” the long-awaited second feature film from “Beasts of the Southern Wild” breakout Benh Zeitlin. The filmmaker’s 2012 debuted wowed the international film circuit, winning the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and the Camera d’Or at Cannes before earning four Oscar nominations, including bids for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actress for Quvenzhané Wallis. Zeitlin hasn’t released a new feature since “Beasts,” making next year’s “Wendy” one of the year’s must-see indie films.
Fox Searchlight’s official “Wendy” synopsis reads: “The classic story of Peter Pan is wildly reimagined in this ragtag epic from Benh Zeitlin, director of ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild.’ Lost on a mysterious island where aging and time have come unglued, Wendy must fight to save her family, her freedom, and the joyous spirit of youth from the deadly peril of growing up.”
The breakthrough success of “Beasts” (IndieWire named it one of the 100 best movies of the decade) and Zeitlin’s surprise Best Director nomination at the Academy Awards have put scrutiny on his follow-up, made all the more intense by the eight-year wait. Fox Searchlight previously worked with Zeitlin on the release of “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” The drama was hugely profitable for Fox Searchlight, grossing just over $23 million on a $1.8 million production budget.
The first trailer for “Wendy” below will remind many moviegoers of “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” From its grounded handheld camera to its focus on child actors, “Wendy” looks like a natural continuation of Zeitlin’s Oscar-nominated work on “Beasts.” Even the percussion and horn-driven music sounds a lot like Dan Romer and Zeitlin’s “Beasts of the Southern Wild” score. Zeitlin wrote the “Wendy” script with Eliza Zeitlin. The film stars newcomer Devin France as Wendy.
Fox Searchlight will open “Wendy” in theaters beginning February 28. The release date means moviegoers might see “Wendy” pop up as a world premiere at either the Sundance Film Fesival or the Berlin International Film Festival. Watch the official trailer for the movie in the video below.