As remakes go, it’s important to do something unique with the material if it’s to be done at all. It’s hard to add something new to an existing property, and a great many people have tried and failed over the recent years, but it’s not entirely impossible. A filmmaker of singular vision can bring life into a previously told story, and if the film’s first trailer is any indication, Sofia Coppola’s remake of the 1971 Clint Eastwood vehicle The Beguiled looks to do just that.
The drama takes place during the Civil War, when an injured Union soldier (Colin Farrell) is taken in by the residents of an all-girls school in Confederate territory. There, he’s allowed to remain in hiding by the headmistress (Nicole Kidman), albeit under watch. Before long, the repression and tension among the women begins to cause schisms in their environment, building to the point where all involved find themselves endangered. Don Siegel’s original film maintains an unsettling Southern Gothic dread, and the material couldn’t be a more perfect match for the lyrical, dreamlike approach that Coppola generally favors. (The Bling Ring notwithstanding, though that’s also a good movie in its own ways.)
The film’s first trailer highlights Coppola’s style, if with a grayer and more muted feel than usual, and the kind of goosebump-raising ominousness that could signal a new phase for the talented director, if successful. Also starring Elle Fanning, Kirsten Dunst, and Angourie Rice, The Beguiled will hit theaters on June 23rd.