Robin Williams and Will Smith are passing down the torch to Idris Elba. In the first trailer for George Miller’s upcoming film Three Thousand Years of Longing, Tilda Swinton meets her very own Genie in total Aladdin fashion—just a bit zanier. Gone are the days of the blue, wise-cracking, fairy tale Genie. This guy has a dark sense of humor and a lot more cynicism—and yet, he’s still got three wishes to offer.
“My name is Alithea,” Tilda Swinton’s character intones at the start, as she writes her novel The Three Thousand Years of Longing. “My story is true. You’re more likely to believe me, however, if I tell it as a fairy tale.” (This is what she’s writing in her book, at least, next to scribbles of random numbers. Her narration is a bit skewed.)
While visiting Istanbul, Alithea encounters a memento that sets her whole life on a gonzo path toward fantasy land. As anyone would do, Alithea decides to clean this antique relic with a vibrating toothbrush. Poof! A giant Idris Elba appears, a dream thousands of women have found themselves lost in since the star became the internet’s official boyfriend.
Now sporting elf ears and a torn bathrobe (matching Alithea’s fluffy fit), the Genie gifts his liberator with three wishes. We don’t know what those wishes might be—“You’ll see,” Elba taunts—but the next flurry of shots include a cloaked individual diving into the ocean, a sauna full of naked bodies, and some violent archery. Oh, and there’s Alithea convincing her elderly pals to let the Genie crash in their apartment.
“I’m beginning to wish we’d never met!” Alithea declares near the end of the trailer, a damning desire that sends the Genie back into the portal. What did you think was going to happen when you said that?
Three Thousand Years of Longing marks Miller’s return to film, following 2015’s Oscar-winning triumph Mad Max: Fury Road. Other titles from the esteemed director include Babe: Pig in the City, The Witches of Eastwick, and the original three Mad Max movies. Along with Swinton and Elba, the cast includes Aamito Lagum, Burcu Gölgedar, and Matteo Bocelli.
Adapted from the short story “The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye by A. S. Byatt, the fantasy romance will have its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival today. In fact, the event has already stirred some sort of controversy: A woman covered in body paint stripped off her clothes and screamed in front of the cameras on the movie’s red carpet. While that story is still developing, reports are suggesting that the instigator is an activist for women’s rights in Ukraine.
Three Thousand Years of Longing will be released in theaters on August 31 this summer. Our one wish is that it was out sooner! (Well, maybe not our one wish, but we’d be happy to use one of the three for this.)