Amazon Studios has recently given us our first look at its upcoming new drama film Wonder Wheel with the release of the opening trailer below. It stars Kate Winslet (The Mountain Between Us), alongside Jim Belushi (Twin Peaks) with a cast that includes Justin Timberlake (Inside Llewyn Davis) and Juno Temple (Black Mass), which adds to the unconventional feel to the directed film.
However, it looks like it might come together well, despite looking a little more like a TV series than a film. Woody Allen has written and directed the film, which is set in 1950s Coney Island, continuing his historical film-making with the likes of Midnight In Paris and Café Society in his back catalogue.
Wonder Wheel has a US release date of the 1st December 2017 in select cinemas following on from its premiere at the New York Film Festival on the 14th October 2017. It’s expected to be out in the UK in the New Year, but no date has been officially confirmed as of yet.
The plot picks up with a family from Coney Island, New York who are about to go through a very tumultuous summer. Ginny and Humpty live a relatively sedate life on the back of the amusement park, but when Humpty’s daughter returns home on the run from the mob and Ginny meets dreamer lifeguard Mickey things suddenly take a detour onto the faster, darker side of the roller-coaster.
Kate Winslet plays waitress Ginny alongside Jim Beluschi as her carousel ride operator husband Humpty. Juno Temple plays Humpty’s estranged daughter Caroline and Justin Timberlake takes on the role of wanabe playwright lifeguard Mickey in Wonder Wheel‘s close-knit cast.
Tony Sirico (Café Society) plays one of the the two mob men sent to find her with Steve Schirripa as his larger partner in crime.
Woody Allen has written and directed the film with Vittorio Storaro as the director of photography, following on from their collaboration on Café Society. Patricia DiCerto is the casting director and she was instrumental to the addition of Juno Temple to the cast having brought in a video of her for Allen to see. He’d been struggling to cast the role up until then, but the nudge from DiCerto was enough to clinch it.
Apart from Ginny and Humpty’s apartment, the rest of the film was shot on location in Coney Island and New York City, which should add to the authentic feel of the film. You can see more on the production at Woody Allen’s official website, www.woodyallen.com.
You can always count on Woody Allen to give us something different, and it looks like he’s managed to find another new direction in Wonder Wheel. The setting in 1950s Coney Island is interesting in itself, but when you throw in family life, the mob, dreams and relationship problems, you’ve got a pretty mixed up cocktail that should make for great cinema.
Juno Temple has managed to transform herself once again, having done the same job in Black Mass, but it’s a similar story for the rest of the cast. Kate Winslet and Justin Timberlake are probably the most recognisable, but they still seem to be very much the characters they’re playing. It’s something that Winslet has also done a number of times in the past, whether she’s playing the rich girl on a doomed ocean liner in Titanic, a suspected war criminal in The Reader, a Russian mafia boss in Triple 9 or a stranded photojournalist in The Mountain Between Us.
Visually, the trailer looks impressive all by itself, so we’re expecting a world of wonder from director of photography Vittorio Storaro. The golden lighting and shadows are very cool, accentuating the turn of the story behind it, which should help to make this another memorable film from Allen.