Aladdin is getting a run for its money this summer with the release of Three Thousand Years of Longing — a George Miller adaptation of the short story "The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye" by A.S. Byatt — which brings together Tilda Swinton and Idris Elba.
In the first trailer that debuted Friday, the staid academic Dr. Alithea Binnie, played by Swinton, lets the genie out of the bottle (literally) when she brings home a trinket from a bazaar in Istanbul while at a conference.
Pretty soon, she finds herself with an ancient Djinn (Elba) and three wishes on her hands. But the sensible scholar of story and mythology is all too wise to the dangers of the possibilities before her.
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"There is no story about wishing that is not a cautionary tale," Swinton says as Alithea Binnie.
The Djinn's response? "We all have desires, even if they remain hidden from us. But it is your story, and I cannot wait to see where it goes," an ancient, supernatural Idris as the Djinn bellows.
"Or wear it might end?" Binnie retorts.
Binnie, who thinks she can outsmart the Djinn with her knowledge of myth and legends, probes the genie to tell her more about those he has granted wishes to in his many lifetimes. But eventually, the sober intellectual is beguiled and makes a wish that surprises them both as the time-hopping duo develops unexpected feelings for one another.
The fantasy-romance made its debut at the Cannes Film Festival Friday. During the film's red carpet portion at the festival in France, a protester took off her clothes to reveal body paint that read "Stop Raping Us" before being escorted away by security.
Three Thousand Years of Longing hits theaters Aug. 31.