'Damsel' is coming to Netflix in 2024
Millie Bobby Brown has taken on demogorgons and Vecna, and watched Godzilla and King Kong battle it out — so why not fight a dragon next?
On Saturday, Netflix released the first teaser for Stranger Things star Brown's next movie, an atypical fantasy story titled Damsel that sees the actress as, well, a damsel thrown into a difficult situation.
The teaser kicks off with a panicked Brown, 19, as Princess Elodie in full royal attire as she hides from what can be assumed is some kind of deadly creature. She soon strips down to her inner layers, letting go of her princess gown — and, symbolically it seems, of her identity as a prim-and-proper royal — as she fights for survival in a dark cave with danger around every corner.
Per the film's synopsis, Elodie has been recruited by the royal family — Queen Isabelle (Robin Wright) and Prince Henry (Nick Robinson) — "as a sacrifice to repay an ancient debt" but is "thrown into a cave with a fire-breathing dragon, relying solely on her wits and will to survive."
In the teaser, she shows off her wits and survival instincts as she navigates endless challenges, including avoiding the dragon's fire, making a giant leap over a cavernous hole — and nearly missing — and even a failed attempt at escape. She successfully scales an inner wall decorated with spikes, only to find out that there's no exit to the cave where she's trapped — the opening brings her to a crack in a mountainside that's nowhere near ground level.
In a voiceover, the kingdom's ruler, Queen Isabelle, explains to Brown's Princess Elodie that she is but the latest in a "long line of women who have helped to build this kingdom" as they've been trapped and fought to break free of the cave — and its menacing inhabitant.
Elodie sees the proof of that as she traces her hand over a list of female names etched into the cave's wall — the names of those who have been trapped and sacrificed before her.
"For generations, it has been our task to protect our people," Queen Isabelle describes of Elodie's task. "The price is dear, but so, too, the reward."
The reward, seemingly, is not only freedom but also the hand of Prince Henry, who at one point in the teaser, looks to the sky as a shadow passes over and panic ensues behind him.
The teaser trailer also hints at a more devastating end result for the broader kingdom, as fire engulfs the mountain where Elodie is trapped and rains from the sky — endangering the expansive kingdom below.
Along with Brown, Wright and Robinson, the film also stars Angela Bassett as Elodie's stepmother, as well as Ray Winstone, Brooke Carter and Shoreh Aghdashloo.
Filmmaker Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Days Later) directed the new fantasy movie from a script written by Dan Mazeau, who also wrote the latest Fast and the Furious movie, Fast X. Spanish-born Fresnadillo was nominated for an Oscar back in 1997 for his short film Esposados.
Fresnadillo told Netflix's Tudum that the hit cast came together to tell Elodie's story, which is "a real survival experience" and turns the well-known princess and a dragon story "completely upside down."
"It's a thrilling adventure with a really dark twist to put you on the edge of your seat," the Oscar-nominated director said. "It's a fantasy, but grounded in reality."
He also applauded the film's lead as he said they were "so lucky" to have Brown as Elodie, who he called "the heart of the movie."
"She has that quality that only stars have, which is you cannot take your eyes off her," he said. "She has the ability in this movie, in such a magical way, to bring the audience into her journey and take them into that kind of dark, intense and thrilling adventure that she's having."
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Damsel is coming to Netflix in 2024.
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