Here’s your first look at the upcoming batshit adaptation of William Shakespeare’s final play The Tempest from director Julie Taymor—excuse us: visionary director Julie Taymor, as this preview helpfully reminds us—in all its eye-searingly CGIed glory. The film stars Helen Mirren as a gender-reversed version of sorcerer Prospero, who seeks revenge for her banishment to a lost island by conjuring a storm that will bring all of her enemies to her, where she then forces them all to choke down a fat bag of mescaline. Or rather, that’s what it looks like, judging by the hail of glowing winged hellbeasts and flaming dogs bursting forth here in a whirling vortex of orange-and-teal grotesquery, as a sparkly, feathered Mirren wields her magic wand and gravely intones, “Thou shalt have cramps.” Indeed.
In addition to sorcery, the trailer also promises romance, treachery, and “stupidity”—the latter in the form of Russell Brand, who vamps and capers and other British-sounding verbs alongside Alfred Molina as the comic relief. Elsewhere, Chris Cooper and Alan Cumming whip out some swords, Djimon Hounsou stomps about as Caliban, and Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark star Reeve Carner moons moodily over Felicity Jones. But on The Tempest’s stage, they are merely static players hiding behind this tale full of digital sound and fury. True, “Some kinds of baseness are nobly undergone,” but yeesh… Save some room for the words.