Over the summer, in its eternal rush to gobble up as many TV shows and movies as it can, Netflix grabbed the rights to The Polka King, a tragicomic true-life caper starring Jack Black as a polka star turned Ponzi-scheme perpetrator. The film, which first debuted at Sundance 2017, now has a Netflix premiere date— January 12, 2018—and a trailer that gives us a first look at Black as reluctant Polish con-man Jan “Lewan” Lewandowski. Say what you will about his accent, but those sequined stage outfits are definitely on point.
The Polka King is a dramatized version of Joshua Brown and John Mikulak’s documentary The Man Who Would Be Polka King. It tells the fascinating story of Lewandowski, who immigrated to America from Poland and became a star of the Pennsylvania polka scene. He leveraged that regional success into a Poland-centric business and millions of dollars of investments from his fans. Of course, he never paid them back and eventually landed in federal prison. The film also stars Jenny Slate, Jason Schwartzman, Jacki Weaver, J.B. Smoove, and Vanessa Bayer.