“Someone burned down your house down with you inside… Do you know anyone that would do this?”
That’s the mystery at the center of Hulu’s upcoming series Little Fires Everywhere, which stars executive producers Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon and is based on Celeste Ng’s 2017 bestseller of the same name. But—as evidenced in a new trailer released Thursday—there’s a lot more going on in this ensemble drama.
“It’s been more than two years of us thinking about this story and how we wanted to present it to the world. We want [the audience] to understand what we’re trying to do with the bigger themes, but also be pulled in by this mystery,” executive producer Lauren Levy Neustadter tells The A.V. Club about putting the trailer together. “At the end of every episode, we hope our audience will be left breathless because the stakes are real, and we wanted that feeling here.”
As described by Hulu, this eight-episode series “follows the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and an enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. The story explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, the ferocious pull of motherhood—and the danger in believing that following the rules can avert disaster.”
Witherspoon playing a “picture-perfect” mother might initially sound like her role on Big Little Lies, a series she and Neustadter also produced. But “while you may think you’ve seen these actors play similar characters before,” Neustadter says about the cast—which also includes Joshua Jackson, Rosemarie DeWitt, and Huang Lu—“you really haven’t seen them like this. We peel back the layers of each of the characters, and nothing is exactly what it seems.” For Little Fires Everywhere readers, the trailer offers an assurance: “We want them to see all these characters that they know and love—that we’ve included them and, where we could, expanded the stories and tell you a little bit more about them,” Neustadter says.
She adds that it was essential to feature younger cast members like Jade Pettyjohn, Jordan Elsass, Gavin Lewis, Megan Stott, and Lexi Underwood in the trailer. Not only do the actors play pivotal roles in the family drama, but Neustadter notes that she and the Little Fires Everywhere team “look at this as a show with a big opportunity for co-viewing.”
“There aren’t a lot of shows that kids want to watch with their parents, and there’s an opportunity here for family viewing—but also conversation,” she says. “We hope kids will watch this and see themselves reflected, and that adults will see it’s a rich tapestry for the adult characters, but also a fascinating glimpse into the lives of these teens. And we hope that gets them talking.”
Little Fires Everywhere premieres March 18 on Hulu.