It feels like forever ago since the Marcel The Shell With Shoes On feature film was announced. Jenny Slate first announced in 2014 that she and Marcel The Shell co-creator Dean Fleischer-Camp were planning a movie based on the three-part shorts that went viral on YouTube. Eight years later, we finally have a trailer for it.
The A24 movie is filmed as a mockumentary, just like the YouTube shorts, and it re-introduces Marcel. In the trailer, Marcel (Slate) explains to Fleischer-Camp (who’s acting as “documentarian”) that it “takes at least 20 shells to have a community.” But he doesn’t have that; instead, he lives solitarily with his grandma, Nana Connie (Isabella Rossellini).
Marcel seems happy enough with the company of Nana Connie (they spend their days watching 60 Minutes) but he’s missing the other shells. “Sometimes I find my mind wandering… thinking, ‘What would my family think?’ Do you think they could be out there?,” he asks.
Marcel decides—with the encouragement of Nana Connie—that he’s embarking on an adventure in search of his family. But first he tries to look for help online, hosting a livestream asking if anyone has information on his lost loved ones. He eventually hits the road, and his quest manages to get the attention of 60 Minutes host Lesley Stahl, who ends up interviewing him.
Besides Slate, Fleishcher-Camp, and Rossellini, the movie also features supporting roles from Rosa Salazar and Thomas Mann. As seen in the trailer, Conan O’Brien and Brian Williams also make cameos.
The feature film was written by Slate, Fleishman-Camp, and Nick Paley, and is directed by Fleishman-Camp. It first premiered at the Telluride Film Festival in 2021 and was also screened recently at SXSW. Its theatrical release is coming up this summer on June 24.