Although he's directed only three films so far in his career, Duncan Jones (son of the late David Bowie) has shown himself more than capable of crafting tight, enthralling, and creative science fiction features that dare to go beyond what is expected of the genre. The tepid reaction to Warcraft notwithstanding, Jones is at his best when working with original material like Moon and Source Code. Today, Netflix unveiled the trailer for his fourth project, Mute, a "sci-fi Casablanca" that bears all the neon-bright markings of Blade Runner and the hardboiled undertones of a Chandler or Hammett mystery.
Taking place in a futuristic Berlin, the movie (co-written by Jones) stars Alexander Skarsgard as Leo Beiler, a mute bartender searching for his missing girlfriend Naadirah (Seyneb Saleh). As Leo sets out to solve the case of his MIA paramour, he crosses paths with two American surgeons, played by Justin Theroux (The Last Jedi) and a handlebar-mustachioed Paul Rudd (Ant-Man and the Wasp), who looks like he'll be one of the best parts of the film.
Intrigue, robots, and hovercraft abound in the first dystopian trailer, which gives nearly nothing away about the plot. Rather, it is a chance to showcase the movie's urban and futuristic noir setting of bright primary colors and dark shadows. Leo's girlfriend has secrets, but what are they? Ah, ah, ah. They won't be divulged that easily. Here's lookin' at you, Duncan.
Mute may have a competitive edge, coming on the heels of The Shape of Water, another film with a (mostly) non-speaking protagonist that garnered 13 Oscar nominations. Netflix is also going all in on the cyberpunk genre, as the TV adaptation of Richard K. Morgan's Altered Carbon is set to debut on Feb. 2.
Mute, meanwhile, signs its way onto Netflix on Feb. 23.