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Winston Duke interviews candidates for life itself in first trailer for Sundance hit 'Nine Days'

By Jacob Oller
Nine Days

Ever since Winston Duke wowed audiences in a pair of genre performances — breaking out of all-star casts in both Black Panther and Us — fans have been waiting for him to get a leading role to jettison him to super-stardom. With Sundance Film Festival favorite and ambitious fantasy film Nine Days, he has it. And now fans get it too, thanks to the movie's first trailer.

Nine Days, writer/director Edson Oda's feature debut, positions Duke as Will, a man who once lived on Earth among humanity. Now, in a sort of dramatic spin on The Good Place and some of the more complicated ideas about reincarnation, he's operating as a kind of judge for those looking to earn the right to be born into a human body. He and his colleague Kyo (Benedict Wong) look to figure out who among their candidates is the best fit for humanity over a nine-day process ... all while grappling with the past and future choices such a responsibility brings.

Take a look:

The unborn candidates themselves — Bill Skarsgård, Tony Hale, Arianna Ortiz, David Rysdahl, and Zazie Beetz — all bring something to the table, with the latter soul awakening new feelings in Will. A quasi-religious fantasy, the film blends the otherworldly drama with POV TV footage of humans going about their daily lives. Definitely some weirdness going on that belies beauty and the deeper questions in life.

Nine Days got snapped up by Sony Pictures Classics, which recently added Spike Jonze as an executive producer on the film. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Oda said, "Spike Jonze has been one of the biggest influences in my life as a filmmaker. His work, which made me see pictures in motion with new eyes—inspired me to pursue this career, and constantly encourages me to tell my own stories in the most human, personal and heartful way I can. I am so honored and humbled to have him involved with Nine Days, it really means the world to me."

Nine Days hits theaters in early 2021.