Lionsgate has released a new trailer for the dark comedy Arkansas. This movie, the directorial debut of actor Clark Duke, was supposed to make its world premiere at SXSW. However, the massive festival was canceled over the coronavirus outbreak. As the old adage goes, the show must go on. As such, we have our first look at this wild peak at the drug trade, which features Vince Vaughn and Liam Hemsworth at its center.
The trailer kicks off with Vince Vaughn singing to himself in his car, which helps set the irreverent tone. We then get a description of a less-than-organized crime ring operating in the South, which is run by a violent kingpin, played by Vaughn. There are certainly some comedic beats, but as things get progressively out of hand, the tone shifts increasingly dark. It looks like a pull-no-punches, violent crime flick with some levity that also has the added benefit of an A-list cast.
The movie is based on author John Brandon's best-selling book of the same name, which was originally published in 2008. Per Lionsgate, who is releasing the adaptation, it "weaves together three decades of Deep South drug trafficking to explore the cycle of violence that turns young men into criminals, and old men into legends." Clark Duke hasn't directed a feature before, but audiences will likely be familiar with his work on screen in movies like Kick-Ass, Hot Tub Time Machine and Bad Moms. Duke has also appeared in TV shows such as The Office and I'm Dying Up Here. Now, we have the opportunity to see what he can do behind the camera. Duke co-wrote the screenplay alongside Andrew Boonkrong.
Arkansas centers on Kyle (Liam Hemsworth) and Swin (Clark Duke) who live by the orders of an drug kingpin named Frog (Vince Vaughn), a man they've never met. The two pose as junior park rangers by day who operate as low-level drug couriers by night, with Frog's proxies keeping a close eye on them. Swin settles into his day job by starting up a relationship with Johnna (Eden Brolin), even though it goes against his orders. Meanwhile, Kyle continues to question his night job by trying to figure out who Frog really is. After one too many questionable decisions, the situation is upended and Kyle, Swin, and Johnna find themselves squarely in Frog's crosshairs, who views them as a threat to his empire.
In addition to the trailer, the studio has also released a poster, which we've included for you to check out as well. This is just one of many movies that were scheduled to debut at SXSW, which could have helped provide a big boost in the buzz department ahead of the release. Arkansas is set to arrive in select theaters, On Demand and Digital HD on May 1, with the Blu-ray/DVD release scheduled for May 5 from Lionsgate. Be sure to check out the new trailer for yourself.