Amazon has released the first trailer for Late Night. The movie was written and stars Mindy Kaling (The Office, The Mindy Project) as the new writer on a popular talk show hosted by Oscar-winner Emma Thompson. This first premiered at Sundance earlier this year and gained a lot of buzz coming out of the festival, which prompted Amazon to spend big money on it. Now, we have our first look at what was worth $13 million for the U.S. rights alone.
The trailer sets up the central conflict at the heart of the movie; Emma Thompson's brutal and old-school Katherine against the new, bright-eyed Molly, played by Mindy Kaling. Katherine heartlessly fires several of her employees just before Molly enters the fold in what she assumes is her dream job. It then turns into a quest to save Thompson's character from losing her job as host of a popular talk show.
Late Night centers on Emma Thompson as Katherine Newbury, a pioneer and legendary host on the late-night talk-show circuit. Things change when she's accused of being a "woman who hates women." Shortly thereafter, she puts affirmative action on the to-do list, and Molly is hired to be the only woman in her writer's room. Molly walks into an ugly situation as Katherine is facing down low ratings, with the network keen on replacing her. Molly then sets out to prove she's not just a diversity hire and becomes determined to help Katherine revitalize her show and career, while possibly making an even bigger change.
Amazon previously spent big money on The Big Sick coming out of Sundance ($12 million) and that worked out quite well, as the movie was a big critical hit and went on to score an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay. Mindy Kaling based the script on some of her own experiences in Hollywood. In an interview with Variety, Kaling explained that she didn't want to paint anyone in this movie as evil.
"Obviously I'm making a comedy movie, so things are exaggerated for comic effect, but similar things have happened to me in my career. It's not so much that the people in the film that I portray are bigoted. They've just been sheltered by the status quo. And every one of these people in the movie change. They're not evil. They evolve."
Critics thus far have generally responded kindly, as the comedy currently holds a 76 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Nisha Ganatra is in the director's chair. The rest of the ensemble cast includes Max Casella, Hugh Dancy, John Lithgow, Denis O'Hare, Reid Scott and Amy Ryan. Is this our first look at an early Oscar contender for next year? We'll have to see how that plays out. Late Night is set to hit theaters on June 7. Be sure to check out the new trailer from the Amazon Studios YouTube channel below.