Melissa Barrera and Paul Mescal lead Benjamin Millepied’s reimagining of Carmen

Melissa Barrera in Carmen

Sony Pictures Classics has unveiled the official release date for Benjamin Millepied’s Carmen, starring Melissa Barrera (now free from the clutches of Lin Manuel-Miranda) in the titular role opposite Oscar-nominee Paul Mescal. The newly shared teaser offers little details about the forthcoming musical film but sets a dreamy, intoxicating scene for the tragic romance.

The new adaptation of Georges Bizet’s work takes many liberties when it comes crafting Carmen, taking the backdrop from Spain to the Northern Mexico desert, with Mescal playing a former Marine who’s pressured into joining immigration patrol following his service.

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CARMEN | Teaser Trailer (2023)

The official synopsis for Millepied’s film reads, “Carmen (Barrera) survives a terrifying and dangerous illegal border crossing into the US, only to be confronted by a lawless volunteer border guard who cold-bloodedly murders two other immigrants in her group. When the border guard and his patrol partner, Aidan (Mescal)—a Marine with PTSD—become embroiled in a deadly standoff, Carmen and Aidan are forced to escape together. They make their way north toward Los Angeles in search of Carmen’s mother’s best friend, the mercurial Masilda (Rossy de Palma) and owner of La Sombra nightclub, a sanctuary of music and dance.”

Millepied, a choreographer and director known for his work on the ballet sequences in Black Swan, teamed up with prominent composer Nicholas Britell (Succession, Moonlight, Andor) for his take on the famed 1875 opera. In addition to composing the score, Britell penned new songs for Carmen alongside Julieta Venegas and Taura Stinson.

In an early review of the film following its premiere at TIFF, IndieWire’s David Ehrlich writes, “It’s undeniably exhilarating to watch one of the world’s most accomplished choreographers team up with one of its most virtuosic composers (Nicolas Britell) for the kind of aggressively unclassifiable movie that would never exist if not for these two artists reaching beyond their disciplines to create it themselves.”

Carmen will premiere in theaters on April 21.

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