Annapurna Pictures released the first glimpse of Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow's historical drama Detroit Wednesday. The film, penned by fellow The Hurt Locker Oscar winner Mark Boal, stars John Boyega as a police officer during the 1967 Detroit riot. If this two-minute peek is any indication, Detroit should again earn Bigelow plenty of praise on par with the critical adoration of The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty.
Detroit, according to a synopsis, centers on the "gripping story of one of the darkest moments during the civil unrest." Bigelow, who made history with her 2009 Academy Award for Best Director, has previously tackled historical drama (with much success) in K-19: The Widowmaker starring Harrison Ford and Zero Dark Thirty, which focused on the hunt for al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
The dual power of Bigelow (let's not forget the brilliance of Point Break) and Boal is also proven. Bigelow directed from a script by Boal in both The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, two films that are currently resting comfortably above the 90-percent mark on Rotten Tomatoes. Boal—a journalist—shares Bigelow's knack for historical dramas, having also helped put together the story behind Paul Haggis' underrated 2007 Iraq war exploration In the Valley of Elah.
Boyega is joined in Detroit by Straight Outta Compton star Jason Mitchell, Anthony Mackie, Hannah Murray, Will Poulter, Jack Reynor, and The Office alum John Krasinski. Though Krasinski's 2016 drama effort 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi received extremely mixed reviews, he's in much more capable hands in Detroit. 13 Hours, after all, was helmed by Michael "14 More Transformers Movies" Bay.
Detroit's tagline—"It's time we knew"—speaks to the subject matter's continued relevance in today's America. The first trailer for the film, which will be released close to the 50th anniversary of the unrest, shows Bigelow and Boal are intent on taking an unflinching look at racially motivated policing tactics. In a Deadline interview announcing the film in 2016, Boal said the time was right to tell this story. "It's also a very timely tale that deals with systemic racism in a way I think is relevant to contemporary audiences," he said. "It felt like the right thing to do to go ahead with the Detroit project, which was finished, and tell that story now."
Detroit opens Aug. 4. Given Bigelow and Boal's track record, this one's clearly a must-see.